Webinar Spotlight: Designing Agile Learning Spaces

March 05, 2015
Kelly Mendoza Director of Professional Development
Common Sense Education

CATEGORIES In the Classroom, Professional Development, Students, Technology Integration

What is the relationship between physical space, technology, and learning? What kinds of spaces can leverage technology and support the kinds of learning we want to happen? In February, Bill Selak and Ilsa Dohmen from Hillbrook School presented the webinar "Designing Agile Learning Spaces" in our Digital Classroom edWeb community. Bill and Ilsa described four themes for the way they redesign learning spaces: choice, movement, ownership, and inclusion; these four factor into how to create dynamic learning spaces where teachers and students can collaborate, learn together, and work together. Bill and Ilsa gave examples from Hillbrook’s iLab, a computer lab designed with student input into a customizable space. They also shared some research data on the effects of different types of learning environments on students.

Webinar Highlights:

11:55 -- "If we want to create students who are lifelong independent learners, then we want to start giving them access from a really young age to manipulate their environment in a way that feels good for doing the type of work that they're doing. So whether that means sitting on the floor, taking their shoes off, having a snack. And there's different limitations that come in sometimes. But, thinking really about what those limitations are that you're setting, and why they're there, and if they're necessary." -- Ilsa Dohmen

17:18 -- "We've gotten to the stage where we have all different kinds of moveable chairs in my science classroom." ... "Some kids move a ton and others don't." ... "When you can find those pieces that move really differently for different students without making a lot of noise, then it becomes a really neat way to open up the classroom to more ways of being." -- Ilsa Dohmen

31:49 -- "We wanted to give you a few things you could try on your own. The goal of this was not to say, spend $10,000 dollars on new desks, but just get rid of your decorations if you're the teacher, and see how that affects it. Or allow your students to make their own decorations. Give up a little bit of that time [to let students configure the setup of the room, and] students are actually answering more questions, and are more engaged, and just like being there more. It doesn't take them five minutes to set up the room; it can be less than a minute. So just putting that time in up front, and giving them that choice makes such a difference down the road." -- Bill Selak

If you'd like to join future webinars and share ideas on teaching with technology, join the Digital Classroom: Teaching with Tech community on edWeb. Check out all of our upcoming webinars and events in our events calendar. See you there!

Note: If you want to receive a Certificate of Completion for watching this webinar, you can view it in the webinar archives of our Digital Classroom Community on edWeb.