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For Back to School, Reimagine Classroom Design

For Back to School, Reimagine Classroom Design
Teaching Strategies Lenny Gonzales By Therese Jilek As the school year begins, most classrooms across the country will mirror traditional class design: rows of desks with passive children sitting quietly listening to a teacher in the front of the class. But not at Hartland-Lakeside. Across the Hartland-Lakeside school district in Hartland, Wisconsin, teachers have transformed their Industrial Age classrooms into innovative, state-of-the-art learning spaces. The innovative spaces were a product of teachers changing how they taught and viewed student learning. Teachers realized that they needed to do more than rearrange the room; they needed to start over. As teachers transformed their roles into facilitators of learning, they found that standing in front of the classroom or lecturing was no longer prudent. Students and teachers work together throughout the day in many different ways. This change also reflects the increased use of mobile technology to personalize learning. Therese Jilek Related:  Future of Education

Joel Klein, Sal Khan And Sebastian Thrun On Inventing The Future Of Education, At Disrupt SF Three trailblazing figures in educational technology are showcasing the future of learning at our upcoming annual conference, Disrupt San Francisco. Former New York education Chancellor, Joel Klein, will get into more of the details about the recently announced Amplify project, News Corp’s ambitious venture to create tailored, digital learning for the American education system. Bill Gates’ “favorite teacher”, Sal Khan, who founded the Youtube-based Khan Academy, will speak about his pioneering work in the “flipped classroom” and launch a new feature to his site. These education leaders will join an all-star lineup at Disrupt SF Sept 8-12, including Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Marc Benioff, Ron Conway, Kevin Rose, Matt Cohler, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, Vinod Khosla and many others. Come be a part of this amazing show. Joel KleinCEO Education Division, News Corporation In January 2011, Joel I. Prior to that, Mr. Sal KhanFounder and Executive Director, Khan Academy

A Kindergarten Designed to Let Kids Be Kids Architect Takaharu Tezuka observes that “children love running in circles.” That’s why he designed this Tokyo kindergarten in the round, with a roof that is basically one big running track, but low enough so kids can easily be seen from the ground. In this TED talk, Tezuka describes how he and his colleagues tried to get inside the minds of children to create a space that would spark learning, not happen in spite of it. Tezuka observes when you put children in quiet boxes “some of them become very nervous” and try to hide or act out. At this school, there are no walls between classrooms and children who need to move can wander off if the mood strikes them. This delightfully funny talk emphasizes how design can promote the playful, fun-loving, movement-filled learning spaces that nurture young children.

12 Reasons We Need To Reinvent The School Desk Added by Jeff Dunn on 2012-09-27 Students young and old frequently complain about the quality of the desks and chairs provided on campus, yet it remains one of the more overlooked issues. A pity, because poor ergonomics and comfort can actually lead to poor health, and poor health leads to missed classes and heightened medical expenditures once career time rolls around. Maybe it’s about time educators, schools, and districts reconsidered their approach towards how they set up classrooms. Sitting increases the risk of a heart attack : Small children probably don’t suffer from the same risk of heart attacks as their parents, but healthy habits stick better when introduced early. This is a post from our content partners at Online Degrees . Comments are closed.

Richard D. Kahlenberg Reviews "Whither Opportunity?" WHEN MITT ROMNEY recently announced his education platform—more school choice, greater emphasis on charter schools, a tough line on teacher performance, and skepticism about teachers unions—it was widely noted that this array of policies was not much different from those advanced by the incumbent president. With the exception of school vouchers (which Romney favors and Obama opposes), both men have a basically center-right view of education policy, which prescribes tough business principles to elementary and secondary learning in order to reduce the achievement gap between black and Latino students, and white and Asian students. But what if this bipartisan policy consensus is wrong? What if the achievement gap, today, is much more about rich and poor than black and white? Greg Duncan of U.C. But Whither Opportunity? Meanwhile, residential and school segregation—though still deeply rooted in race—have increasingly taken on a class dimension. But if Whither Opportunity? Richard D.

Classroom Eye Candy: A Flexible-Seating Paradise Several weeks ago, I posted an article on my Facebook page about student fidgeting and the advantages of flexible seating. One teacher who commented was high school teacher Rebecca Malmquist, who described her own flexible classroom: “I have taken all the conventional desks out and replaced them with mostly tables and a number of different kinds of chairs; I’ve used garage sales and the generosity of friends to furnish my room this way. My classroom looks like a college apartment. Intrigued, I asked to see a picture. And so Classroom Eye Candy was born. Classroom Eye Candy will be a feature where I invite you to join me in ogling creative classroom design in any form. Rebecca Malmquist Name: Mrs. Job Title: High school English teacher – currently English 9 and 10, Creative Writing and Advanced Creative Writing School Location: Hastings, Michigan Q: What inspired you to arrange your classroom this way? click image for larger view The Details Lighting: No fluorescents—ever.

Sweden’s Newest School System Has No Classrooms There’s a whole new classroom model and it’s a sight to behold. The newest school system in Sweden look more like the hallways of Google or Pixar and less like a brick-and-mortar school you’d typically see. There are collaboration zones, houses-within-houses, and a slew of other features that are designed to foster “curiosity and creativity.” That’s according to Vittra, which runs 30 schools in Sweden. Their most recent school, Telefonplan School (see photos below via Zilla Magazine) in Stockholm, could very well be the school of the future. Architect Rosan Bosch designed the school to encourage both independent and collaborative work such as group projects and PBL. The un-schoolness doesn’t stop with the furniture and layout though. Most of all, admission to the school is free as long as one of the child’s parents pays taxes in Sweden and the child has a ‘personal number’ which is like a social security number to our U.S. readers.

Piping Up : Thérèse Blogs Posted by Therese on Thursday, August 2, 2012 It’s never too late for a career change, which is why I am going to stop writing and get myself a job at Challenge Plumbing. “Whatever for?” I hear you ask, “For plumbing is not at all glamorous.” I understand your concern, but I am not aiming for the mechanical or messy side of things. Last week I had faucet issues. Now we are not talking Mad Men era here. Of course I work from home and that’s even worse.

Rock climbing wall helps students reach new heights :: The Winonan Rock Climbing wall located in Wabasha Recreation Center. Photo: Andrew Thoreson Andrew Thoreson/ Winonan Winona State University is currently one of the few schools in the Midwest that does not have a climbing gym, but upon completion of the new addition of a climbing wall in Wabasha Hall, Winona State will house one of the best. Eric Barnard, director of the Outdoor Recreation & Education Center (OERC) program, has worked for several years to get the climbing wall built. The foundation will be made of 16 inches of padded floor and rigged walls. It will be nearly the entire size of the gymnasium. Barnard said gyms are costly, and Winona State did not have it in budget to start the project the last several years. However, as soon as enough money was donated and raised, Walltopia, one of the leading builders of the climbing walls, signed the contract and began building just a couple months ago. The wall is nearly complete and will be open for use within a few weeks.

The Best Posts & Articles Explaining Why Schools Should Not Be Run Like Businesses It’s not uncommon to hear that our schools need to be run more like businesses. That argument holds a lot of appeal to some people (including, but not limited to, people who might make a profit out of it). I thought I’d bring together a few resources that provide a counterpoint to those beliefs. You might also be interested in A Beginning “The Best…” List On The Dangers Of Privatizing Public Education. Here are my choices for The Best Posts & Articles Explaining Why Public Education Should Not Be Run Like A Business: My Sacramento colleague Alice Mercer has written an excellent post titled The Business of Education. While I think there are some things that can be learned from best practices in other fields, trying to adopt reform models from business on a “wholesale” basis ignores some basic differences between the function and ecology of public education, and a for-profit business. “The Price Is Double” — Two Stories About School Reform & Money is another related post I’ve written.

Psychology of Colour in the Educational Environment - Color Objects When it comes to colour in the learning environment, function trumps aesthetics. Colour trend & other such frivolities have no power here. The science of colour psychology is the reason to pick a blue over a red, or an orange over a purple. The well executed colour palette can enhance the absorption of information & facilitate the thinking process. The age of the students is an important factor to consider. As with anything though it's a balancing act that shouldn't be completely one sided on the colour wheel. The blue colour family works well in science & math based classrooms by lowering the heart rate & allowing concentration to kick in. The natural colour of balance, greens are great for counseling, libraries, history & social studies spaces. Gentle energy yellows are great for classrooms dealing with languages & other creative pursuits...fine art, dance, culinary arts. Oranges & peach tones support athletic facilities, drama, media centres & cafeteria settings.

Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education In today’s global economy, countries need high-quality education systems that will teach their citizens the skills necessary to meet the challenges of tomorrow. This series of videos, produced jointly by the OECD and the Pearson Foundation, highlights initiatives being taken by education authorities around the world to help school students do better. The school systems featured were chosen for their strong performance in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Every three years, PISA evaluates the skills of 15-year-old secondary students in three basic areas: reading, mathematics and science. Starting from very different levels, a number of countries and regions have succeeded over the last few years in raising their students’ performance substantially. The best systems deliver strong and equitable learning outcomes across widely varying cultural and economic contexts.