Tag Archives: school design

The UKs first Intergenerational care home and nursery⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

I’ve written about ‘doing things differently before’ particularly when it comes to education and the building of schools. A couple of years ago a stumbled across an intergenerational care home and nursery (pre-school) that had been set up in Seattle, USA.

I was delighted to read that similar provision has opened in Nightingale House in Wandsworth and there was a nice write up on the innovation on The Independent newspaper website yesterday.

“The children trot in and they love it. They dance and they prance. And we love it too,” beams Anna Platman, 93, who has been a resident of the care home for nearly a year. “Being old has its moments. But for the hour or so you forget that you’re away from your own family.”

Innovations like this make so much sense particularly in areas of Scotland (and other parts of the world) where there is a rapidly aging population and where at the same time the Government has made bold commitment to increase the amount of free childcare to 1,140 hours per year (30 hours per week) by 2020.


As well as the social benefits of intergenerational working there will be obvious academic benefits as well. For example we know that Back-and-forth exchanges boost children's brain response to language which in turn develops literacy rates - but for these back-and-forth exchanges to occur you need more people to talk to the young children (a ratio of 1:10 just won’t cut it). There will be other subtle benefits as well, such as young people learning about mobility, disability (eg: hearing impairment) and loss.

The unknown unknowns – test out your ideas⤴

from @ Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Education

Unknown Unknowns

Not knowing what you don't know is one of the most troublesome concepts of living in an information rich time poor world. And for educators, who have been used to knowing a lot about some stuff for the past century, it proves an elusive concept in my Masters programme and in workshops that I lead around the world.

I've just kicked off teaching my second year of Charles Sturt University's subject on Designing Spaces for Learning (you can follow the course hashtag to see what we're up to 16 weeks). Without any exceptions, this concept of unknown unknowns is one of the toughest for people to get, especially when they get their heads into the research behind it, such as C-K Theory

Designing the unknown | C-K Theory Presentation from CGS Mines ParisTech on Vimeo.

While it's vital that my Masters students read the research, to really "do their homework" I set the first week's assignment in the real world. Every student must make an actual change to their learning environment within 10 days of starting the subject, and note the impact that the change has had. Sometimes, folk lack some inspiration. Here are two great things any educator could try in their learning spaces when they get back to school, or to their office, or their library. From Inc. Magazine, these two ideas encapsulate what it means to get out those unknown unknowns:

Play Anthropologist

How do you choose the environment that's best for your team? Forget asking them and try watching them instead, suggests Kuske:

"The problem with asking is, if people don't know it's an option, they're not going to give it to you as an answer. But when you watch their behaviors, you see no one ever uses those four spots over there but the couches are always busy. Or hey, why do you leave every other day? That would give [a small business owner] a lot of clues to what's right for their particular company."

Forget One Person Equals One Desk

Think you need one desk per team member? Think again. Kuske says mobile technology has rendered this idea obsolete, which is good news for cash-strapped small-business owners--it frees up money for more creative space design.

"Part of the cost structure everyone has is they make this assumption of a desk per person, but with mobile work, when you walk into most places, how many of those desks are actually used at any given moment? Not many," he says.

In Turnstone's experience often up to 60% of desks can go.

The unknown unknowns – test out your ideas⤴

from @ Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Education

Unknown Unknowns

Not knowing what you don't know is one of the most troublesome concepts of living in an information rich time poor world. And for educators, who have been used to knowing a lot about some stuff for the past century, it proves an elusive concept in my Masters programme and in workshops that I lead around the world.

I've just kicked off teaching my second year of Charles Sturt University's subject on Designing Spaces for Learning (you can follow the course hashtag to see what we're up to 16 weeks). Without any exceptions, this concept of unknown unknowns is one of the toughest for people to get, especially when they get their heads into the research behind it, such as C-K Theory

Designing the unknown | C-K Theory Presentation from CGS Mines ParisTech on Vimeo.

While it's vital that my Masters students read the research, to really "do their homework" I set the first week's assignment in the real world. Every student must make an actual change to their learning environment within 10 days of starting the subject, and note the impact that the change has had. Sometimes, folk lack some inspiration. Here are two great things any educator could try in their learning spaces when they get back to school, or to their office, or their library. From Inc. Magazine, these two ideas encapsulate what it means to get out those unknown unknowns:

Play Anthropologist

How do you choose the environment that's best for your team? Forget asking them and try watching them instead, suggests Kuske:

"The problem with asking is, if people don't know it's an option, they're not going to give it to you as an answer. But when you watch their behaviors, you see no one ever uses those four spots over there but the couches are always busy. Or hey, why do you leave every other day? That would give [a small business owner] a lot of clues to what's right for their particular company."

Forget One Person Equals One Desk

Think you need one desk per team member? Think again. Kuske says mobile technology has rendered this idea obsolete, which is good news for cash-strapped small-business owners--it frees up money for more creative space design.

"Part of the cost structure everyone has is they make this assumption of a desk per person, but with mobile work, when you walk into most places, how many of those desks are actually used at any given moment? Not many," he says.

In Turnstone's experience often up to 60% of desks can go.

Teaching Walls Vs Flexible Space [Blue Sky Classrooms]⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Agile spaces
I’m not a huge fan of ‘Teaching Walls’ and they are one of my criticisms of school new build projects.

Although, I’m sure they are OK to use in practice (and might be better than what you already have) they certainly don’t help teachers think about how they could use the teaching space in a ‘different’ way.

Teachingwall2They also often contain Interactive boards (and you probably already know my feelings on these) that are far too small for the classroom that they have been put in (often a cost saving measure).

A few of my colleague from the-learning-crowd (where I am a Senior Associate) have been working closely with Suklaa on their Blue Sky Classroom (BSC) project which takes a very different approach to classroom layout.

BSC rooms include a very technology rich environment (including a large projection surface), flexible seating and desks and the desks and walls are write on.

Take a look at the video below...

 

...would this type of envirnment work for you?