The New Lab and Some TAB.

After Chinese New Year break, I'll be moving into my new laptop lab at school. The cool thing about it is that I got to design the room almost entirely, which I did using Google Sketchup - that great little shareware app I mentioned last year. I took the idea of the room from something that my friend Jeff had posted on Utechtips back in November about rethinking the grid. The basic question that he asked is why our learning spaces don't reflect the kinds of environments that students choose to work in.

The idea made me think about the kinds of things I'd been reading online over time at The Incredible Art Department and The Knowledge Loom about Teaching for Artistic Behaviour, and choice-based education. After reading Jeff's post, I started to think about the actual physicality of the space in a learning environment. I realized that last year, when I was teaching video, I had a room that was a perfect example and didn't even realize it. I had tables in the back where students would build stuff for their videos or plan projects. I had computers in the front, and the graffiti wall to paint on as well. There were also a few areas we used for filming and green-screening both inside and outside the classroom.

This new computer lab gives the students choice about their 'classroom geography'. Students will be able to take laptops to the little tables with bean-bag chairs, or sit on stools at fun-shaped counters around the room. There is also a couch and some comfy chairs coming. The furnature is all painted with different bright colors, and the room is carpeted- much more warm and inviting than the more traditional lab I'm in now!


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