Friday, May 09, 2008

Stephen Heppell: Learning Spaces, Working Places

{Blogged Live - will edit later... probably.}

I'm attending an event at the Lighthouse: Learning Spaces, Working Places presented by Professor Stephen Heppell.

The website described it as follows:
There is a revolution in the design of learning spaces all round the world and inevitably this is now impacting on the design of corporate space too...
During the talk we were invited to text during the talk to 07624805770

Stephen started by talking about what he's been doing recently. Started with talking about an indoor ski slope in Dubai. Suggested that here, people get a bit sniffy and complain about the waste of energy but in Dubai, the energy is cheap - it's the water that's expensive. Your perspective makes a difference.

We live in a world that's information rich. It's the ability to learn where we are poor.

Are we trapped in incrementalism? Aiming to get a little better? Stephen's experience is, if we get it rght, the improvements can be stellar. We can inoculate children from poverty with education. We can at least insulate children from war if we get countries collaborating educationally - talking to each other.

Paraphrase: "We put fluoride in the water to protect our teeth. What would happen if we put chemicals in the water to make our children brainier? You can imagine the outcry."

What countries are good at making cars? What countries are good at films? Short lists. What countries are going to be good at learning? Will Scotland be in the short list?

He showed pictures from old comedies (e.g. Bilko and On The Buses) often defined by the workplace - comedy from coming up against the boss. Modern comedies (e.g. Friends) what they work as is hardly known - its about the relationship and community. Reflects the changing world.

We are in a time of betweenies. There used to be broadcasters and viewers, or teachers and learners. All the interesting stuff is happening in the middle. For example teachers as learnesr, learners teaching. The space metween now and not now e.g. txts, or facebook profiles {or twitter?}. Space between me and you, e.g. e-bay, Google, e-communities. As we redefine our learning spaces, are we looking at using this in-between space?

One school he's heard of does one GCSE per month - all the study for a month - not splitting up the timetable. Universities are going more and more modular. Heading towards the 19th Century as industry heads to the 21st. Building rigid top heavy management structures. Some industries are creating managers for projects. Recognising the need for leaders to be good followers too.

See Teachers TV programme on George Mitchell School - about teachers and pupils working co-operatively to improve learning.

Real spaces and Virtual spaces. Showed developments from Prestel, through Tesco SchoolNet (biggest online project at the time - huge age range - is age the best way to organise learning?), (grew out of Scoop), Ideas board for Orange (virtual board where you can stick text pictures etc., (learning space created by children excluded from school), to JellyOS.

Examples of an Australian university that has undergraduates from age 11 that are expected to do four hours of activity. Some universities building litte boxes for their students, driven by spreadsheet cells - cells in every sense of the word. Will the students come to the physical boxes? {Is it more sensible to create virtual spaces? If universities still see the content as precious then they miss it.} Full time work can be full time study.

What are we learning? Effective learnng orgainsations are
  • collaborative
  • 24/7 and lots of other stuff! {will edit in later :-)}
From a PhD research looking at sociograms of communication. Found that in seminars only a third contribute. Online, that doesn't happen. There is real collegiality and mutuality. Web 2.0 is really Learning 1.0. People grow to respect each others perspective.

Every object tells a story - daft to put an object in a museum box and expect people to get it. Important for the objects to tell their stories.

Moving from a productivity model to new approaches. E.g. Criterion referencing to ipsative {?}. referencing. From uniform students to creative and ingenious students. {Don't care about creativity, I want ingeneous students"} It used to be, to get a first class honours degree you had to produce something that would astonish their professors.

Stephen wants us to stop building corridors. Why build spaces that are only there to move people around. Get rid of corridors and you instantly create collegiality {Hmm... need to think about this.}

How do you measure creativity? What is the equivalent of a 1500 word essay? Managing an online discussion for a week? Creating a 10 second video? Posting a podcast?

"In the next 30 years, more children will leave school worldwide than in the whole of histtory up to now."

Global Learning community

No comments: