Bernie Goldbach in Thurles | Photo by @jyri | 312 words
I AM ACTIVELY seeking spaces where others learn while I also document how I learn from my spaces. Along the way, I'm developing a wishlist that includes high fidelty learning chairs like the one Ulla found in Eero Aarnio's showroom.
In an ideal world, we'd furnish the venue for our "Learning Spaces" conference with compelling spaces for teachers to enjoy during the day-long ICT in Education Conference in LIT-Thurles on May 19th. This kind of furniture would help provide working examples of ideal learning spaces that I would cherish.
I think we need to pay attention to furniture aesthetics in third level environments, otherwise we're complicit in a process that ensures a factory look to learning environments. We need to foster an environment where learning can be flip on its head, allowing second-hand learning experiences to take their place as first-hand discovery experiences. I think the furniture helps spark creative expression.
I'm also very interested in how ubiquitous technologies can spark pedagogical shifts in higher education. In my workplace, wifi is ubiquitous and so are smart phones. Sit down in a Next Generation Learning Space like Ulla has in the photo and you can download Kindle documents, iTunes podcasts, and TED video clips. All this rich material, coursing into personal learning devices (that also double as phones) can now be incorporated into the formal learning process. It feels persaonlised and individualised. And a set of chairs occupies a much smaller footprint than a classroom enclosed by a wall.
We are just starting down this route at the moment and hope that at least one presenter at the ICT in Education Conference can report on how NGLS is used by both teachers and students. I know if I were a students, I'd enjoy booking time in a Pod Room instead of sitting at a terminal in the library.
The ICT in Education conference is also called the "schools conference". The photo of Ulla was shot by Jyri Engestrom.