Category: Learning Spaces

Where does learning happen?

There’s a great new TED Talk out today by Jason Fried (TEDxMidwest) called Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work.  It’s a very insightful talk and it certainly applies to Academe, so watch it first and then read my thoughts below. Here are a few questions that this stirred up in my mind, please share your thoughts … 1. If work doesn’t happen at work, does learning happen at school (in classrooms)? 2. If interruptions are the problem, does learning happen at home? (between family, friends, TV, video games, and the Internet, home is full of distractions) 3. What is...

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Math ELITEs (Classrooms for Active Mathematics)

Thanks to Diane, Gary, and Tom … who also contributed ideas to this classroom redesign project idea. Objective: Create classroom spaces specifically for a) actively learning mathematics and b) using technology to demonstrate, teach, and learn mathematics. A Mathematics ELITE is an Engaged Learning Interactive Technology Environment and consists of: 1. Multiple Whiteboards There should be enough whiteboards in the room so that 24-30 students can work in pairs at the boards. One set of boards should be lowered so that shorter students or a student in a wheelchair could participate more easily (another modification could be to use a portable whiteboard for disabled students). Students rarely learn mathematics from copying the instructor’s work. When students work on the whiteboards in class, it is relatively easy for the instructor to monitor the work of all student pairs at once, stepping in to answer questions, give hints, and correct notation. Students take turns being the writer and the helper, talking over the mathematics as they learn to solve new types of problems. With an interactive board in the room, one pair of students can record their work on the interactive board, creating a record (PDF file) of all the problems worked in class that day. 2. Document camera Can be used for displaying documents (i.e. worksheets, going over a test key, etc.). In a classroom with math manipulatives (i.e. fraction...

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