Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Digital Learning Spaces: A Multidimensional Approach

Part 4: Digital Learning Spaces

David Jakes is the Director of Learning Spaces for EdTechTeam and leads the Learning Space Design Studio. The Studio, created to support schools in developing compelling and engaging learning environments, is the most recent addition to the comprehensive services offered by EdTechTeam.

Many schools have adopted, or are in the process of adopting, a 1:1 program that provides students with a device and a new level of connectivity to resources, people and ideas. As expected, such capacity is disruptive to the ways in which education has operated for decades, and these programs directly challenge schools not only to rethink how students learn, but where they learn.

New connective technologies for every student means that learning in the physical spaces of school has the opportunity to change and that this enhanced capacity should encourage the development of additional spaces for learning - specifically, dedicated digital spaces for learning. By using these new technologies to create such spaces, schools can create more expansive conditions for where kids can learn, effectively enlarging those conditions to include a mixture of spaces that can support learning in the typical physical classroom, online, and in a blend of both spaces.

This larger ecology of learning spaces can look different for every school, but the time has come for schools to develop serious online locations for learning. Certainly, a thoughtful approach for developing digital spaces could include locations for teachers (Google Classroom) and for students (Google Apps for Education) that provide both with a range of tools that support teaching and learning. Additionally, and beyond “school-owned” digital spaces, schools must negotiate and find value (and acceptance) in the social spaces that students already inhabit. A mixture of school-supported spaces, coupled with student-selected spaces, can create a compelling mix that can support interesting learning connections.

Blending a two-part digital space (teacher and student) with the traditional physical spaces of schools can create a multidimensional approach to how spaces are used for learning, and creates the conditions for a new contemporary spatial landscape. Forward-thinking schools will realize that using devices just to connect to the Web is not enough, but connecting students to intentionally designed digital spaces that provide students with a broader learning experience will be essential in creating relevant and inspiring schools.

Join the Challenge!

Check out the #InspiringSpaces on Twitter for learning spaces ideas from around the globe! We're giving away furniture from Smith System through December 11th so share a picture of your inspiring learning spaces for a chance to win! edtechteam.com/inspiringspaces

Week 1 Challenge Winner: Simon's Thinking Road!


  1. Very interesting idea. I hope and students like it. And they will no longer think about where to buy a college paper. Maybe that woke up interest in learning ...

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