Successfully reported this slideshow.

The Learning Environments by Cam Weston


Published on

This is a short multi media presentation on the different learning environments that students and teachers are faced with each day. Hopefully this presentation assists teachers when they next need to plan out a learning environment.

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

The Learning Environments by Cam Weston

  1. 1. Learning Spaces An overview of 5 different learning spaces that will push students towards becoming 21st century learners
  2. 2. Introduction “The new learning spaces incorporate technologies and engage the learner, creating new learning possibilities, enhancing achievements and extending interactions with local and global communities.” (Teaching Australia, 2009) Communicators, networkers, innovators, multi model learners and tech savvy individuals are all words that spring to mind when defining the characteristics of a 21st century learner. It is our job as educators to provide a learning environment, both physical and virtual, that allow for these characteristics to develop. A learning environment that is active, collaborative, diverse, connected and most of all student centered must be created to accommodate students beginning of growth into global learners. This presentation plans to explore learning spaces across five environments: the classroom & school, beyond the classroom, the electronic space, the individual space, the group space and learning in the 21st century.
  3. 3. The classroom and the school The Physical Environment This includes the physical conditions of the school and classroom: Furnishing, lighting, storage, noise and acoustics, climate and thermal control, privacy, play equipment and play grounds. (McGregor, J 2004) Strengths The physical space of the classroom and school should allow students to feel safe, supported and happy. • Todays schools must create a space that students want to go to, similar to the way cafes attract people, rather then the space just being purely functional. (Bunting, A 2004) • Attention must be paid to the importance of 'Desirable’ designs including 'friendly and agreeable' entrance areas, supervised private places for students, as well as public spaces that foster a sense of engagement and community, with particular attention to the colour and lighting used. (McGregor, J). Weaknesses • Lack of Funding to equip, modify or build classrooms and school learning environments that encourage and inspire students. • Rural geographical locations can sometimes prevent or delay the development of classroom learning spaces. • Education of key stakeholders to change the culture of their thinking about classrooms and schools can also be something that is detrimental to a school environment.
  4. 4. The classroom and the school Curriculum and pedagogy: Click here Teacher and student connections: Having a flexible and aesthetic friendly environment gives students a sense of connectedness and unity within the classroom as well as the school grounds. It promotes creative and practical learning, both formal and informal. Learning becomes a holistic approach as opportunities to interact and communicate with other students and teachers become more regular through the physical arrangement. A flexible Learning Space that allows children to explore. All Kids 1st Childcare, 2009, http://www.allkidsfirstnj. com/learning.html
  5. 5. The classroom and the school A clip promoting the growth and development of curriculum and pedagogy for the 21st century through the classroom and school environment. (Whitby, G. 2007. Retrieved from
  6. 6. Beyond the classroom The Physical environment: The physical environment has many variables. It can range from sitting on a basketball court explaining instructions, to taking children on an excursion to the Zoo. Therefore there are many options of what the physical space could be: • inside or outside • within the school boundary or offsite • seated, standing, lying • accessible to resources or remote Strengths: • Engaging to students (changing from the norm) • Adaptability of the space to suit the topic/teacher • Potential to move the topic (eg visit art gallery, work in garden) • Specific (Aboriginal artwork, rocks from outside, paint outside) • Cater for different learning types. Weakness • Potential OH&S issues • Weather implications • Lack of classroom resources to hand • Outside distraction (other students/teachers, birds, rocks) • Potential to incur costs (Excursions) Outdoor classroom. From Learning Space, the Final Education Frontier by Education Today, 2012, oday/article/Learning-space--377
  7. 7. Beyond the classroom Teacher and student connections: Positioning students in different learning environments such as field trips and incursions offer rich content knowledge that students may not have the opportunity to discover within the realms of the classroom. Having someone with expert knowledge of a topic talk to learners about different aspects of a specific focus area may help create discussion and thinking throughout the classroom. Students will benefit from the change of scenery, particularly if the new environment aides in comprehension of the subject. Actually visiting a particular environment allows children to visualize, hear, smell and touch, often making the learning experience more memorable and therefor more beneficial. (Johnson, 2009) Curriculum and pedagogy: Click here Learning Garden. From "We are Always Learning" by In the Classroom , 2011, tiontoday/article/Learning-space--377
  8. 8. The electronic learning space Physical environment: This environment is not necessarily one that we can sit in but one that is built for us through the technology of the 21st century and helps engage in a world that the students understand and enjoy. “Contemporary learning- learning in an online world describes describes the integrated nature of highly technological world in which young people live and learn.(Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, 2008) Strengths • Accessibility- Offers access beyond the face to face time that a school can provide. The use of school intranets allows for learning and discussion to take place even after the school bell has rung. • Communication- Students can communicate in a variety of ways without being near the person seek assistance. Communication is enhanced between teacher-student, teacher-parent, student-student, student-community and student-world. • Engage students- Students are engaged in a world that is their own, a world that they have grown up in and know how to use better then we do. Weaknesses • Cost- As technology is forever changing and updating, the cost of this product can mean that school are unable to provide the products that may assist in a students optimal learning. • Safety- Communication is worldwide with technology so safety tutorials need to be implemented, whether this be in class or or an online tutorial students need to be educated about cyber safety.
  9. 9. The electronic learning space A look at some of the technology that is being used in 21st century learning. (Kraft, M. 2013. Retrieved from.
  10. 10. The electronic learning space Curriculum and pedagogy: Click here. Teacher and student connections: This learning space although foreign to a lot of teachers, is one that needs to be acknowledged in day to day teaching and learning. This space should be seen as an opportunity for rich teaching and learning The future to take place as it offers so many open Image retrieved ended variables that teachers can use to assist different levels of students ability. Setting tasks that permit students to research the web and communicate with each other creates a holistic learning approach to the classroom. Students collaborating on laptops. Image retrieved
  11. 11. The individual learning space Physical Environment: Learning at home is not for everyone, some see it as a chance to relax and work at your own pace in comfort, others see it as an area full of distractions and inconveniences. Strengths: • Space to move around and spread work out. Great for visual learners who need objects in front of them. • A range of different learning spaces for different tasks, rejuvenate thinking. • Quiet area to focus without distractions • Control over environment, furniture can be shifted, temperature altered. • Students can still stay connected through web tools and other technology. These are two spaces I find comfortable. Weaknesses: • Accessible to other people within the space, often parents or housemates can come home and interrupt. • Shared space means work area needs to be packed away at times. • Personal devices can disrupt eg, sms’s, phone calls, Facebook. • Wifi connection can be temperamental. Images from a learning space I feel most productive.
  12. 12. The individual learning space Curriculum and pedagogy: Click here Teacher and student connections: As this is based on the students opinion some key areas of importance would be• Quiet-Turning of mobile phones and having people out of the house can create a quiet environment that promotes the learner to read, reflect and work without an interruption. • Different room/areas• Light and window- Light is stimulating and activates the thinking process and the window allows learners to ‘stretch’ their eyes and and a place to reflect without moving. • Formal work space/desk- Having a permanent workspace puts the learner in ‘work mode’ and signals to individuals around that work is being undertaken so do not disturb. • Different room/areas- Having different spaces like the couch lets the learner move when needing to refocus or feel comfortable. Often the garden or roof can provide a great space for reading of revising.
  13. 13. The group learning space Physical environment: The group learning space is made up of area’s where students are able to effectively discuss and communicate about a specific topic. It is important table/seating arrangement promotes discussion to allow for a shared understanding. Students also need to have enough space for individual learning to take place within the group environment. Strengths: • Flexible learning space - groups may choose to work at benches, on the floor, or at computers. • Students can move around to different spaces to direct their own learning goals. (computers, library, workbench, floor) • Quieter students may feel more comfortable participating in these small learning groups rather than in whole-class activities. Weaknesses: • Requires adequate space which many classrooms will not have. • Access to resources such as internet/books may not be available. • Noise levels may increase unless kept under control. • Harder to monitor work progress of each student. Group Learning Space. From "Developmental Psychology in Education" by University of Edinburgh, 2012,
  14. 14. The group learning space Curriculum and pedagogy: Click here. Teacher and student connections: Teachers will need to carefully examine the learning space to ensure it is adequately prepared for group work (lighting, space, acoustics, colour, temperature). It has also been argued by Johnson, 2009, that for group learning to be successful, teachers must prepare students for the management of discussion within their groups, including acceptance of disagreement. Students may need extra time adjusting to working in a group learning space and as such will require guidance and preparation sessions from the teacher. Northern Christian School. (2012) Group Learning [digital image]. Retrieved from /
  15. 15. Learning in the 21st century "Twenty-first century learning theories emphasize the importance of supporting authentic and ubiquitous (anywhere, anyhow) learning, and providing students with opportunities, resources and spaces to develop their creative and critical thinking skills" (The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2013) . 'Anywhere, anyhow learning' means teachers need to be proactive and flexible in their teaching techniques, as different learning environments, such as the ones spoken about will be blended into everyday teaching and learning. Teachers need to develop skill sets in students such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication and collaboration and apply imagination and intervention to tasks. For this to happen constant evaluation and development of the teaching and learning process needs to take place. Digital technology will play a key role in incorporating this as it allows for communication to take place anytime anywhere. Students are able to stay connected 24 hours a day 7 days a week making learning a highly social and collaborative task. (Wilson, 2011)
  16. 16. Learning in the 21 century Statistics about 21st century learning. (Australian institute for teaching and school leadership, 2013. Retrieved from )
  17. 17. Learning in the 21st century- Prediction My thoughts on 21st century learning space and what is important when designing them. Click here Visual prediction of blended learning spaces . From "Designing Spaces for Effective Learning" by the Joint Infomration Systems Committee (JISC), 2006,
  18. 18. References All Kids 1st (2009). A flexible learning space that allows kids to explore [digital image]. Retrieved from Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2013). Domain: Personal Learning. Retrieved from Australian institute for teaching and school leadership. (2013) Learning for the 21st century. [Video file] Bunting, A. (2004) 'Secondary schools designed for a purpose: but which one?’, Teacher, no.154 pp.10–13. Education Today. (2012). Outdoor Classroom [digital image]. Retrieved from Fadel, C., & Trilling, B. (2009). 21st century skills: Learning for life in our times. San Francisco, USA: John Wiley & Sons Inc. Johnson, J. (2009). Beyond four walls: experiential and situated learning teacher. (198), 18-20
  19. 19. References Joint Information Systems Committee. (2006). Visual prediction of blended learning spaces [digital image]. Retrieved from Kraft, M. (2013). What is 21st century education? [Video file] Retrieved from McGregor, J. (2004) 'Spatiality and the Place of the Material in Schools', Pedagogy, Culture and Society,vol. 12, no. 3 pp.347–372. Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs. (2008). Learning Spaces Framework, p.4. Teaching Australia. (2009). 21st Century Learning Spaces. Retrieved University of Edinburgh. (2013). Developmental Psychology in Education [digital image]. Retrieved from Whitby, G. (2007). 21st Century Pedagogy [Video file]. Retrieved from Wilson, L., & Uscinski, S. (2011, October). The learning landscape: How schools are shaping space and place for 21st century learners. Independence, 36 (2), 6-24.