thanks for replaying and sharing your experience, also private and international school in Egypt rather changed but most of students attending public schools and my hope that all education process in Egypt change completely
I work across a number of schools in England and have noticed a great shift in the last few years.
When I first started teaching, desks were arranged in groups so children could collaborate and share ideas. This persists in some schools but, increasingly, I find that by Y5 (9-10yrs) the desks are in regimented rows, minimising collaboration to the person alongside. This is driven by methodologies such as Shanghai Maths and the learning environments of the Far East but is counter to everything this community holds dear.
Online communities are also difficult to introduce as safeguarding and parental concerns mean that even enrolling children onto Scratch is fraught with issues in some schools. Where I have been able to do this, I note that students are still actively involved two years after enrolment even without my direct influence. This shows how peer learning is something they not only yearn but benefit from.
To my knowledge, we do not have the equivalent of MakerSpaces in my region but what an excellent idea! I am currently working in a school that is having a new building. What opportunities would a room like that give to students? I bet, however, that it would become a meeting or community room and that any creative activities would become secondary.
I always placed a lot of value on the classroom learning environment when I had my own classroom. Now, because I use other people’s I can see the benefits and deficiencies much more clearly.
This unit has opened my eyes again. Maybe I can have some influence on the use of space in the new school or be able to encourage more online community activity?
Since I am new at Scratch I think it is a good idea to reflect on it.
Before start programming from Scratch, the environment provides tutorials that explain how it works making this experience a typically “low floor”. As well, the environment makes available lots of other projects where you can take a look to understand more about what is Scratch and how people are using it (high ceiling and wide walls).
The search engine helps you to find projects aligned with the topics you are interested about and after decided for a specific project it is possible to check how it was made and if you have any doubts you can talk to the owner/producer. Even better if you wanna you can copy the project and remix with your own ideas, making the project collaborative without interacting with people. Or you can collaborate with the owner, or he/she can collaborate with you.
I mean, at Scratch environment, you can learn, work and help people and projects in an easy way. It’s fascinated!
Thanks Scratch team and collaborators for this opportunity, not only to try it but to help me to observe all this collaborative potential.
This is our computer lab, which is where we hold coding classes and The LAB. The LAB is a week long program where the kids can come in and play with the laptops doing Roblox or Minecraft, play on our Wii/WiiU, build things with the 3D printer, or any of the other collection of unplugged and plugged materials. This past year we had LEGO Mindstorm kits and the kids built the robots and created their own videos of them moving. You can check it out here: https://youtu.be/3RZE-dCDM0Y
The space we’re in for The LAB and for LEGO Club (which is another room) are small and so a lot of what we do has to be limited to the number of kids that can come in and participate. It really dampens what we can do, how many kids we can reach, and since it can get noisy, how much we’re appreciated by the rest of the public in the library. We’d love to rearrange things at the library, and there is talk about eventually remodeling to create a better use of the space, but for now we just work on moving tables in and out of the room, having enough technology space to create things, and increasing the types of materials we have available for the kids to use. We recently purchased a Dash Robot and we’re very excited to use it in this upcoming Computer Science Education Week.
That is a really neat idea. I would love to have something like that near me.
This is the maker space at our language school/binational center. It’s long and narrow, and that naturally makes different little spaces. There are tables for individual or smaller group work, and a large central table that serves as a “village green.” Students like to hang out on the beanbag chairs between classes. I’m thinking of setting up some simple maker activities in reach on the floor—some puzzle-kind-of-something…I’ve also decided to have the TED-Ed Club that we hope to start next semester meet here, to allow for a more collaborative maker environment, and less of a class environment. This space is relatively new, and hasn’t been used a lot, so I’d be happy for any advice on how to make it better!
I have been to a coding club for kids , where each one is on a computer and start working with scratch, the teachers give instructions and each kid is trying on their own, but I found interesting there were two kids working together on a PC and they seemed to enjoy it more, and there were other two kids working together but only one was having fun and working the other just getting boring and watching.
Also, I have been seen kids in the country side in Thailand where they are seating like in a circle and the teacher is in front explaining and giving the tasks.
This is a photo of our day care’s outdoor learning space. The students can come here to explore all types of natural materials and collaborate. These children were examining some tree cookies. Later they chose to stack them and then they used them to create a role play. We also use this space for journals, discussions and learning about animals and plants. We have a small wooded area and a native plant habitat, a bee hotel, bird feeders and a bat house. The chairs and table are from recycled tree logs. The children always come up with imaginative ways to use the space.
Outdoors as Primary School Learning Environment by Dr. Matluba Khan
“ Children at rural schools seem like jungle born tigers who are captivated in a zoo-like environment” - Dr Simon Bell
School is a place to learn. But How do we learn? In a study in 2009 in several schools of Dhaka it was found out that the most favourite places of children are in the outdoor, they want to come to school because they can be in the school ground with their friends. An outdoor class was designed and constructed by Matluba Khan at a primary school in Narsingdi as part of her Master’s thesis at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology ( BUET).
To learn more: Outdoors as Primary School Learning Environment
I am going to reflect on the learning space of the classroom in which I student taught this semester. There were 23 students in the classroom and five tables. I liked that the students were sitting at tables so that they could easily collaborate on assignments and discuss solutions to problems. However, I did not like that the tables were so close together so that there was little walking space between them. I also did not like that there was little room on the carpet for flexible seating. If I wanted to work with small groups, it was hard to find a space to pull them all together.
I would have liked desks with wheels on the bottom better, so that students can move around the classroom to collaborate with other students. I also would have liked to have a corner with throw pillows for students to sit together and read or plan assignments.
I did not have the opportunity to observe a learning space recently but I observed one a few years ago. The space I observed supported student learning by creating a safe environment. The room was warm and welcoming. I believe learning happens when the students feel safe, accepted, and loved. When they feel they cannot be judged they’re more likely to step out of their comfort zone and try new things. The space was set up so that the students can move freely to work on projects and collaborate with one another. There was lots of conversation going on which is so important in the creative learning process. Watching the students create and learn new things was such a fun experience and I think learning spaces are great places to foster creativity.
This week I visited a coffee shop to visit with a friend, but many other people were working together, my guess would be for school projects or study groups. I have often come to this coffee shop to do the same, and have been very successful. Most people are gathered around tables in groups or sitting together on sofas talking and sharing ideas, questions, etc. Everyone, although surrounded by large groups of other people, seem to be focused and on task with their projects. I come here because I find that I feed off of other people’s energy and determination to work hard. One thing I would change would be to have a more open space so that people can spread out so groups are not working so closely to other groups, which can often pose as a distraction. Overall, it is a busy and comfortable place where projects and other work gets accomplished.
For this reflection I choose Ja Biztown. This is an building that has an kid sized city in it. Students learn what it takes to run a business, manage a checking account and work as a team. Students learn hands-on activities and active participate in the community. Some of the activities students can do is work at a food restaurants, banks, sports complexes, health care places and etc. This places shows students how to work collaborative and how to successful within their own community. It is an amazing place to go visit.
It is dutch spoken though
We have a big round table in the center of the fablab. Adults work around it on their own projects, like develop a big 3D scanner, cnc-tools, lasercutter,3D-printers.
I learn kids (9-12)the basics of Making and teach them to colloborate, by helping each other and solve problems together. Some and up with making one project together (2 or 3 kids).
I developed a game to learn basic of coding with playcards. 4 year olds can even play this game. When they make the step to Scratch it is like taking of the sidewheels for biking. The step to python/C+ is also much more easy.
Any way we have a lot of fun every week.
You can visit us, if you are interested:hammer_and_wrench:
I have an interesting view. Because I just had a beautiful baby girl, technology allows me to zoom into my classes. I am able to control my view so I can spin the ipad basically 360 and view anyone in the class. I can hear and collaborate with them and they can with me. I can view my professors computer as he/she can scare their screen with me so I can see videos they play or assignments they share. As far as the set up of our classroom, it fosters discussion as we can all see eachother and have rolling chairs and open desks. My navigation allows me to also foster discussion as I can work in groups and participate like the rest. There are alwasy things in technology that can be limiting. For example, volume or distractions but for the most part this really fosters collaboration!
We organize from time to time events with Scratch for children of our company employees.
Once we decide to build have children to work without desks. It was fun as there was many groups working together. Very often children was moving from one group to another.
In Iceland we deal with similar tendencies as in most other countries in education (teaching to the test, rote learning, ect). But we have increasing interest and action towards creative and playful learning. In some areas we have tech specialists and many of them have a holistic approach to their role - but I think your approach is interesting and we might learn from.
The Reykjavík City Library is operating several exiting initiatives such as offering Maker Spaces for children and young people. And I have heard some teachers in Iceland are using Scratch to teach children coding. At the university where I teach in teacher education we have a group of teachers that use and teach differnt tools and approaches in IT and on the whole have modern and creative approaches in their work. I am now working with them in a project called MakEY (see also our MakeEy blog) through this collaboration I have come increasingly more intrested in IT tools for encouraging creativity in learning.
I don´t know that book - but I will look it up and see if we have it in our library. Thanks for sharing your work.
A congenial atmosphere is a must for effective teaching-learning. When a child/learner is empowered in a classroom they feel comfortable to learn.
This collaboration space is known as the work room and is located on the Oral Roberts University campus. The work room is designed for education majors to craft classroom materials and activities such as puppets, pop-up books, journals, posters, and more. An assortment of crafting items are provided for the teacher candidates to complete these projects. Often times, classes will visit the work room to develop their projects. During these times, materials are spread out on the island in the middle of the room and on the counters. Students craft their projects alongside one another, learning from each other’s processes and asking each other for ideas to better their own projects.
The design supports sharing and collaboration by providing sufficient wok space (the island and counters) and floor space to house multiple creators. At the island, teacher candidates can see one another face-to-face while working on their projects. The crafting materials come in bulk, allowing the teacher candidates to access needed materials at the same time as one another.
To make the space more collaborative, idea boards could be posted that share different projects previously made that support multidisciplinary lessons. Teacher candidates could make, revise, and further develop the projects to fit the learning goals of their lessons. Ongoing projects could also be displayed for the teacher candidates to contribute to when they visit the work room.
I do not have a picture, because I could not get a picture without students in it, and I do not think it wise to post a child’s face. However, the area I was impressed with was the 3rd grade classroom at a local private school. The room has multiple centers for the children. Almost all of the centers are exploration-based. They are not worksheets or writing centers. A few of these areas include multiple building centers (blocks, erector-type sets, etc.), moon sand, reading areas with large floor pillows and a huge selection of topical books to explore, and even a sound center. The sound center has headphones and different types of sounds - from industrial sounds to classical music.
Many of these centers are set up for collaboration. Let’s say, for example, that the teacher is talking about a problem that occurred in a book. The teacher might ask about ideas for how to build something to solve the problem. Students then go in groups and brainstorm together, using any building material in the room, to try to come up with a solutions. I think it’s a great way to get their creative juices flowing!