The National Museum of Education applauds Sealed Air Corporation for its
unique vision to invest in America’s youth and for understanding that by
inspiring innovation and creativity we can keep America thinking.
The video should catch your attention, anyway, but towards the end when one of the school construction project leads mentions that the school could have been designed in a much nicer fashion…we’re reminded what really matters at the end of the day. For your consideration:
Up from just 48 percent in 1999, about 86 percent of Tanzania’s children now attend primary school. With funds from the Annenberg Foundation, the African Wildlife Fund has built a pristine new boarding school to help ensure that those numbers keep rising. The new school has running water, additional housing, and represents a giant leap forward in the education of the Manyara Ranch region’s Maasai children.
Imagine every surface in your classroom — every desktop — is an intuitively interactive digital interface. Heck, imagine just ONE such desktop somewhere in your school. A minor opportunity for transformation? Bueller? Bueller?
Check out this "Surface" video which comes from Popular Mechanics (note: image is not a live link; click here to view:
Consider looking into “Thinkering Spaces”, started by the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Design in 2006, a project funded in part by the MacArthur Foundation’s aforementioned initiatives. The focus:
The ThinkeringSpace project focus is on developing preliminary criteria for the design of kids’ informal, exploratory spaces situated in libraries. The outcomes from this research are design principles for installations, including criteria for spaces, affordances and interactions that can guide the planning, design, specification and installation of a full scale system prototype.
In other words, it’s about discovery and learning through interactive spaces:
ThinkeringSpaces are interactive environments that encourage school age children to tinker with things, both physical and virtual, reflect upon what they discover, and elaborate their ideas in ways they can share with others.
A year later the Institute of Design has established a new website and intriguing model of a new space in libraries where young people can tinker at their leisure. In hands-on activities kids have traditionally tinkered with bicycles, recipes, science experiments, etc. In the digital space what might tinkering look like and what kinds of problem-solving might it require? Faculty at the Institute of Design have dubbed this combined activity of tinkering and problem-solving “thinkering” and believe the library may be just the right location for a “thinkering space.”
Curious. How many of us as school planners/designers/architects (and stakeholders of all varieties) are keeping tabs on programs like this? And how many of us are noticing a trend of organizations/professionals/researchers that are outside the field of ‘architecture’ (per se) that are beginning to pursue the design of learning environments in similar ways?
Worth a discussion? Or just a minor trend easily ignored?
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