I was really interested in the concept of Active Learning Spaces from reading the New Horizon report. I’ve been fortunate to have read it yearly and actually met a representative from the NMC at an Apple conference in Bali in 2013. It is always fascinating to see what does and doesn’t take hold given the report year after year.
I have been fascinated by Learning Spaces ever since I read The Hidden Dimension by Edward T. Hall. While his work is somewhat dated, he was the first anthropologist in the U.S. to describe and study these type of intangible cultural concepts that are necessary for people who work in international settings (he trained Foreign Service Officers for the U.S. government). Here in the international school community Maker Spaces are becoming extremely popular with large investments at KIS, SFS, and Chadwick to create these newer “active” learning spaces for students with a tech focus. However, since I also work in High Education it is such a stark contrast to see how far behind these concepts are lagging compared to what I have become accustomed to in the international schools.
When looking at my own work environment at Hanyang University, the computer lab I work out of shocked me at first-it just is old fashioned in the set up and reflects a very traditional didactic approach. With that in mind, I examined the executive summary, a few other resources with examples on active learning spaces, I created a proposal to address this issue for the lab (in the simplest financial way possible) in the graduate building by comparing and contrasting the more agile start up like spaces that are ever so popular these days with the more common spaces in universities here. Feel free to read in more detail by using the link below. In the U.S.M.C. we always said you have to “practice like how you play”, so it is a curious thing to see certain classrooms not set up in such a fashion.