Open Educational Spaces–The Future of Our Schools?

As we are approaching the end of 2013, media will be filled with all kinds of “best of 2013” lists, which I always enjoy reading. However, rather than looking back, today, I feel like looking forward. Although educators often view August/September as their “New Year,” the calendar new year is a good time to stop, reflect, and set some goals for the new year.

Rather than unleash my entire wish list for 2014, this blog post will focus on one thing that I hope to spend some time on during 2014. One of the things that is starting to gain some traction in the educational community is the redesign of the traditional classroom. There are already schools that have entirely or partially abandoned the “normal” classroom for more open designs. Although these designs vary from place to place, one of the common denominators is that they all embrace a less structured, more open design.

As my own teaching has changed during the past couple of years, these new design ideas are something that really interest me. So, for 2014, I will make it a priority to do some additional research on this topic, and to see if any of these ideas can be implemented in my own classroom. I am intrigued by the notion of a more open space to facilitate more creativity and collaboration, and though I am not entirely sold on the idea yet, it holds enough promise to merit additional research.

So, if you are an educator who has experience from these new learning spaces, I would love to connect. What are some of the positives and what is not working so well? I am curious to hear your impressions and how you think that we can rethink educational spaces to suit our students in the best possible fashion.

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