How can we create better learning environments?

Book: Lernumgebungen. Erziehungswissenschaftliche Perspektiven auf Schulgebäude und Klassenzimmer. Edited by Ulrike Stadler-Altmann.
Additional research added / included in this blog posting.

What are examples of advice for architects / designers of better learning environments?

  • Pages 13, 29 and 123: It is important that architects work on discovering needs users have and involve users in creating / designing learning landscapes that meet the needs of users. To involve users, workshops and various social media platforms can be used.
  • Page 17: Use relevant designs and colors, so students will love their learning environments / school buildings. Create / develop school building façades in ways that make them become interaction partners for people.
  • Page 24: Create green areas, cafes, babbling brooks, theatre rooms, libraries and versatile rooms that are comfortable for people to work / learn in.
  • Page 26: Natural wood usually appears warmer than glass and steel. In addition, the wall colors red and or yellow appear warm, blue and white or gray rather cold. Plants, curtains, carpets and furniture also help create a warm environment.
  • Page 64: Encourage people to use their own electronic devices and decide where they want to learn. That creates ownership which is important.
  • Page 76: Place a “wonder tree” in a central location at the school / university. Invite all students and teachers to “hang up” questions and answers to questions in the tree.
  • Page 103-104: Learning strategies and teaching methods suggest the need for a new form of learning environment characterized by both individual and small-group activities in different physical locations using different media.
  • Page 105: Ideas by students and teachers from a school design challenge included a more colorful environment, extensive use of the outdoors and garden areas, space for tutors and an environment that was open and inviting.
  • Page 106: An “L” shaped room provide flexibility for teachers in managing space and setting up learning centers. It is also useful for allowing a variety of teaching methods – including team teaching and encouraging small groups to work independently. An “L” shaped room also encourages increased teacher movement resulting in more teacher- student contact, more positive student attitude and enhanced learning.
  • Page 116: Flexibility is increasingly important. Use, for example, furniture that can easily be moved around and combined in new ways. Also use mobile walls / whiteboards.
  • Page 129-131 Think of the school as a small city and the city as a big school. Open up the school to the community. Invite people across communities to learn with students and teachers.
  • Page 148: Reduce noise in rooms, for example by placing noise reduction panels on walls and ceilings.

Additional research about learning environments.

Does it pay off to invest in the development of learning spaces?

  • Page 27: Coloring, lighting, air quality, sound quality, furniture and food supply significantly impact moods, well-being and learning performance of people.
  • Pages 28 and 123: Studies show that school environments, which have been positively experienced by students – including architecture, coloring, schoolyard design, decorations etc. – are associated with less school-vandalistic activities.
  • Page 28: Classrooms with windows and “warm” lighting lower the rate of illness of learners.
  • Page 33: Variety, flexibility and open learning spaces are assumed to afford individualized or student-centered practice.
  • Page 43: Teachers view spacious rooms, digital projectors and flexibility as important to improve teaching.
  • Page 55: Beautifully designed rooms have positive effects on attention and the feeling of group affiliation, thus facilitating participation.
  • Page 56: When a teacher plans and arranges the design of tables and chairs prior to a learning event, he / she can facilitate individual work and / or work in groups – thereby increasing learning efficiency.
  • Page 117: A building, which is not rectangular, does not cost more than a rectangular building. The important question is how creatively search for new solutions.
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Human rights

Via this tweet by António Guterres, I learned that today is Human rights day. The United Nations launched a great innovation to help anyone add her or his  voice to #standup4humanrights. By going to this page, you can read one of the 30 articles of the universal declaration of human rights in any language and share your video.

Here is a well done illustrated version of the universal declaration of human rights. This is article # 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Thank you United Nations for involving everyone in our world in this innovative way.

 

#eduhubdays18

The topic of #eduhubdays18 is collaboratively shaping the future of education. Thinking about the power of social media and other digital platform for enabling dialogues, learning from each other and building communities, a thought that naturally came to me was facilitating a session related to the use of one or more  technologies that have a positive impact on how we work and learn with each other.

Reflecting on what topic to facilitate a session about, I realize that between November 23rd, when I signed up to participate at the event, and today, my thoughts have moved a little away from technology. Why? I think that partly, the reason is that – in contrast to many other events that I participated at in other communities – I experienced that relatively few people, who participated at eduhub days I participated at in the past, use Twitter to share knowledge / ideas with each other before, during, and/or after the event.

So what I have in mind for an  #eduhubdays18 session is one that focuses less on technology and more on human values. During this session, I would like to help participants discover values they have. To do that, I plan to suggest to participants to use the questions below. More concretely, I will invite participants to 1) get together in groups of two people, 2) ask each other some or all of the questions, and 3) help each other extract the most important values of each person which result from the dialogues.

The reason why I publish this posting well in advance of  #eduhubdays18 is that I would like to give you the opportunity to reflect on the topic and, if you are interested, communicate with others about values. In flipping this session, I also welcome you to reach out with any ideas you may have that can improve the session.

Greetings to you all,

Frank

What does a person, who works for a supermarket, do when he or she has an idea?

At an interesting event a few weeks ago about the future of retail, I learned about some of the effects that digitization has on, for example, supermarkets. I was somewhat surprised to hear that when a person, who works for a Migros supermarket, has an idea, he or she goes to the store manager and communicates the idea to him or her. The store manager then decides what is going to happen with that idea. Being curious about how such an  innovation process works at COOP, I asked a person, who works for a COOP retail store. I was told that this particular innovation process works more or less in a similar way. When a person, who works for a certain COOP supermarket, has an idea, he or he communicates the idea to the store manager. The store manager then decides what is going to happen with that idea.

Reflecting on what I learned during the events mentioned above and reflecting on aspects related to retail innovation. two strategic dilemmas come into my mind: The strategic dilemma efficiency vs. creativity and the strategic dilemma planning vs. testing / trying ideas out.

Regarding the strategic dilemma efficiency vs. creativity, I understood that supermarket chains have a relatively strong focus on efficiency. For example, I learned that people, who work for a COOP supermarket on a certain day, meet for 5 minutes in the morning to bring up whatever they have on their mind, for example ideas to improve things. I understood that, for various reasons such as the focus being a lot more on eficiency than on creativity, few ideas are brought forward.  At this event I learned that at Migros things work somewhat similarly. Although anyone can communicate ideas through Migipedia and/or other social media, I understood that, traditionally, people often follow the hierarchical way when they have a wish to change things. And as the focus is a lot more on efficiency than on creativity, few ideas are brought forward.

When it comes to the strategic dilemma planning vs. testing / trying ideas out, I learned that supermarket chains have a relatively strong focus on planning. Also, I learned that most planning is mostly done centrally. And people, who work for a certain supermarket, hardly test / try out ideas they have, for example ideas that they think could improve the experience for people who use that particular retail store. Instead, they follow plans developed centrally.

Virtual innovation summit

I look forward to participate in the virtual innovation summit later this month. It was through Paul Hobcraft that I learned about the crowdsourced virtual innovation summit, an event co-created by corporate innovators for corporate innovators.

Upon signing up to participate at the event, I immediately received a message with these two questions: What question do you want answers to? What challenge do you want to solve? Finding it innovative that organizers make the event demand-oriented and people centered by involving / asking questions to participants – and thereby helping participants find the right co-creation sessions – I went straight into creative thinking mode. Reflecting on interests / needs / goals, I have, I came to think of these 7 questions:

  1. How do we innovate democracies in countries around the world? In this regard, how can democracies in different countries get better at involving / including as many people as possible – including people who do not physically live in the country but simply love the country? It was not least due to this highly valuable event series about digital democracy that I came to think of this question.
  2. How do companies get better at involving anyone, who is interested in working for the purpose of respective companies and would like to participate in developing and testing ideas? In this regard, what do companies need help with to open up more / include people more / involve people more? How can we make more open organizations come to life, for example using digital platforms, social media and great moderation techniques?
  3. Which cities around the world are the best at involving people to develop, communicate and try out ideas? What do people, who work for these cities, do – both on the Internet and in various physical locations – to involve / include people in innovation work?
  4. How do people, who live with with a partner / in a relationship, go about innovating how they live together? What useful tools / methods can they use to increase the quality of life?
  5. At #DigitalDay I look forward to participating in a brainstorming about health / healthcare. Preparing for the brainstorming challenge, these are the ideas I came to think of. I would love to learn about other great ideas that people have to innovate healthcare. What ideas do you have?
  6. Reading the book Wonder I read on page 73 that Auggie wishes that everyday would be Halloween. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked liked under the masks. In this regard, my questions to you are these: To what extent can meetings / events, where people cannot see each other’s faces live, help people to get to know each other better – compared with meetings / events where people can see each other live? Why? How?
  7. What rules in the game of tennis would it make sense to change to create more value for both players and fans?

Gesundheit Brainstorming #DigitalDay

Am #DigitalDay freue ich mich sehr bei diesem  Gesundheit Brainstorming mitzumachen. Als ich mich zum kreativen Event vorbereitet habe, sind mir diese fünf Ideen in den Sinn gekommen:

  1. Soziale Medien wie beispielsweise WhatsApp, Skype, Twitter und Blogs nutzen um Menschen zu helfen. Warum? Beispielsweise weil es helfen kann Kooperation zwischen Menschen zu stärken.
  2. Das ada health app und/oder andere health companion apps anwenden. Das ada app habe ich ein paar Mal getestet – wegen einer gesundheitlichen Herausforderung von mir selber sowie von einer anderen Person. Beide Male wurde ich via das App gut geholfen.
  3. Gesundheitsversicherungsfirmen und Rückversicherungsfirmen investieren in  die Entwicklung von Infrastruktur in Städten, welche fördern kann, dass es für Menschen einfacher wird unsere Körper zu trainieren. Beispiele: Outdoor Fitness Tools.
  4. Ein Testspital machen, z.B. mit folgenden Zielen: A. Technologien wie z.B. Roboter testen. B. Patienten und Patientinnen weiterbilden. C. Gesundheitsfachpersonen weiterbilden.
  5. Einander helfen liebevoll miteinander umzugehen.