Agápe

Doing research about what love is, I came across the word “Agápe”. This is what I learned:

 

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Smiling exercise

Try this exercise with another person at work or at home. I guarantee it is good for your health 😉

Play

I wanted to learn more about play – including what the purpose of play is and what the role of technology is in play. So I did some research on the topic. This is what I found out. What do you think is missing?

Testing a swing at Herrenberg

Testing a swing at Herrenberg, Bergdietikon near Zürich in Switzerland triggered this question in my mind: If you place a swing in an office environment, how will it affect the working culture? Judging from feedback I have gotten in projects related to workspace development, a relatively simple initiative like this can help move a culture towards values such as play, creativity, openness, testing / experimenting and collaboration.

Testing environmentally friendly products and services

Visiting the Umweltarena in Spreitenbach just outside Zürich, I learned a lot testing various products and services. Top experiences: Testing a segway and a Renault Zoe. The home made cream soup in the climate restaurant tasted very well. The saying on the last slide “Zwischen Reden und Tun liegt das Meer” means “Between talking and doing is the sea.”

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.

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.