Wednesday, April 2, 2014

This term's PLG meeting - Wednesday 9th April

This is a combined PLG & CEFPI event so will be open to teachers,  architects, designers, providers. It should be a great event.
This time we are using Eventbrite for bookings, so if you are keen please book here. This is no charge for the event.

If you are interested in further professional learning you may be interested in the CEFPI conference coming up at the end of May in Adelaide. Details here.

If you have any questions, feedback or ideas for the PLG, these are very welcome - just email.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Learning Spaces PLG Term 4

The next meeting of the Open Learning Spaces professional learning group will be on Thursday 28th November, 5pm at Ormiston Senior College.

This will take the form of a mini unconference with lots of different things to talk about. It should be a great opportunity to connect with other teachers teaching in MLE as well as schools exploring new innovative building options.

Sausage sizzle provided!

Details and free registration can be found here

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A tale of two (#MLEPLG) cities

It's been a bit of a week in the history of the learning spaces Professional Learning Group with 150 people attending the event at Hobsonville Point School and 80 at the inaugural Canterbury event held at Clearview Primary. The fact that there were so many there, I believe, shows that there is a desire to talk about learning environments, to engage in positive conversations and dialogue, and to realise opportunities that will help us all on the journey forward. Exiting times!

This group originally emerged out of a perceived need for us as teachers to talk to each other about learning and teaching in Modern Learning Environments - and in particular MLEs where collaborative approaches to teaching were being adopted. It was a chance to talk about emerging pedagogies, how more flexible environments might lend themselves to more personalised approaches to learning and teaching and to consider ‘what learning looks like here’. 

The group provides a forum to explore opportunities and issues, to consider how elements of design impact on the way we use environments; and a valuable opportunity for teachers to share their MLE journey, their stories and their wonderings. We’ve met once a term since early 2011. Over time the group has enlarged - each time visiting a different place, having a chance to look around and time for dialogue, discussion, world cafe etc.

The buildings themselves provide some of the focus of discussion - seeing how schools have built, renovated, 're-innovated' or rethought use of their spaces is really valuable learning. Visiting other schools has given us an opportunity to consider what might be possible - so too has visiting other environments. 

There are so many connections to be made between contemporary workplaces and modern learning environments. The PLG's now visited a bank and an architects practice as well as the National Library. It’s great to make connections in places like this to thinking about cave spaces, watering holes and camp fire spaces in our schools. Kirsty Groves talks about great businesses having examples of spaces to innovate, to play, to collaborate and to reflect. I think schools need to share this thinking too. Getting to visit schools who are thinking differently about learning environments helps us to respond to the ‘how do we know what we don’t know’ question. 

And as well as understanding how the built environment contributes to successful learning and teaching, frequently the focus of meetings is on the nature of teaching and learning. That was certainly really evident at both of this week's events. How a school's vision plays out pedagogically and in terms of its environment is really useful learning. Feedback from people attending has suggested that what is valuable is not just about the buildings but about understanding what happens within them - the pedagogical practices, the systems and structures teachers employ, the nature of collaborative teaching, and what it all looks like at 9 O'Clock on a Monday morning. Ultimately we know it’s the teachers that make the biggest difference. As John Hattie would say, it’s about what teachers do, or some teachers do that has the greatest impact. So understanding 'what learning looks like here' in terms of vision & belief is critical. 

The argument though is that we should now also be looking at opportunities engendered by the provision of new spaces, to look at how MLEs can help realise potential learning opportunities, and how as teachers we can use these spaces pedagogically in ways we’ve never been able to do before in more traditional classroom environments. These are the conversations that I believe we should be having.

Hopefully the PLG can go some way to helping these conversations along, to help with the ‘how do we know what we don’t know’ question, to connect teachers and schools in similar circumstances, at similar points on the MLE journey, and to begin to imagine possibilities.

Next term the Auckland meeting is going to be held at Ormiston High School. Details will be available on the website soon.

Further details of the next Christchurch event will be found on the Canterbury PLG website. A big thank you to Ngaire, Angela, James and the team at Clearview Primary for taking the lead and getting the Canterbury event off to such a great start. Especially since they had to cope with the power being off the day before!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Canterbury Professional Learning Group for MLE

Interested in Modern Learning Environments and live in the Christchurch area? The PLG is heading your way!

Details of the new teachers' professional learning group being set up in Christchurch can be found here. This will be a great opportunity for teachers to talk to teachers about teaching and learning in MLE.

The inaugural South island event will be at Clearview School in Rolleston at 4.30pm on the 12th September. Registration details can be found on the website too. There is already lots of interest so hope to see you there. Thanks to Ngaire and Angela for getting the group set up.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Open Learning Spaces PLG coming to Christchurch

The Open Learning Spaces is soon to begin a Christchurch branch. Details will be available very soon including how to register and get involved. Keep after school on Thursday September 12th free!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Open Learning Spaces PLG - September 5th

Following the huge success of the last PLG at the National Library, the next meeting will be on Thursday September 5th, 4.30pm at Hobsonville Point Primary.

They'll be an opportunity to have a tour of the school, talk about the vision and design thinking behind the new space, as well as to learn how teachers are working collaboratively to teach in their innovative learning environments. There will also be an opportunity to get an update on the forthcoming high school and find out about spatial and pedagogical plans for the new environment.  It promises to be a fascinating session.

Registration is free, and can be found along with further information about the PLG on the site.

More meetings are planned for later on in the year. Term 4 is looking like having a high school focus. 

If you have any questions, feedback or ideas for the PLG, these are very welcome - just email.