Saturday, October 4, 2014

CEFPI visit to Stonefields November 4th

PLG ASB North Wharf

The second of the term’s PLGs gets down to business at the new ASB Headquarters on Wynyard Quarter on Auckland’s waterfront. As well as being heralded as an award-winning piece of architecture and a stunning building to look around, it also provides a great opportunity for us to reflect on the relationship between contemporary workplaces and the learning environments that we are creating in our schools.

Join us for a presentation from ASB staff, a tour of the building and some great dialogue. For those who would like to linger longer, there are plenty of local watering holes where the discussion can continue.

Thursday, November 13, 2014 from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM 
ASB North Wharf Branch
12 Jellicoe St
Auckland, 1010

Free tickets via Eventbrite

PLG Kristin School

A little over 3 years ago, Kristin School initiated Project Dewey with a view to reshaping and enhancing the delivery of ICT and Library services. This term's first PLG session will look at Kristin’s journey from concept to present day. Kristin will share their views on modernisation of space versus philosophy; the challenges and opportunities faced along the way as well and their future vision.

Jason MacDonald, ICT Director of Kristin explains further:

“During this session, we’ll explore the details of Kristin’s strategy, how ICT and Library services have walked their path, our development and use of new and existing learning spaces, and how we’ve moved forward with a beautiful and architecturally award-winning home - built 1 decade ago.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM (NZDT)
Kristin School - Library and Information Centre
360 Albany Highway
Auckland, 0632
New Zealand

Free tickets via Eventbrite

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!