The Harkness Classroom for the 21st Century

Over the past six months, we have been investigating several converging ideas:

  • Campus Wide Long Range Space Planning
  • Questioning of Schedule and Time in all three of our divisions
  • Discussion of the role of technology – tablets, laptops, projectors, network, and services to support learning

These conditions are converging, suggesting that we are nearing a near perfect storm that potentially could transform our learning environments and provide us with the framework which will enable us to enter into our second century of existence in 11 years. I am really excited about the possibilities.

Our Head of School has been interested in the Harkness Table concept. He has been dropping this idea into conversations for nearly a year now. As we are getting closer to our next milestone in determing whether or not we will be heading to a school environment in which technology will be “like oxygen, ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible” (Chris Lehmann in School 2.0 – Creating Schools We Need). Last night, I had an epiphany moment connecting this initiative and the Harkness Philosophy. The Harkness Philosophy can be updated for the new learning environment.

Embedded is a presentation which is I am developing the connection between the technology, learning environments, and the updates needed to provide for the Harkness Table 2.0. The changes are not in the physical realm, but instead extend to the collaborative network. I would appreciate any feedback or pushback from my network so that I can continue the development of these ideas. This is a work in progress, so I will be updating it over the next week.

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