Yesterday, I posted a picture of our students who were in our Collaborative Learning Lab using our new media:sacapes. A question was posted as to what these were. Knowing it would take longer than 140 characters to explain, I am now turning to my blog to be able to give a more in-depth answer.
In our newly renovated high school, our classrooms have become learning studios. Within each learning studio are Steelcase Node chairs, which can be easily configured into many different groupings (by color, in a circle, in rows, into a four unit group). Attached to many of our learning studios are seminar rooms, with flat-panel displays and larger tables on wheels, which can also be configured to meet the needs of the class.
In addition to these spaces, the Collaborative Learning Lab was also included in he planning for our new spaces. This room is a flexible adaptable learning area which classes can reserve if they want. In addition to planned video conference capabilities for this space, this space has ample white board area and is home to two of our five media:scapes.
The media:scape is a piece of furniture which is also manufactures by Steelcase. A media:scape allows for either four or six users with computers to connect via a round device, called a puck. Once connected to a puck, a user can switch a large flat panel display to show what they are viewing on their computer. The media:scape has allowed us to collaborate in a number of different ways that enhance the group work in a way we have not been able to do so. I shared a post last May which outlines the advantages that I see in using the media:scape rather than having a group sit around a table with computers.
This fall, there have been two additional uses of the media:scape which I believe are noteworthy. The first was by the use of our football team for film study and by the editorial staff of our yearbook, sharing ideas for layout and design of this year’s edition.
Yesterday, our International Relations class, which is broken into five regionally based workgroups, used the media:scapes to help them collaborate and construct their weekly briefing for the class. Having these tools, they were able to switch the display for review with each of the members of the team, as they constructed their Google Applications presentation. They were able to focus on the central product, the briefing, while discussing the various issues and their importance.
I intend on sharing additional uses of our new spaces throughout the year.