21 Century Learning Environments

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photo from Fab Lab Vestmannaeyjar , Iceland

One description, that I really like, of 21 century learning environments is “the support systems that organize the condition in which humans learn best – systems that accommodate the unique learning needs of every learner and support the positive human relationships needed for effective learning.” http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/le_white_paper-1.pdf

SAUSD is working to create supportive and flexible learning environments by partnering with the city to build a technology center for students where they will be able to work alongside and intern with start-up tech companies.  So today we went to look at a possible space out in the community.  While we were walking downtown, I couldn’t help but feel really fortunate to be there watching this work unfold.  The idea that students can go out and use community spaces to learn and pursue their interests is refreshing.  So although I felt out of my element, I constantly reminded myself that this is the type of growing and stretching we want our students to experience.

To get an idea of some of the things they have planned for the space, I listened very carefully to the conversations happening around me. I overheard Daniel Allen talking with the owner about using part of the space for a FabLab.  So I looked it up.  According to https://www.fablabs.io/, “Fab labs provide widespread access to modern means for invention.”  There is an annotated photo on the site that shows what is available at a FabLab including 3D scanning and printing, molding and casting, large format machining, and programming and design areas.  This urban technology center is just one of the many ideas in the works to provide  21 Century flexible learning environments for students.  This is amazing work, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

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