Learning Environments of the Future

A text message alert on my phone from a friend alerted me to an episode from Getting Smart (gettingsmart.com) with Tom Vander Ark (Getting Smart) and Randy Fielding (fieldingnair.com) that discusses why learning environments matter.

Full Episode: Learning Environments for the Future (via gettingsmart.com)

This led me to discover the the designsare.com of which Randy is the founder and also co-author of The language of School Design: Design Patterns for 21st Century Learning. This led to the discovery of Blueprint for Tomorrow: Redesigning Schools for Student-Centered Learning by Prakash Nair.

The purpose of this post is to serve as a reminder for me to purchase these books in the near future and also come back here to report on these books.

Learning Space Design

Learning space design is an area that interests me and is an area that I would like to study further. The theory of learning space design revolves around the design of a learning space or office or building. When we think about room design, we know that the same room can be designed in many different ways and create different atmospheres simply based on the design. If you think of a mall for example, you have multiple stores in a single space all with different designs. Take a minute and think about the experience of walking past Bath & Body Works. What do you experience? Bright lights, music, people at the entry, free samples (at times), and at times an over powering sense of smells that can make eyes water or for some a lure to come inside. Now if we take that same experience but instead we walk past an Auntie Anne’s pretzel stand. Now we experience the aroma of pretzels, the different flavors of pretzels, no people out front (except for the occasional free sample), and finally a small store front that is focused on making a transaction.

The goal of Bath & Body Works is to bring you deeper into the store and they achieve this through friendly people at the front of the store, free samples, bright colors, and scents. The goal of Annie Anne’s pretzels is to bring the person into the line which is achieved through the same methods as Bath & Body Works but the two organizations achieve this through different approaches. Annie Anne’s achieves this through free samples and aromas with some locations having the product made in front of the customer. Bath & Body Works achieve this same goal primarily through smell but also through touch. If they are giving out a free sample at the front of the store, you can not only smell the product but also feel the product.

The design of a learning space is simply not limited to the items we discussed but extends further by looking at the components which make up the learning space. The walls, windows, doors, and many other items all make up the shell of the learning space. What attention do we give to these components? This article I found on LinkedIn provides details of how these components that we may over think do play a role in our learning space design. Article: How to perform better at work by changing your indoor environment

After having worked at home for nearly the last four years, a change in my work environment was needed. I explored co-working spaces in July 2018 and landed on the Idea Foundry. The Idea Foundry is located in an old factory in Columbus that is now home to a Makerspace on the first floor and co-working on the second floor. The building has been designed with big windows which allows for the natural sunlight to come through and illuminate the area. There are groups of desks that you can work at or a mezzanine area where you could go for more focused work or smaller group meetings. I have been able to work here with a client who is from the area and brought in a new co-worker who also lives in Ohio for a day of training. The main point that both of these individuals made on different occasions was the realization that work was being done in what appeared to be an unstructured environment because the people who are working at the Idea Foundry have been empowered by their organizations or self-motivation to make a decision on where and how to work that best fits their personalities.

My favorite spot is on the mezzanine in a corner with the large windows mentioned earlier providing an Eastern view with plenty of sunlight but more importantly a view of an active rail line that has trains coming and going on a regular basis. I position a chair so that as I work I can look up and see the trains coming and going. I also enjoy working on the lower level of the second floor amongst the other people but having the ability to change my spot throughout the day to fit my need at that time is worth the monthly membership.

Where have I been?

Another year has passed (and then some) without an update on this blog. I have been continuing my learning and reading but have neglected to post on the blog. Here is what I have been up to since the last post.

  • Added Backblaze to my backup plan which has my data stored four different locations
  • Changed positions and roles within my job.
  • Explored Amazon Connect and setup my LLC phone number through the platform and forwarded to Google Voice for voicemail
  • Learned Regex (Regular Expressions)
  • Learned Agile and Scrum Project Management methodology
  • Wrote documentation for my job
  • Built the Saturn V Rocket kit from LEGO
  • Read for Fun:
  • The Widow Spy
  • Simple Rules
  • Business for Punks
  • Saint Mick
  • The Russian Five
  • Behind the Bench
  • If These Walls Could Talk
  • It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work
  • Five Presidents