Part 3: Learning Environment
Where do you learn? How comfortable are you when you work, grade, read? When learning can happen anywhere, why sit in rows of desks? Why sit in desks at all? Many of the classrooms at Pearson have undergone a transformation. We have a number of classrooms that got rid of their desks and replaced them with large tables for projects and collaboration. Others have arranged their desks into collaborative groups or partnered arrangements. Rows are dead.
In addition to arranging the typical classroom furniture, teachers at Pearson have brought in comfy seating, bean bags, swivel chairs, and even couches! In Mary Thom’s classroom, you can find many tables that line the walls for solo work but also some rows of desks near the front of the room for mini-lessons and digital media viewing using the SMART board and projector. This sends a message to the students: your individual or group work time is just as valuable as our time together as a class. Find the place that works best for you. Learning takes place anywhere, anytime!
The Media Center has also undergone a transformation. There are now four mediascapes that students can hook their iPads to in order to collaborate on projects. This is been especially helpful when 4 students are working together on the same iMovie project. It is far easier for them to edit and add content together when they can all see the same screen. This space can be utilized by any class during normal class time by entire classes or small groups so that people can work in quiet and away from distractions.