School of the Future

This image explores a streetscape design. What features might be part of the Warman Middle School design?

**List things you would include in the design of the middle school including especially classrooms.

**Are you a PSSD student, staff, or Warman parent?

21 century learner
Placing the student at the heart of the design means we need to understand the learners who are in our schools. Research shows that student learning styles have chnaged, therefore we need learning spaces to accomodate a new generation who:
* Prefer multitasking and quick, non linear access to information
*Are visually – oriented
*Are highly networked, interactive and social
* Increasingly mobile
* Have a low tolerance for lecture style teaching
*Prefer active learning rather that passive learning
*Rely heavily on commuications technologies to access inforamtion and to carry out social and professional interactions
(Prensky 2001. Oblinger 2003)

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  1. My concern whenever new school are designed is that they are practical with appropriate space given to learning areas. The library (often known as the Learning Commons) is an important and central feature of a good school. It needs to be functional (e.g. sky lights look nice, but do they impede the use of a projector because of reflecting light?) Can more than one class use the space at the same time? Are sightlines clear? Is there space for students to gather to discuss, to search for information, to relax and read, and for classes to work? Typically, libraries, or learning commons, if you will, are created too small to enable teacher-librarians to work with students and teachers in an effective manner. Yes, computers are important. Computers are needed for research for classes and for circulation searches. The library should be planned with a vision for the future and with room to grow. The more that is moveable and mobile, the better. Just a few thoughts for now.

    • Tracy, thank you for your thoughts and ideas. We agree with what you are saying and are planning to design a space that is inviting and that allows for a variety of learning modalities including small group, large group and individual work. Provincial guidlines suggest allowing space enough for 10% of the student population which in our case may be 60 to 70 students at any one time. We intend to design a space that is very flexible in configuration and use. Mobile technology would be important as it would not dominate the space but rather be an integral learning tool that could be used inside as well as outside the library. The use of furniture as well as how stacks are located will also be important to allow for flexibility in use of the learning space. Please continue to follow th blog and respond as you wish. Kim

  2. An increasing challenge in existing buildings is something that Tracy alluded to and that is flexible spacing for a variety of groups. It is an exciting opportunity to have a building plan that can accomodate small/medium/large groups. A building that also supports co-teaching and cooperative inter-class projects/activities can help eliminate barriers that currently exist for middle years students who are networked, interactive and social.

  3. I am continually amazed at the potential of this new middle school and shared recreation facility – this will certainly be a model for 21st century schools!
    There are many positive concepts within the current proposed design most notably the share access to recreation facilities, the three “neighborhood” structures, increased outdoor access,shared heating and cooling with rec center, permanent theater facility and “commons” linkage connecting all areas. Having access to a variety of space sizes both small and large in addition to technology is also very important to meeting the needs of student learning,
    I am confident that outside green space will include access to outdoor recreation facilities as well – ball diamonds, green space (soccer/football), paved playing surface Basketball and possibly a skate park
    My only concerns are the access plan through the rec center does not seem practical for non-bus students and the two story design for the neighborhoods will make supervision increasingly difficult..We also need to recognize our current enrollments and growth patterns will not be met within this proposal – as we already have four classes of each grade.

    Finally it is refreshing that all stakeholders are being given the opportunity to be included in the planning. both through meetings and this blog.

  4. A “school of the future” will certainly take into account the demand for and use of technology that is both interactive and educational. Technology in a student centred atmosphere is accessible (wireless) in classrooms (SMART Boards, projectors, lap tops with appropriate up to date software/probeware, access to the Internet, various educational databases and catalogues, etc.) as well as in resource/media centres, science/writing/computer labs and in common areas. In this school, students have direct access to and will use technology as part of their daily routine. Teachers and students work as partners to integrate ideas, to analyze, to communicate, to reach outcomes and to reach out beyond the confines of any given concept. Students will work together using technology to demonstrate their mastery. It needs to be put in their hands. Parents will also have access at some level to participate directly in the progress of their student. Such a school should think bigger than a portable lap top pod or two. A school can be designed with a seamless approach to technology with access that is internal (e.g. internal student email accounts), local (e.g. elementary or high school partnerships), provincial (e.g. project sharing), national (e.g. regional comparisons) and global (e.g. intercultural understanding). Our students are learning in a 21st century world. They need a 21st century facility.
    A Warman Parent

  5. I like what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and coverage! Keep up the good works guys I’ve added you guys to blogroll.

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