Learning spaces in education can include any of the following:
- The classroom and the school
- Beyond the classroom
- The electronic learning space
- The group learning space
- The online learning space
Most educators will be comfortable with utilising learning spaces one to four. Teachers are aware that most of their direct teaching has had to occur within the confines of the classroom and/or school. To a certain extent, this is then able to be reinforced at home via things such as homework, assignments, reports and so forth. Teachers are also more inclined to utilise group learning spaces during their time in the classroom and school, and the electronic learning space has introduced teachers and students to technology that can expand and/or simplify their experiences together (eg. Google Drive etc).
However, one space which may cause hesitation for teachers is the online learning space. Some may have ventured as far as social media as a means of extending their connections with other educators, and perhaps even with parents and/or students directly. However, the online space is one that is growing rapidly. It is one that has a capacity to create a safe learning community for students to interact with one another and share insights and ideas and to reflect on the feedback, opinions and findings offered by their peers.
As this article by Brown and Lippincott (2003) discusses the importance of education institutions not only acknowledging the expansion of the more ‘traditional’ learning spaces educators are accustomed to, but also ensuring that students (and teachers) will be supported to have success in utilising them.
What have your own experiences with learning spaces been as a teacher?
Brown, M. B., & Lippincott, J. K. (2003). Learning spaces: more than meets the eye. EDUCAUSE quarterly, 26(1), 14-17.