The previous STEM post (12th September) discussed what STEM was and how it could look at a classroom level. You can read this post here. In this STEM post I want to discuss the IT spaces in our school.
A range of discussions have occurred during this year specifically about redefining the spaces we have dedicated to IT. This has mostly occurred at leadership and within the Teaching and Learning SIP group. What is needed now is the input of all staff who have a stake in using these spaces and ideas about how they could service the learning needs of our students more effectivley.
The ideas in this post are just that, ideas. Nothing is final and everything is up for discussion. Including the obvious one (as you will see below) – do we need a canteen?
Below is a plan that shows the current Year 12 room, Computer Suite 1 and the canteen. The plan includes the following redevelopments:
Computer Suite 1
- The wall between computer suite 1 and the canteen is removed creating better use of the hallway (dead space). This would allow for two robotics tables to be included in the work space (one 3×1.6m and one 3x1m)
- Storage can be created below the robotics tables to keep robotics equipment. This equipment is currently kept in tubs on the floor of the tech room.
- Two LED screens (strategically placed) that show what is on the main teaching screen. This supports students who are the furthest away from the main screen allowing them to clearly see what is being discussed or shown to the class.
- Whiteboard walls. To the right of the main screen create a whiteboard wall that is a 3.5m long for use by the teacher or groups of students as a planning space to share ideas.
Year 12 Room
- The year 12 room becomes computer suite 2. This helps to centralise our computing facilities while providing an extra space (storeroom attached) for the storage of IT equipment including printer cartridges, materials for 3D printers and decal machines, paper, maker space materials and computing components used for building and designing and Bee Bots. This storage room while not in a brilliant position alleviates the need to have storage taking up space in the IT teaching areas.
- The wall between the two suites would have a 3-5m window installed allowing students and teachers to be visible (mostly) regardless of which room they were in. It would also provide a feeling of a more open space. This window may also have the ability to be opened (sliding panels).
- A new entrance door for this room would mean that classes would not need to enter the new suite 2 via suite 1.
- Remove all internal walls and relocate the switchboard (currently on one of the centre walls in the canteen). This would create an 8x5m classroom space.
- A classroom that has a flexible furniture arrangement. The tables shown in the image have 4 height adjustments so potentially all year levels could access the room, the tables can also be manipulated to change the seating configurations depending on group sizes and task requirements (each table has 2 castors for easy movement). One or two flip tables may also be considered as a way of creating more floor space when not needed but available to be used if a bigger class needed the space.
- This classroom could be a Maker Space. Like the current primary wet area is used for students to build and create this maker space could be a place where students can come together to use, and learn to use materials as well as develop creative projects. The important idea is that it is a place that can be used for a range of activities with changing and flexible educational goals and creative purposes. Typically the space will; 1. Foster play, exploration and group learning, 2. Encourage collaborative learning where educators and students pool their skills and knowledge and share in the tasks of teaching and learning, 3. Develop a culture of creating as opposed to consuming. Two immediate examples of learning that come to mind are the school’s Bee Bots and PicoBoards (used with Scratch programming software). Many great kits and resources are available now to help schools develop effective maker spaces.
- Whiteboard walls. Depending on what was most suitable creating whiteboard walls would allow for student planning, explaining and discussion of ideas.
- Green screen technologies on the MacBooks and iPads provide students with opportunities to produce great videos. Paint a wall in this room green (floor to ceiling). Create a moveable green floor panel that could be stored elsewhere but brought in when students required it.
- This classroom could potentially be home to some new technologies the school is considering. These technologies include 3D printers , a decal printer and laser cutter. There is an alcove in the bottom right of the canteen space which could house the decal printer and 3D printers. Depending on our technologies and the space available it is possible that the 3D printers could be placed in suite 1.
The x’s on the plan indicate a computer.
It would be great to have staff voice their opinion in the comments section to help generate discussion which will help this process move forward. A chance to discuss this in a staff meeting will also occur.