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FLS - Future Learning Spaces in ISRAEL

Some weeks ago, we held a learning session in the future FLS learning space at Lewinsky College in ISRAEL.

Participants included supervisors and ICT instructors from the ISRAELI ICT Dep.

We arrived and worked together in an aesthetic, inviting environment,

Which includes several technologies:

  • Multiple screens for effective group work implementation,

  • Small webcams connected to the network for discussions involving distant participants,

  • 180-degree ceiling camera for recording what is happening in the room - for the application of reflective viewing methods and peer feedback, software for convenient mirroring from a personal mobile device to the screen to implement connecting ideas digitally

  • Digital floor games

  • Makers space and more.

This visit made me wonder about what is happening in the world today in the field of future learning spaces (FLS)?

How does FLS relate to every teacher in the schools?

And what do you do if the budget available to you is not high (a fairly typical situation in our places), and you're now working on your new M21 space?

Let's start with a small leap into the future-

In the charming video here, augmented reality is standard when going out into nature,

With the glasses, you can explain all the parts of the colorful dragonfly that flew right over the students.

Also, in classrooms, the students receive information when they "touch the air."

This information is very appealing and enables them to expand and learn more by clicking to see the related information.

They do not have to sit in front of a computer.

Otherwise, the learning space naturally blends accessible digital tools.

In a room designed for learning about space, the whole environment changes, and the students stand on a planet in space.

This classroom is an example of a blended learning environment, where students only touch the air to search for themselves and deepen their knowledge.

The information is visual, changing, and updates as the environment responds to students' gestures when they move around the room freely.

Students research, work in groups, and directly explore the environment.

The environment responds to them in the most natural way possible.

The virtual teacher only appears when the student needs her. Usually, she appears as a hologram (like a fairy) to answer student's questions.

The watch the student is wearing contains a reminder of the task to be performed,

Her friends are busy in the garden, finding solutions to problems using different sensors and making measurements.

In the laboratory, (dangerous) experiments are conducted in a virtual reality environment that floats on the lab table.

Dancing can be a source for learning about human movement. Using a suitable digital tool, like the tablets' camera, will allow us to record the activity and analyze it. For example, visual representations can represent direction, speed, and angle to enable us to measure movement. In addition, this digital device can produce layers of information, sometimes difficult for our eyes to grasp.

According to the story in the video, the students' message is that of learning from experience when technology is an up-to-date means of implementing pedagogy of real-world research and problem-solving.

The transition from school to a technologically advanced workplace seems easy.
The school in the version of this video seems to follow the technology that is present in current workplaces.

And back to reality here with us - what can be done already on September 1, 2021?

To promote the pedagogical approach that favors (active) research over listening (passive), we will:

  1. Labs instead of classrooms

Learning through experience and research accompanied by the professional support of a teacher or tutor

Can be promoted through the organization of classrooms as "laboratories."

Think of a "lab" in the broader sense (beyond existing today) and then add to it the topic you would like to lead

Formulate the goals clearly and think in your team:

Which lab should allows you to research and experiment?

Which subject do you want to explore? Life sciences? Social sciences? Arts? Other?

The technology can be on the one hand sensors and cameras, and on the other hand, computerized databases are available, including advice and guidance in searching for the information.

2. Makers space instead of a museum-like environment

Learning through: building and dismantling and re-building, reinventing and re-examining, going out to the environment outside the educational space and back to it, presenting the experience and receiving feedback - all these are signs that means you put a focus on solving new problems, relevant to students and their lives here and now.

Build maker spaces throughout the educational institution using the design thinking approach, use any technology that allows students to plan in groups, experiment safely and build models that work.

The models can be physical or digital. They can be an object or service, an idea for promotion in the children's community, a website, a game, or an advertisement.

3. Public advertising space instead of a wall to hang students' works

Students generate information and share it with the real world, using their design, writing, marketing, and organizational skills to experience information shared with experts, partners, and stakeholders.

Create physical and virtual public spaces in the schoolyard or school website. Let students practice writing the message, designing it visually, and advertise it on different platforms. This task can be part of a juvenile experience that will encourage them to form an opinion, identity, and attitude to lead them to a life of meaning.

You might consider the following ideas: Hyde Park placed in the schoolyard, dynamic post-it board, personal or group blogs, local newspaper, or school radio.

There is usually a separation between these products and the formal curriculum. I highlight the need for their connection so that a student will submit work through the construction of a radio broadcast, present a "news flash" on screens at recess, create an exhibition of future products developed in the maker space, etc.

4. "Learning coaches" counseling centers instead of teacher rooms

The change in the perception of the role of teachers in the eyes of students is critical to success. It is clear today that teachers are not a source of knowledge in the 21st century.

However, the role of a learning expert will remain with them for many years to come.

The positioning of teachers as learning experts in various fields could bring about a fundamental change in their perception in the eyes of parents and students.

Students should see teachers as athletes see their coaches. A coach consults when needed in the learning process. He leads his athletes to personal improvement both professionally and mentally. A teacher should be an expert to whom the learner (independent) or group of students comes to receive guidance when they need it.

I want to sharpen this advice. Sometimes we offer help that does not match the students' pace of learning. This way, we make students less independent and give up their ability to learn from each other.

Here I try to connect the educational figure and the expert, asking each teacher to define their areas of expertise for their students. I also suggest altering teachers' room to learning consults in schools' "counseling centers" or "coaching centers."

It is likely that in one educational institution, there will be experts of different types; some of the teachers may be experts in various topics that do not have expression today in the education system.
Publishing this expertise can be done through digital tools such as the school website, the school can develop a system for ordering counseling according to the needs of the students, and more.

As usual, I would love to get comments on these ideas here on the blog.

Good luck, 21st-century teachers.


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