Monday, 24th July 2017 sees the commencement of the Narrabri / Wee Waa Distance Education Outreach Centre (DEOC) for disengaged high school students. Today, I chose to observe the local Narrabri library learning environment because this is one of the spaces I will be working from and took photographs of some key spaces within the library.
Designed as the local library, I observed spaces and resources to be shared amongst all that visit the library. During this time and being later in the day, I observed some small groups of after school children engaged with independent computing, reading time and a few adolescent borrowers.
Working with the librarian, the preferred learning spaces are adequate, in that they provide a space and place of learning with desks, tables and (BYOD) Bring Your Own Devices. I observed one room to be purposely designed for collaboration and the other more independent time. Despite this design, Study Area B is utilised most with both areas unused quite often.
Whilst there were no visitors to these learning spaces at the time of my observation, I determined Study Area B to be used more with collaborative experiences such as story time for youngsters. These spaces are designed to provide natural light, quiet reading, discussion and paper work. Being a local library, online spaces are available through the library’s shared wi-fi into these quiet study spaces; however, they rely on shared community resources to provide additional computing, reading, research or break-out functionality.
With the ensuing commencement of the DEOC drawing near and possible attendance, along with student requirements known; actual attendance each week and how the centre will actually operate remains unknown. I am now challenged with thinking differently McCintosh (2017). Seemingly, I am to design a type of “Knowledge Funnel” (Martin, 2010) focused on designing spaces for learning and re-designing education that works with the students. Students will need to share library and Coogle Café spaces, whilst minimising our intrusion. Each day structure needs designed to fit in with the library times of operation, share the learning spaces and activities and engage students to participate in their independent study pattern.
Mcintosh. E. 2017, Module 1.1 – The Challenges in Design Theory
Microsoft Corporation. (2016). The psychology of workplace collaboration – Four secrets to employee motivation. [PDF]. Retrieved from https://clouddamcdnprodep.azureedge.net/asm/1086026/Original
Pilloton, E. (July, 2010). Teaching design for change. [TEDGlobal]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/emily_pilloton_teaching_design_for_change