Assessment 2: INF541 Online Reflective Journal Blog Task 2

How might games be used to develop a more socially inclusive classroom or workplace using Gee’s viewpoint?

Gee, J.P. (2005). Good video games and good learning. Phi Kappa Phi Forum,  85(2), 33-37. http://dmlcentral.net/sites/dmlcentral/files/resource_files/GoodVideoGamesLearning.pdf

 

Gaming often has this portrayal of being an isolating activity, teenagers in their bedrooms spending hours playing PS4/XBOX/PC games, only emerging when food is required or they have to get up to go to school. This popular myth is being challenged by a range of scholarly work highlighting the impact of gaming for learning and creation of socially cooperative learning environments. These gaming environments are breaking down the stereotypes through the demonstration of 21st-century skills that they offer.

 

The Four Cs of 21st Century Skills. (Lippl, 2013)

 

Gee (2005) puts forward that good games incorporate ‘good learning principles’ (p.34), which reflect sound pedagogy and links to the modern skills we are trying to teach in the classroom. Gee’s principles are extremely valuable to investigate and explore in his article Good video games and good learning’

 

My experience of gaming is fairly limited and completely as an individual player, rather than in any online/cooperative gaming environment. This is where my challenge lies in figuring out the role of gaming in my classroom and how it can possibly create this socially inclusive space for students. My own experience around gaming has evolved with discovering the power of failure in games like ‘Assassin’s Creed’ and ‘Uncharted’; and as Gee points out that failure is a good thing (2005, p.35), and my early failures have been used as Gee puts it, a way to find the patterns, and to gain feedback to overcome the obstacles (p.35). That is one of the big issues in the classroom that we do not encourage failure and actually work against it at all costs. Dan Haesler (2017) recently did a small twitter poll snapshot that shows how often we actually are allowing students more than one chance.

Twitter Poll (Haesler, 2017)

The question at hand on how we can encourage more failure, but at the same time creating socially inclusive classroom with games, can only take place if teachers are allowed freedom with the curriculum and be allowed to take risks. Kafai & Burke (2015) noted that playing games highlight the personal, social and cultural dimensions of constructionist learning, and this can according to Ives (2015) “not only be a constructivist view of learning, where learning emerges from experiences, but also a connectivist approach where learning is strengthened and enhanced when nodes of knowledge (players) connect and diffuse knowledge”.

 

The digital games which require the creation of “cross-functional teams” (Gee, 2005), where these are people with different functional expertise working towards common goals, are extremely beneficial in developing an inclusive classroom. It allows students of various abilities, interests, expertise, and passions to come together in a collaborative effort to solve problems and overcome obstacles. These are so-called Affinity Spaces, where experiential learning can happen, where novices and masters work together, knowledge is shared and collectively the group develops towards an end point.

 

The issue as Gee notes is that “challenge and learning are a large part of what makes video games motivating and entertaining”, but schools are generally not known for places where students enjoy learning. The challenge remains that we need to look at each game with a pedagogical framework on how we can create these socially inclusive learning environments that can engage students. Each one is unique and can offer endless learning opportunities.

 

References

 

Gee, J.P. (2005). Good video games and good learning. Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 85(2), 33-37. http://dmlcentral.net/sites/dmlcentral/files/resource_files/GoodVideoGamesLearning.pdf

 

Haesler, D. [@danhaesler]. (2017, Mar 16). How many times will you allow a student to re-take an end of unit assessment before you report on their ability in said unit? [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/danhaesler/status/842247117896785921

 

Ives, M. (2015). Digital Games: Cross Functional Teams and Collaboration. [Blog] Knowledge Networks & Digital Innovation Blog. Available at: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/mattives/2015/03/22/digital-games-cross-functional-teams-and-collaboration/

 

Kafai, Y.B. & Burke, Q. (2015). Constructionist gaming: understanding the benefits of making games for learning, Educational Psychologist, 50 (4). DOI: 10.1080/00461520.2015.1124022

Lippl, C. (2013, December 16). The Four Cs of 21st Century Skills. [Image]. Retrieved from http://zulama.com/education-trends/four-cs-21st-century-skills/#.WM-vGHSGPBI

Digital Artefact Critique

In order to grow and develop we need to be able to reflect. As part of the #INF532 course we were asked to reflect, critique and provide some feedback on another student’s artefact from our first assessment task. The digital artefact task was about any aspect to do with Knowledge Networking and then to provide an exegesis with regards to the design and effectiveness of the digital artefact. I found the process challenging, but very worthwhile.

 

I have had a brief look at many of the fantastic artefacts created for this subject, and my fellow students have all done some amazing work. Thanks to Karen Malbon who has done a tremendous job of curating every artefact into one place – Check them out here http://www.pearltrees.com/karenmalbon/inf532-cohort-artefacts/id16278628

 

I have selected to write about a close friend’s artefact, Jordan Grant, and I was particularly interested to see how his turned out aiming it at students. URL: https://sites.google.com/site/gogetconnected/

The site has the following clear logo and banner at the top:

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-2-32-00-pm

The start of this website contains a cleverly crafted YouTube Clip that uses a lot of research evidence to support the message presented. Jordan uses quality images and sounds that meet creative commons licensing requirements, and the message conveyed is clearly articulated. It sets up the digital artefact premise of ‘the what and the why of connected learning’ is all about.

https://youtu.be/8fiiGJLRyWI

 

There are some further discussion points and an example of a student becoming a connected learner. A key point that he has on the site is:

“Remember. People don’t normally develop effective networks overnight. This will be a timely process that requires continual work. “

This is one of the key aspects of being a connected learner. It definitely does not happen overnight and is also not a one-way process. Instead, it needs time, effort, sharing and conversing with others.

 

The site then gives the students three different ways to begin their learning journey as connected learners – Blogging, Curating and Connecting. These are great ways for students to start organising their information, connecting, but also a way of reflecting on their learning. The site provides resources and examples of how to use these in practice and hyperlinked clips and articles used to support these sections. There is a clear link to the resources, and the information is set out to make it practical for students to engage with.

 

The final section provides a blogging prompt that enables the students to get started and reflect on their initial introduction to being a connected learner:

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-3-11-33-pm

Overall Jordan has demonstrated effective use of a range of different digital tools for  creative Knowledge construction. The breadth of tools used in creating the site, the clips and then linking to various others shows an understanding of the tools required for connected learning and knowledge construction. Some further examples of student blogs, or students using social media for learning could have been added; but that would defeat the premise of it being their own personalised and unique connected learning that takes place. There is also an understanding of instructional design and the application of knowledge network theory with this artefact. The participants are asked to consider the why and the what, before moving onto the how and then actually doing it themselves.
It is clearly a useful resource to get students started on the connected pathway and I would definitely consider using it with my own class in the near future.

Growing & Connecting

It has been a journey from a basic understanding, to an enlightened disposition on digital citizenship over the past 12 weeks. I have been an active participant online with using PLN’s, managing my digital footprint and recognising the role of creative commons. However, the course has managed to extend my understanding significantly with regards to school leadership and vision, and I have been fascinated by the readings and resources in the course.

I have only made 2 blog posts thus far in the course this semester, and my intentions to do more have been consumed by being a full-time teacher and barely keeping my head above water at times. Being constantly connected and interacting with a PLN has made me use that as my main areas to reflect and question course material. My first blog post introduced some of my thoughts and a link to my personal blog, which has over 80 reflective posts from the past 3 years. The second blog post introduced how I’m introducing my students to twitter and the concept of PLN’s. I have always encouraged using social media for learning, but now I’m actively teaching my students how and why it is important to understand digital citizenship concepts.

Initially, the course introduced concepts that I was very familiar with, DLE, PLN, Information overload & curation; but then the move to understanding global digital citizenship issues really challenged me to explore it more deeply. The group assignment paired me with three educators that come from very different backgrounds, and locations. Working collaboratively through Hangouts, Google Docs and the Wikispaces platform was challenging; but ultimately rewarding with our final product that we produced. Besides the group task, being able to chat on a regular basis with fellow students online has allowed us to push one another and assist each other on this journey.

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One of my favourite quotes from the modules was this one, “21st Century skills harness not only the power of technology but the power of people” from ‘Flattening classrooms, engaging minds’, (Lindsay & Davis, 2012, p. 2). Connecting with fellow students on Twitter has been a great way to share ideas and resources, including the Twitter chat myself and Jordan Grant ran on digital citizenship (Storify of chat).

Being passionate about connected learning and forming a wide-ranging PLN has allowed me to explore many opportunities. This course, previous units and various readings have formed the basis of some of the presentations I will be doing at a number of Conferences over the coming months. Creating positive professional networks gives me access to a variety of experts, but also allows me to share with others.

 

The last 3 modules put the school vision and leadership clearly in the framework and how important it is to have strong leadership. My knowledge has grown in understanding that the whole spectrum of digital citizenship needs to be embedded in all areas of school. My own research and readings have confirmed that teachers themselves need to be better equipped to teach digital citizenship, and that many schools do not have a clear vision on digital citizenship beyond cyber safety.

Moving on from this course I hope to create more awareness at my school on the range of digital citizenship areas, especially student digital footprint and creating global connections. To accomplish this it would involve getting the school leadership on board with a number of key stakeholders to determine the school vision for digital citizenship. There are a number of key resources shared by educators and organisations, from Christine Haynes’s post, to the Common Sense Media (2016) website. As I pursue to bring about some changes I know it will need to be a collective effort, but an absolute necessity in preparing students for the connected future.

Connected Learning

Connected Learning Research Network and Digital Media & Learning Research Hub (CC BY 3.0)

 

 

 

References

Common Sense Media (2016). Common Sense: Digital Citizenship. Retrieved from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/digital-citizenship

Haynes, C. (2016). Digital Citizenship: A Community ApproachRetrieved from http://christinehaynes.me/digital-citizenship-a-community-approach/

Lindsay, J., & Davis, V. (2012). Flattening classrooms, engaging minds: Move to global collaboration one step at a time. New York: Allyn and Bacon.

 

PLN’s and Digital Citizenship

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Over the past 10 weeks doing the ETL523 subject I have found the course to be extremely interesting and challenging at the same time. I know that I have been growing/supporting my own PLN over the past 4 years through Twitter, Google+. Blogging, Instagram, Facebook, etc. and learning what it means to be a digital citizen. I have actively worked with my students the past few weeks in developing their understanding of digital citizenship and how they could use social media for learning. They already use Facebook to chat about school, use Skype when discussing work, but now I want to show them the potential of Twitter and other tools to create their own PLN. It’s going slowly, trialling some ideas with my history students in-between all the curriculum we need to cover, and it is really a learning process. Feel free to check out the hashtag that we are using in the class #mhrcc16. More experiments and exploration to follow in the coming weeks. Any advice or suggestions is always appreciated.

 

Now my focus over the next 3 weeks turn to the final assignment in the course and preparing for 2 intense weeks of Conferences, training and events that follow it.

Designing Spaces for Learning – Case Report

This is my case report assignment as part of INF536 Designing Spaces for Learning with Ewan McIntosh.

Introduction

The case study report explores the conception, management and impact of how a change in a physical space was done to influence student learning. The report will describe and critically analyse the parameters of ‘choice of process’, ‘the nature of work groups and teams’ and ‘exterior pressures and design constraints’; using literature and examples to inform the process of designing spaces for learning. Recommendations will be made from the analysis to inform the design practice and how learning space design can be improved in future scenarios.

 

Case Development

This case study analyses the process that took place at a K-12 school in Maryborough, Queensland, Australia during 2012 to 2013. Over the past several years the school had undergone rapid growth and expansion, with enrolments increasing by more than 20% per year. In late 2012 the decision was made to move the library from its existing space into a new building that had been commissioned for 2013. The old library space was created when the school was still a relatively small school of less than 200 students. By 2013 the school had over 600 students enrolled, and with future predictions of over 800 students by 2016. This meant that the old library space no longer would be able to serve the school cohort and there was no space for senior students especially to have study time, nor space for junior school students to explore, such as makerspaces. The new building block that was proposed would include two science laboratories and a performing arts area on the top floor, and the bottom floor would serve as the new library space; with two general classrooms on the side. The new space was envisioned to be a hub for learning, with more study space for senior students and greater access to an open space for junior students for reading and storytelling activities. The funding came about through increased expenditure by the Australian government through the Building Education Revolution funding.

 

The decision to add new buildings, and the management of them at the school, is done with a team involving the architects, school building project manager, construction foreman and the school principal, as well as some input from the school board members. There was some consultation with the librarian, but she had decided to return to classroom and would not be part of this new space. No other teachers or students were consulted in the design and conceptualisation process. The management and leadership of the space design involved regular meetings between the project manager, the architect and the builder. They met and discussed the school space requirements, considered the legislation and building code aspects, and decided upon the layout of the building. The project team made all decisions regarding furniture, fittings and decor. This management and design of the space is an interesting element to explore as it looks at who actually controls the space design, in particular with regards to the design being done ‘at’ the users rather than ‘with’ them (Kimbell, 2011).

 

Furthermore the issue that arises from this, is that the power controlled by a few in designing spaces for learning leaves the actual users with no voice in the process. The choices that the design team makes can, and is, heavily influenced by financial constraints; but also the nature of the work group designing it. The biggest concern with non-teachers and non-students designing the spaces is that the pedagogical input is absent. The following critical analysis will look at how this new space was conceived, managed and led to impact learning in the new library.

 

The Critical Analysis

Choice of Process

The space is a core part of developing a creative culture at a school (McIntosh, 2015c), with every new space creating an unique possibility to impact learning. Teaching and pedagogy change over time and buildings need to be able to respond with and to it (Blyth, 2013, p. 264). The actual way of going about it is key to the successful creation, management and implementation of a change of space. The design starts as a cloudy idea about how it should look or how it should work (Razzouk & Shute, 2012, p. 335), and then eventually progresses into new innovations to meet the needs and wants of a growing school. According to the JISC report, “Effective dialogues are needed to establish what will be required from the learning spaces” (Joint Information Services Committee, 2006, p. 10). Flynn also agrees that doing research is crucial, but at the start it is imperative to define the vision for the change (Flynn, 2008, p. 24).

 

The establishment of the pedagogical aims at the onset is crucial before any design process can begin (Joint Information Services Committee, 2006, p. 6). As Andrew Blyth points out, “To create a well-designed school you need to invest in the whole design process, which is all about enabling the architect to get a good understanding of the educational needs of the school client,…”(Blyth, 2013, p. 265). In the case study however, this does not take place. The design is purely focused on the creation of a large space to house the library. There is no consideration of the pedagogical vision for the space, nor is there research conducted to gather insight on how modern library spaces are being utilised.

 

There are some common elements of how to go about the management of the whole change process in various literatures. Seidel and Fixson (2013, p. 20) describe this process as ‘Need-finding’, where the focus is gaining insight through observation, empathy and immersion into the user’s context. Brown and Katz (2011, p. 382) agree that the process needs to start with intense observation and immersion to gain insight in how space can be used and to develop empathy for the users. Tim Brown (2009, p. 1) also points out, “Design is human-centred”, and as such the people using it always need to be considered in the process of changing a space. Kuratko, Goldsworthy and Hornsby (2012) further explain that the gathering of information from a variety of sources is needed to help with decision-making (p. 114). The case study appears to have not followed what the literature proposes, as there was no immersion or observation by the individuals tasked to manage the change. The case study observed turned out to be a very designer-centric approach that did not allow for understanding of pedagogical aims, but rather purely on building design.

 

The nature of work groups and teams

Each space is unique, and requires a shared responsibility and ownership by all stakeholders for successful change (du Toit, 2015).There is multiple different literatures that share similar views on how important the design team is for the successful creation of new spaces. Design involves all members of the team or groups to have a shared responsibility in the design process (McIntosh, 2015a). As Flynn points out, building a stakeholder team that has representation of potential users and nonusers of a space, includes a diversity of individuals in the planning team (Flynn, 2008, p. 24). This team needs to have a combination of pragmatics and creative people, all of whom are open and willing to listen to different viewpoints (Flynn, 2008, p. 24).

 

These teams could be a formal ‘space management team’ (Joint Information Services Committee, 2006, p. 13), an ‘interdisciplinary team’ for complex problem-solving (Brown & Katz, 2011, p. 381), or a ‘multidisciplinary team’ (Seidel & Fixson, 2013, p. 19). The best designers don’t work alone, their designing and redesigning requires collaboration between teams of people with different disciplines, and insights are gained where they interconnect (Gardiner, 2013, p.5). The multidisciplinary teams that Seidel and Fixson refer to able to attempt a broader range of challenges and they allow creative ideas to flourish (Seidel & Fixson, 2013, p. 19). Blyth mentions that for teams to function to their highest capacity the designers and educators need to speak the same language (2013, p. 267). The design in education needs to be more ‘us-with-them’ (Brown & Katz, 2011, p.32), and focus on all relevant stakeholders. This means that effective change cannot occur without the input from teachers and students. It is therefore essential that learners also need to be involved in the design process of learning spaces (Joint Information Services Committee, 2006, p. 4). The continuous input of students is an essential ingredient in an effective design process to create learning spaces (Souter, Riddle, Sellers, & Keppell, 2011, p. 14).

 

The case study does not match with these findings at all. The case study shows that the group or team designing the spaces is a very narrow, confined composition. All the literature points to having a diverse group; including teachers and students, but also allowing all groups to have input in the design process. Without the end-users involved in the team it makes it very difficult for teachers, or students, to feel any ownership of the space. The team in the case study has also been involved in many other projects, and this could lead to them being more skilled in decision-making, but at the same time the assumptions, motivations and conservatism of the group never allows creativity or experimentation to take place.

 

Exterior pressures and design constraints

New facilities are long-term investments that require significant capital outlay and a number of different constraints need to be considered (Joint Information Services Committee, 2006, p. 3). When considering the different pressures or constraints, the design team always needs to return to what type of learning they want to see take place there. To do this, there needs to be a deep understanding of the pedagogy involved for the space (McIntosh, 2015b), and this links back to the composition of a design team needed to include all stakeholders to give that diverse perspectives that teachers and students could provide. Tim Brown explains it very well that dealing with design, the desirability, viability and feasibility drives any new project (Brown, 2009, p. 3). There are many diverse requirements to consider, from construction materials, government funding specifications, building code legislation, state and local council legislation, and a host of other areas to consider, based on where the project takes place.

 

The design brief needs to offer flexibility, but at the same time it is crucial to be very specific in dealing with the conflicting constraints. School systems are motivated to improve spaces, but external pressures and uncertainty about the future often hamper them. Kuratko et al. (2012) says that these constraints need to be accepted and embraced; and that competing constraints are the foundation of design thinking (p.110). According to Alastair Blyth, one of the biggest constraints that school have to deal with is money and they have to work within this (Blyth, 2013, p. 264). Buildings are expensive, and there is an acceptance that new buildings need to be future orientated and allow for flexibility to adapt.

 

The case study that has been examined does appear to match several of the points that deal with external pressures. There is ample consideration taken of legislative and financial constraints when designing the space. This is managed well with utilising government funding and having an expert on the different legal requirements as part of the planning team. The area that is absent however is the focus on the learning, the pedagogy, for the space and how the different constraints impact this. There is also minimal use of creativity to consider alternative design elements, and as such the case study fails in developing innovative new strategies.

 

Conclusion

The physical learning environment plays a central role in reforming the operational culture of a school (Kuuskorpi & González, 2011, p. 2) Unfortunately the new library space design suffers from a range of untapped resources and possibilities. With the project team being very designer-centric, it meant that there was little room for creativity, user input or pedagogical considerations. Therefore the lack of diverse input through teachers, students, community and others means that there is a lack of ownership felt by the users. Furthermore, the space ended up being inflexible and constraining; and as Kuratko et al. (2012, p. 104) states, “ A well-designed artefact is embraced by the target audience, whereas bad design leaves the user confused and/or uninterested in the artefact.” Many issues could have been avoided and the following recommendations are to be considered to improve the process in the future.

 

 

Recommendations

  • The design team needs to be able to embrace the first stage of developing new ideas. This means being able to immerse themselves in observing how spaces are used. Quite often architects do not fully appreciate the nuances in education (Blyth, 2013, p. 267), and by having architects meet with teachers and do first-hand observation, it will offer them greater perspective.
  • Similarly, educators are not always able to read architectural plans and drawings, and careful consideration needs to be addressed with how communication takes place (Blyth, 2013, p. 267). By working on the means of communication it will enable misinterpretation to be avoided.
  • Part of observation involves developing the opportunity to grow empathy for the actual users of the spaces. Design planning needs to be able to utilise this and become much more user-centric, rather than design-centric. As Brown and Katz (2011) point out, design needs to put people first (p. 382).
  • When developing new designs it also important to consider developing prototypes that will allow users to critique and provide feedback. Feedback is extremely powerful in adjusting designs early on in the process. Designers need to be able to step back from their ideas and let others critique them, and this will allow real and rapid impact (Gardiner, 2013, p. 7).
  • The changes proposed to a learning space needs to involve teachers and students. No change will be successful if it does not involve them (Kuuskorpi & González, 2011, p. 6) . The space alone won’t greatly impact the learning, but when the school community is involved with the process, the impact increases significantly (McIntosh, 2015d).
  • A major flaw in the design of the space in the case study is the composition of the project team. To enable more creative, collaborative and pedagogical input it is crucial that the group consist of a greater mix of relevant individuals.
  • Consideration of changing the process from being ‘top-down’ to a more ‘bottom-up’ approach through reflective practice (Woolner, McCarter, Wall & Higgins, 2012, p. 46). This would mean involving students, allowing them the opportunity to have their voices heard. This could be through surveys, focus groups, brainstorming activities, informal discussions or focused ideation. Thinking about, and how, the students are impacted needs to be at the forefront of all considerations.
  • Tom Kelly suggests that there is a need to create an environment where creativity can happen through haphazard insights, chance encounters and productive mistakes (Kelley, 2014). In a school setting it could involve setting up a model, or board that showcases possible designs. Students, parents and teachers could access this and provide comments and suggestions. This will allow new insights to come about to assist the architects and planners.
  • Good teamwork, collaboration and communication is crucial for groups. The participants need to be open, flexible and willing to engage in the process to determine the best outcomes for the problem identified. This can be enhanced when the team is a multidisciplinary group (Seidel & Fixson, 2013, p. 19). By building the relationships within the team it will allow for positive interactions to flourish.
  • The creation of a ‘war room’ where the design team can come together, immersed in the problem with diagrams, notes and images (Knapp, 2014). Here they will be able to gain a better understanding of the constraints and allow ideas to develop. The physical nature of the ‘war room’ artefacts allows the team to find potential links between ideas and previously disparate ideas (Kolko, 2012).
  • Final recommendation involves the point that even if the change in space is completed, “there needs to be a behavioural change in relation to planning and producing spatial solutions”, to better serve future dynamic physical learning environments (Kuuskorpi & González, 2011, p. 6)
  • It needs to become an ongoing process that uses the power of feedback to improve and evolve. As Ron Berger mentions in ‘Austin’s Butterfly (Expeditionary Learning, 2013), “kind, specific and useful feedback” allows for improvement over time, and this is what all designs need to aim for.

 

References

Blyth, A. (2012). Design of Education, Pan European Networks: Government 04, 264-267. Retrieved from http://www.paneuropeannetworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/5_A-Blyth-6001-6002-Atl.pdf

 

Brown, T. (2009) Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. Summary by Get Abstract. Retrieved from: http://www.getabstract.com

 

Brown, T., & Katz, B. (2011). Change by Design. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 28(3), 381–383. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5885.2011.00806.x

 

du Toit, J. (2015, September 7). Literature critique INF536. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/riverflows/2015/09/07/literature-critique-inf536/

 

Expeditionary Learning. (2013, October 9). Austin’s Butterfly: Building Excellence in Student Work – Models, Critique, and Descriptive Feedback [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZo2PIhnmNY

 

Flynn, W. (2008). Built to Last. Community College Journal, 79(2), 22-28. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ816521

 

Gardiner, E. (2013). Changing behaviour by design: Combining behavioural science with design-thinking to help organisations tackle big social issues. Design Council & Warwick Business School. Retrieved from: https://www.designcouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/asset/document/Changing%20behaviour%20by%20design.pdf

 

Joint Information Services Committee. (2006). Designing Spaces for Effective Learning. Retrieved from http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20140616001949/http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/learningspaces.pdf

 

Kelley, T., (2014, January 10). Invite serendipity to your cafe and expect innovation. Wired UK. Retrieved from http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2014/01/ideas-bank/tom-kelley

Kimbell, L. (2011). Rethinking design thinking: Part I. Design and Culture, 3(3), 285-306. Retrieved from http://www.lucykimbell.com/stuff/DesignPractices_Kimbell_DC_final_public.pdf

 

Knapp, J. (2014). Google ventures: Your design team needs a war room. Here’s how to set one up, Fast Company. Retrieved from: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3028471/google-ventures-your-design-team-needs-a-war-room-heres-how-to-set-one-up

 

Kolko, J. (2010). Abductive thinking and sensemaking: The drivers of design synthesis. Retrieved from http://www.jonkolko.com/writingAbductiveThinking.php

 

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in innovation acceleration : Transforming organizational thinking, 103-123. Retrieved from https://www.csu.edu.au/division/library/ereserve/pdf/kuratko-d1.pdf

 

Kuuskorpi, M. & González, N. C., (2011), The Future of the Physical Learning Environment: School Facilities that Support the User, CELE Exchange, Centre for Effective Learning Environments, 2011(11), DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kg0lkz2d9f2-en

 

McIntosh, E. (2015a). Designing with Intent [INF536 Module 3.1]. Retrieved August 19, 2015, from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-493460-dt-content-rid-1076333_1/courses/S-INF536_201560_W_D/module3/3_1_Designing_with_intent.html

 

McIntosh, E. (2015b). Design strong spaces: design strong learning [INF536 Module 4.2]. Retrieved August 21, 2015, from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-493463-dt-content-rid-1076208_1/courses/S-INF536_201560_W_D/module4/4_2_Strong_spaces_learning.html

 

McIntosh, E. (2015c). Creative Culture [INF536 Module 5]. Retrieved September 17, 2015, from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-493465-dt-content-rid-1076311_1/courses/S-INF536_201560_W_D/module5.html

 

McIntosh, E. (2015d). From failing school, to flying colours: technology, space, community and perseverance [INF536 Module 7.3]. Retrieved September 28, 2015, from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-493468-dt-content-rid-1076189_1/courses/S-INF536_201560_W_D/module7/7_3_Failing_to_flying.html

 

Razzouk, R., & Shute, V. (2012). What is design thinking and why is it important? Review of Educational Research, September, 82(3), 330–348. Retrieved from http://rer.sagepub.com/content/82/3/330

 

Seidel, V. P., & Fixson, S. K. (2013). Adopting design thinking in novice multidisciplinary teams: the application and limits of design methods and reflexive practices: adopting design thinking in novice teams. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 30, 19–33. doi:10.1111/jpim.12061

 

Souter, K., Riddle, M., Sellers, W., & Keppell, M. (2011). Spaces for knowledge generation. Final report. Australian Teaching & Learning Council. Retrieved from http://documents.skgproject.com/skg-final-report.pdf

 

Woolner, P., McCarter, S., Wall, K., & Higgins, S. (2012). Changed learning through changed space: When can a participatory approach to the learning environment challenge preconceptions and alter practice? Improving Schools, 15(1), 45-60, Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1177/1365480211434796

Assessment 4 Critical Reflection Blog post

What a ride this has been! Almost 14 weeks of intense exploration of design thinking and learning spaces. Over the course of the past semester I have been challenged, stretched and pushed to my limit. Juggling full-time work, family and studies is not for the faint-hearted. My first exposure to design thinking happened a year ago at the Google Teacher Academy in Sydney where the two days was led by members of NoTosh, Tom Barrett and Hamish Currie. It was an eye-opening experience, but nothing like this course, that is now drawing to a close.

 

Moonshot Statement

My Moonshot Statement from GTA Sydney 2014

From the opening of the course with Phillipe Starck (2007, March), “design is the possibility to invent a new story”; to John Hockenberry (2012, June) saying how important intent is in design. Discovering how important user-centred design is, and the reaffirmation of my thoughts on students wanting to be challenged. Over the weeks I have learnt more about immersion, synthesising, ideation, prototyping and feedback. This design journey is so powerful and I can see new connections/ideas to experiment with in my own learning context.


flickr photo shared by @boetter under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

I started with the initial Blog post about a small change in my learning space – Here, and the main focus was on getting the actual users (the students) involved in reimagining the space. The second Blog post – Here, showed the chaotic design of my staff room with all its faults. Both these posts made me realise the power of observation, and especially trying to place myself in someone else’s shoes. This is so powerful in developing a sense of empathy, and it is one of my big takeaways from the course.

My 'War Room' with these new fun Tesla Amazing Magnetic notes

My ‘War Room’ with these new fun Tesla Amazing Magnetic notes

Another area that I really enjoyed was learning about the Coffee mornings, followed by a form of professional learning that I love, TeachMeets. These informal opportunities are a fantastic opportunity for a diverse group of people to share, connect and build relationships. The ‘Seven Spaces of Learning’ discussed in Module six was very interesting and are that I plan on exploring further. Spaces where learning take place are continuously evolving, and it is fascinating seeing the power of technology and new creative ideas transforming learning.

 

The role of space in learning is important, but it is the actual pedagogy developed with the space in mind that activates the learning. Exploring the readings and videos in this course has shown me some wonderful creative designs and supported a lot of my own thoughts on using student voice in designing learning. The role of multidisciplinary teams in generating ideas, coming up with solutions and being creative is another point to remember.

 

I have made new contacts through the Forum, Twitter and used Google Hangouts with Jordan Grant on almost a daily basis to discuss and explore the content (especially the week leading up to assessment deadlines). Overall the course has ignited my interest in delving deeper in design thinking and how space impacts learning. I’m looking forward to exploring the work of Ewan McIntosh, Charles Leadbeater, Tim Brown, Stephen Heppell and many others over the coming months. Time to immerse myself in the next phase of learning…

 

References

Hockenberry, J. (2012, June). Transcript of ‘We are all designers’. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/john_hockenberry_we_are_all_designers/transcript

Starck, P. (2007, March). Design and destiny [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/philippe_starck_thinks_deep_on_design

Online Reflective Journal Blog Task 1

The problem space is located in a room in the library that has been made into a teaching classroom for small senior classes, due to the school growing rapidly and not enough other rooms being available. The room is very generic, with dimensions of only 6m x 5m, 7 tables, 14 chairs. The room has access to a data projector, a whiteboard, one power outlet and two walls that can be used. The third wall has large windows that have a strong glare from sunlight that has no blinds or curtains. The room is shared between three teachers across six different subjects; as well as an IT support room during 1st break. The challenge then is to come up with a space that will be flexible, and at the same time meet the needs of the users (the students and teachers).

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Design is the link between creativity and innovation (Temple, 2010) and this allows ideas to become reality. With design being the process that converts ideas into something tangible (Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G., 2012, p. 103), it becomes crucial to understand the why and how to do design thinking. At the heart of design thinking is the user and this is reflected in many readings. Brown (2009) states that the insight into how people actually use things is central to design thinking, by observing what people actually do, noting what they don’t do, and understanding what they don’t or can’t explain about what they do. Brown (2009) also contends that designers need empathy to consider how consumers (students) actually experience things. Kuratko et al (2012) supports this when they state that design needs to keep the user in mind and include them in the design process to allow immediate feedback. Brown also further adds that ‘We need to learn to put people first’ (2009, p.39).

To discover a new solution using design thinking, it will require that there is a ‘collective ownership of ideas with sharing of responsibility’ (Brown, 2009). With this in mind, I need to involve both myclasses, and my colleagues and their classes, in the discussion/process. This will allow students to also be able to “deal with difficult situations and to solve complex problems in school, in their careers, and in life in general”. (Razzouk, R. & Shute, V., 2012, p.14). Design thinking requires acceptance of constraints and it can actually invigorate designers to come up with solutions (Kuratko et al, 2012). By embracing and recognising the constraints it allows you to explore what is technically feasible and commercially viable (Brown, 2009). At the same time, I need to remember some of the key attributes designers need like flexibility, focus, inspiration, proactive and humility (Kuratko et al, 2012). As design thinking is frequently cited as involving three parts (Seidel & Fixson, 2013) that develop with the constraints of feasibility, viability, desirability (Brown, 2009): Need-finding, Ideation, Prototyping.

To start the change, I will involve the different groups in brainstorming and observing how each class interacts with the space. Then we can proceed to trial a few changes to enhance the learning environment. The great beauty of design thinking is that, as Razzouk & Shute (2012) describe it, it is “an analytic and creative process that engages a person in opportunities to experiment, create and prototype models, gather feedback, and redesign.” The changes will be quickly implemented, and be adjusted as I gather feedback and iterate more.

 

References
Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. HarperBusiness. p.37.
Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in innovation acceleration : Transforming organizational thinking. (pp.103-123). Boston : Pearson. https://www.csu.edu.au/division/library /ereserve/pdf/kuratko-d1.pdf
Razzouk, R., & Shute, V. (2012). What is design thinking and why is it important? Review of Educational Research, September, 82 (3), 330–348. http://rer.sagepub.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/content /82/4/483.full.pdf+html
Seidel, V., & Fixson, S. (2013). Adopting design thinking in novice multidisciplinary teams: The application and limits of design methods and reflexive practices. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 30, 19–33. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jpim.12061
Temple, M. (2010). The design council: A review. Department for Business, Industry and Skills (UK). Retrieved from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/32441/10-1178-design- council-review.pdf
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