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Dream big, start small

What have I learned – creating remarkable learning experiences

October 14, 2014 by meghastie   

    • Everyone can be a designer , when they’ve learned a few tools from the masters and work together (Brown 2009, Cross 2006, Seidel & Fixson , Sutton & Hargadon 1996, McIntosh 2014, Hastie, blog comment 44)
    • However, it’s easy to oversimplify the design process and assume that design thinking will always succeed and will work for everyone (Badke-Schaub, Roozenburg, & Cardoso 2010, Nussbaum 2011.)
    • Other design models especially ecological design, have great potential to further strengthen our understanding of learners, learning and their range of environments
    • Change needs to be focussed on the user, in their environment (Brown 2009, Hastie August 1, 2014, Hastie, Blog comment 22)
    • Think big, start small  – change does not need to be spectacular or expensive, it needs to be a contextually appropriate solution (Hastie August 8, 15 2014, Hastie 2014 blog comment 28)
    • Spending time thinking about the “big picture” the big ideas is exhilarating, but needs to then go somewhere – collaborating, engaging, planning, reiterating and implementation is needed (Robertson, Webb and Fluck 2007, Brown 2009, Kuratko, Goldsworthy & Hornsby 2012).
    • Learning how to innovate and experiment, and being willing for that innovation to fail is a crucial part of being a designer (Adams 2001, Brown 2009, Dyson, 2009, Cross 2006, McIntosh 2014, Hastie August 1 2014, Hastie )
    • However, quantifying both innovation and creativity is also complex and needs appropriateness (Atkinson 2000; Howard et al. 2008; Howard-Jones 2002; Mayer 1999)
    • Being creative does not doom you to a life of poverty – although if you are poor but happy that’s ok! (Graham 2006, Google, Pixar, Rees 2007)
    • We need creativity and innovation to not only solve the problems of the world but to live fulfilling lives.  Being makers is central to who we are as people (Parvin 2013, Pilloton 2009, Leadbeater 2010, Dougherty 2009).
    • Space has the capacity to inspire, to challenge, to excite us (OWP Architects 2010, Oblinger 2006)
    • Understanding the role of space in learning is contested; it’s a complex and dynamic concept (Woolner et al 2012, Kuuskorpi & González 2011)  – from McIntosh’s seven spaces to Wang & Chen’s (2011) 5 spaces of the online community, concepts of communities, niches and privacy must be explored
    • Changing space without innovation in pedagogy is expensive, (Woolner et al 2012, JISC 2006), more significantly innovation in pedagogy without careful staff training and change management is pointless (Owens 2012, Sutherland et al. 2013, Fullan 1991, García 2010)
    • As the built architecture reflects a range of pedagogical assumptions, there are times when teachers in traditional learning spaces have to work harder to change  the dominant discourse of the environment and the accompanying  student expectations (Woolner 2009, OWP Architects 2010, JISC 2006, Barrett, Zhang, Moffat, & Kobbacy 2012)
    • There are lots of ideas coalescing around education at the moment, that all seem to reverberate around metacognition, authentic, active meaningful learning, and learning how to learn, placing students in the centre of the learning equation (Hattie, 2008, 2011, 2013; Fullan 2011, 2013, Ritchart, Ron, Church, Mark & Morrison, Karin 2011, McTighe & Wiggins 2010, Marzano 2013, Ito et al.)
    • Getting lots of people involved in the creative process to challenge ideas around what learning looks like in response to this is crucial (Heppel 2004, Seidel & Fixson 2013, Yee, Jeffries & Tan 2013, McIntosh 2014, Hastie September 2014, Hastie comment 25, 25a)
    • It would be amazing to “do school”, do learning differently from what we currently can in Australia – to think active, real authentic alive and compassionate (eg Tully 2009, Dougherty 2013, Leadbeater & Wong 2010
    • There is a crucial clash in education between the desire to innovate, to explore and experiment with new ways of thinking, and government’s increasing tendency towards standardised testing to validate their own agendas (Campbell, Saltmarsh, Chapman & Drew 2013, Hastie October 2014).
    • Change can be exhilarating, or change can be frustrating and fail – it’s all in the way it’s managed (Fullan 2001, 1991, Stoll 1998, Blasé 1999)
    • Leaders have a big responsibility in framing school cultures, exploring ideas, setting goals, inviting everyone in and facilitating those around them to do amazing things (Fullan 2001, 1991, Stoll 1998, Blasé 1999)
    • Neither design nor education can lose sight of their focus – the people they serve.
    • FINALLY, 500 words aint much for a whole course – take out the in-text referencing and you’re about there…

    References… perhaps not in alphabetical order, but all there…

    • Rees, E. (2011.) The lean startup: How constant innovation creates radically successful businesses. London: Portfolio Penguin pp. 56-72
    • Brown, T. (2009.) Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. Harper Business
    • Woolner, P. (2009), Building schools for the future through a participatory design process: exploring the issues and investigating ways forward. Presented at BERA 2009, 2-5 September, Manchester UK. Retrieved from:
    • Barrett, P.S., Zhang, Y. , Moffat J., & Kobbacy, K. (2012). An holistic, multi-level analysis identifying the impact of classroom design on pupils’ learning. Building and Environment.
    • Blackmore, J., Bateman, D., Loughlin, J., O’Mara, J., & Aranda, G. (2011), Research into the connection between built learning spaces and student outcomes, Literature review, Paper No. 22 June 2011, State Government of Victoria (Australia). Retrieved
    • Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. London:Routledge.
    • Hattie, J & Yates G. C. R. (2013). Visible learning and the science of how we learn. Routledge.
    • Herrington, Jan & Reeves, Thomas C (2011)  Using design principles to improve pedagogical practice and promote student engagement, Ascilite conference Hobart, 2011
    • JISC, 2006, Designing Spaces for Effective Learning: A guide to 21st century learning space design, accessed 1st September 2014
    • Leadbeater, C. & Wong, A. (2010). Learning from the Extremes. Cisco. Retrieved from:
    • Pilloton, Emily (2010) Teaching Design for Change, TED talk accessed 31st July 2014
    • Ritchart, Ron, Church, Mark & Morrison, Karin (2011) Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners, Jossey-Bass Teacher, Chichester
    • Rshaid, Gabriel (2011) Learning for the future: Rethinking schools for the 21st century, Lead & Learn Press, Englewood
    • Tulley, G. (2009). The tinkering school, Retrieved from:
    • Yee, Joyce, Jefferies, Emma & Tan Lauren (2013) Design transitions, BIS Publishers, Amsterdam
    • Stoll, Louise, 1999, School culture: black hole or fertile garden for school improvement? In School culture / edited by Jon Prosser, London : Paul Chapman Pub, 1999.
    • Blasé Joseph 1998.Micropolitics of Educational Change joseph blasé in A.Hargreaves et al. (Eds.) International Handbook of Educational Change, 544-557 Boston, Mass. : Kluwer Academic Publishers,
    • Thornburg, D. (2014). From the Campfire to the Holodeck, How Place Matters in Education. AACE Conference. Retrieved from:
    • Thornburg, D. (1995). Student-centered learning. Electronic Learning, 14(7), 18. Retrieved from
    • McIntosh, E. (2010). Clicks and bricks: How school buildings influence future practice and technology adoption, Educational Facility Planner, Volume 45, Issues 1 & 2. CEFPI. Retrieved from
    • Wang Yu-Mei & Chen Derthanq Victor 2011, Instructors as Architects- Designing Learning Spaces for Discussion-Based Online Courses Journel of educational Technology Systems, Vol. 39(3) 281-294, 2010-2011
    • 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.
    • Monahan Torin  2000 Built Pedagogies & Technology Practices: Designing for Participatory Learning,Proceedings of the Participatory Design Conference , ed by T. Cherkasky, J . Greenbaum, P. Mambrey, and J.K. Pors. Palo Alto, CA:
    • Kuuskorpi, M. and N. Cabellos González (2011), “The Future of the Physical Learning Environment: School Facilities that Support the User”, CELE Exchange, Centre for Effective Learning Environments, 2011/11, OECD Publishing.
    • Campbell, M., Saltmarsh, S.,Chapman, A. & Drew, C. (2013). Issues of teacher professional learning within ‘non-traditional’ classroom environments.I
    • Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in Innovation acceleration : transforming organizational thinking. (pp.103-123). Boston : Pearson.
    • Ito, Mizuko, Gutiérrez, , Livingstone, Sonia, Penuel, Bill, Rhodes, Jean Salen, Katie, Schor, Juliet, Sefton-Green, Julian, Watkins S. Craig,. (2013). Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design. Digital Media and Learning Research Hub, Accessed September 1st 2014
    • Owens, Tessa (2012) Hitting the nail on the head: the importance of specific staff development for effective blended learning, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 49:4, 389-400. The online version of this article can be found at: Accessed 5th September 2014
    • Pata  Kai 2009 Revising the Framework of Knowledge Ecologies: How Activity Patterns Define Learning Spaces
    • Normak, P., Pata, K., & Kaipainen, M. (2012). An Ecological Approach to Learning Dynamics. Educational Technology & Society, 15 (3), 262–274.
    • Buchan, J. (2009). Putting ourselves in the big picture: a sustainable approach to project management for e-learning. The Journal of Distance Education
  • Hastie M 2014 1:1 hammer rollout
  •                                 Anew adventure in virtual learning a work in progress

                                      Creative chat and celebratory consumables


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