Make a Change – Blog post 1

I began the term and this subject in a brand new building and classroom. I have a classroom that has a break out room next door which is the language department’s storage space as well as a classroom. Since I have a composite class, having an extra space is really great.

So all the new space I have is somewhat problematic because I don’t know the best way to use it just yet. Here is what the classroom looks like without the furniture set up.

Blank Canvas Classroom

This space needs some thinking on its design because:

In order to become a 21st Century classroom, there needs to be a reinvention of what this classroom could look like and how it could function. Kimball said, that designers are the interpreters of changes in culture who then create new kinds of cultural form (2011). So if I am to become a 21 Century teacher, design thinking could well lead the way for culture change. The TED talk “Tim Brown Urges Designers to Think Big” also had some “a-ha” moments when I thought about how “thinking big” could be the way to revolutionise education for the 21st Century.

Additionally, the product is designed with the user in mind (Kuratko, Goldsworthy & Hornsby, 2012).  For me, that is the students and teachers who are using this room. This room has several constraints and the way of thinking through them has been a inspiring challenge (Kuratko, Goldsworthy & Hornsby, 2012). One of these constrains is considering whether I adapt the space for my use or include that of my colleagues. Another is that I have a composite class which actually includes three different grades of students. The new building has not been officially opened and until that time we have been asked not to decorate. Kuratko, Goldsworthy & Hornsby also said that aesthetic also taken into consideration. Once this space is open up for decoration, I would like to explore the aesthetics for my students and also myself (2012).

Describe the changes, however small, you make to that space as a result, in order to attempt to create a better space for learning.

Design thinking depends upon observing how people actually use products (Brown, 2009).  Firstly, I had the desks in traditional rows with an aisle down the middle. I used this format because it was easy for the teacher to use. At this school, students have lap tops for their classwork. I liked the rows because it meant, as a teacher, I could see what they were doing on their lap tops easily. When I implemented this design, that was my foremost thought, however, my classes had changed and their needs and habits had also changed. I found this format segregated the class too much. A new format of a U shape was trailed. This helped the different class groups interact with each other. As I have a room for 26 students but only 16 maximum, there is always a lot of space. While this change has shown improvement, there is further revision required. Including the students in the design process, because as Kuratko, Goldsworthy & Hornsby point out “design requires a flexible approach to work, in which product specifications may evolve over time. Manager must be the facilitator during the design process, rather than just the boss” (2012).

Currently, the room looks like this:

New U shape arrangement

Comments left on peer blogs:

Elizabeth Crowder: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/lizcrowder/2014/08/01/blog-task-1/#comment-4

Dale Mate: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/etam/2014/07/27/reflective-blog-task-1/#comment-14

Shannon Campbell: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/shannonsthoughts/2014/07/30/blog-task-1/#comment-11

References:

Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. Harper Collins.

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

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

TEDGlobal – Tim Brown (2009). Designers – think big!. [Online Video]. Jul 2009. Available from:http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_brown_urges_designers_to_think_big. [Accessed: 28 July 2014].