Tuesday, October 23, 2007

preconference seminar - learning spaces

This was billed as Applying Principles to Initiate and Advance Learning Space Design. And that's what we got, 3 and a half hours of principles. It was all good stuff, but interesting in that the Oblinger Learning Spaces stuff, which it was based on, is starting to feel a bit tired.

I had two problems: I ended up on a table full of AV and IT guys and you can guess their fixations about innovative learning spaces. Secondly, the session was predicated on the assumption that you (ie me) were a lone innovator trying to convince your institution that these things are Good Things. So there was a lot of the usual high level sponsor stuff etc etc - not really applicable to SHU at this moment in time.

It was therefore, really annoying that the rolling images that played as we assembled included Birmingham and Warwick etc We must get our own one asap!

Apart from all the good stuff which I will pass on to Liz, Joel, etc and boy could our chums in the Learning Hubs benefit from engaging with some of this stuff.

The other bit I enjoyed was the beginners guide to constructivism (yes you should have seen the faces of my new buddies from AV and IT) aimed squarely at the audience, ie explained in terms of a kids book - Fish is Fish.

This books tells the story of "A tadpole and a minnow are underwater friends, but the tadpole grows legs and explores the world beyond the pond and then returns to tell his fish friend about the new creatures he sees. The fish imagines these creatures as bird-fish and people-fish and cow-fish and is eager to join them."

or, learning is based context and paradigm, enhanced through interactions, formative assessment, and discovery and intention. Did I hear someone say "metacognitive?"

I couldnt find the picture of the cow fish, but I am sure you all get the message.

The second seminar today was a comic masterpiece that I will try to do justice to later on today/ tonight or whatever.


gs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gs said...

(and now, an almost identical comment to the one i've just accidentally deleted)

i tried to find a picture of the cow-fish but because i'm digitally-distracted (copyright rodger, 2007) i couldn't get further than this picture of a cow-fish vending machine: cow and fish

shame the session didn't quite hit the spot - but at least you can feel smug that we do know what we're doing after all :)

joel and i are meeting with the learning hub folk next week, so we'll do our best to distil some of the educause stuff into our work with them. and if all else fails, we'll take them a cowfish pet for the hubs: cowfishes

Brian said...

If anyone is curious what the tins in the vending machine say, they are corned beef and oil sardines.

Joel said...

Liz, we may need to review our gift choice for the planned HUBS sabbatical. Apparently the Lactoria fornasini (Hawaiian Cowfish for the laypeople out there) produces a high pitched hum during mating. If our learning spaces are to become a "physical representation of our strategy for teaching and learning" then we might want to consider the pedagogical implications of having a persistently humming aquarium at Southborne.

Andrew Middleton said...

Sounds good to me. (...intended)
Is this a cheaper way of getting that white noise that aids thinking into the environment? I vote for cowfish mating.