Schools in Focus Podcast
Featuring Sue Ann Highland
PODCAST: Creating More Dynamic Learning Environments
Dynamic mastering environments are more active and engaging for students than the classic, factory-era model in which students sit facing the front of the classroom even though the teacher speaks. They are more most likely to assist students find out crucial 21st-century capabilities that are important for achievement in the workplace today, such as communication, collaboration, innovation, vital considering, and creativity—and they can lead to improved academic outcomes as nicely.
What is Dynamic Learning?
Kasey Bell, a former middle college teacher who is now an award-winning international speaker, author, blogger, podcaster, and digital mastering coach, defines dynamic learning as “learning characterized by constant change, activity, and progress.” Unlike static mastering, which is lacking in movement, action, or transform and is exemplified by worksheets and other “one-and-done” varieties of mastering activities, dynamic mastering “takes place organically,” Bell writes. It grows, evolves, and inspires students all through the year, with students “collaborating, creating, and communicating to demonstrate progress and mastery.”
“With digital tools that are available 24/7, the learning doesn’t have to stop when the bell rings, when the worksheet is turned in, or even when the school year ends,” she writes. “Learning can take on a life of its own and become dynamic.”¹ To assistance dynamic mastering, Bell observes, educators should think…
- Beyond the bell by fostering a mindset of lifelong mastering for students. Learning shouldn’t finish when the bell rings, she notes alternatively, students really should continue to find out, collaborate, and develop on their personal outdoors of college.
- Beyond the grade level and topic region by assisting students tap into passions and interests that are outdoors the expected curriculum.
- Beyond the classroom walls by connecting students with the bigger globe about them. For instance, students really should connect and collaborate with peers and topic matter specialists from about the globe, and they really should share and publish their work for a international audience.
- Beyond the tools by leveraging technologies to do more than just comprehensive classic tasks. Instead, students really should use digital tools to transform their mastering and take it to a deeper level.
- Beyond the due date date by encouraging students to continue their work even immediately after a project has been assessed. Thinking, mastering, and exploring shouldn’t come to a halt, Bell says, just since an assignment has been turned in.
Why the Learning Environment Matters — And Keys to Success
Dynamic mastering is active, engaging, and student-driven. It is typically framed about open-ended tasks and projects that have a sensible, genuine-globe application and are relevant to students’ lives.
To facilitate this type of mastering, teachers and students have to have the ideal type of physical atmosphere. For instance, it is tough for students to work collectively on projects when they are seated at person desks facing the front of the classroom.
This is not just popular sense. It’s supported by analysis that establishes a clear connection among the style of the mastering atmosphere and the sort of mastering that happens there. A study at the University of Minnesota discovered that classrooms created to facilitate active mastering led to more collaborative group work and significantly less lecturing, even amongst courses taught by the similar instructor working with the similar procedures and components.²
The Six Instructional and Design Elements Support Dynamic Learning
One way to assistance dynamic mastering is to generate different “learning zones,” or separate places to accommodate diverse sorts of activities. For instance, a mastering space could have a single region that is utilised for compact-group collaboration, with tables that can assistance from two to 5 students. Another section could be a quiet, reflective location for students to study or work individually, with soft, comfy seating. A third section could possibly be a committed makerspace with tables that include constructed-in storage for supplies and components. Each zone would be equipped with furnishings and components that are proper for that certain type of mastering.
Giving students alternatives in exactly where to sit, and encouraging them to move about and sit in diverse areas as they work on different tasks, enables them to sit exactly where they really feel most comfy and can finest comprehensive the job at hand. It also assists them take ownership of their mastering, which is an vital engagement method.
If an workplace employee is working on a project and wants to go over it with a colleague, the pair could possibly move to a conference area with a big table and whiteboard space for brainstorming. If an employee is undertaking analysis, he or she could possibly appear for a cozy spot to settle in and study. It’s the similar notion for students. With versatile seating, they can pick the finest mastering zone and sort of seating to assistance their person preferences and the sort of activity they are working on.
For flexible seating to work, students have to have alternatives in exactly where to sit and work, such as classic or standing desks, stools that rock back and forth, and beanbag chairs or other comfy seating solutions. In addition, teachers have to have to establish some standard ground guidelines. Here is some suggestions on how to method versatile seating effectively in the classroom.
Furniture that can be moved about very easily and configured in many methods tends to make it easier for students to engage in different varieties of mastering activities—allowing them to generate, collaborate, share, reflect, or find out individually, in compact groups, or as an complete class as preferred.
For instance, the NeoMove 2 Chair from Classroom Select is excellent for transitioning immediately from entire-group mastering to compact-group collaboration or independent study. Its sturdy casters enable for smooth movement and rotation, and an open-access base enables for generous bottom storage—including a water bottle holder. A distinctive tablet arm swivels to accommodate each left- and ideal-handed students.
This Contemporary Collaboration Desk is an adjustable-height desk on casters, generating it quite effortless to move about the room—and its octagonal shape enables for many configurations. The SimpleStack Desk is lightweight and can be very easily stacked out of the way to generate further floor space. The NeoSync device creates an immediate, ergonomic workspace out of any chair just by putting it on the chair’s surface.
By giving environments that are comfy and versatile, students turn out to be more prepared to find out. Students have to have to really feel comfy and welcome in their atmosphere to really feel they are prepared to find out. When they are prepared and ready for mastering, they are more invested in their mastering. This investment enables them to be more extremely engaged with their teacher, the content, and other students. Human connection is crucial to larger achievement.
Think holistically about the atmosphere. Focus not just on the style of classrooms, but also hallways, cafeterias, media centers, outside spaces, and other popular places in schools. One of the central ideas of dynamic mastering is that it requires location any time, anyplace, with mastering occurring naturally outdoors of class. With cautious arranging, K-12 leaders can make powerful use of shared spaces all through their buildings to assistance higher-good quality mastering beyond the classroom.
To assistance anytime, anyplace mastering and connectivity, students have to have readily readily available energy sources and WiFi access all through the developing. Nothing stops digital mastering quicker than a dead battery. To stop disruption to mastering, think about obtaining furnishings with constructed-in energy supplies and ports for connecting peripheral devices. You can also add charging capabilities to any tabletop surface with the Clamp Mount Power Accessory from Classroom Select. This uncomplicated device consists of two AC energy outlets and two USB ports, and it adjusts to match tabletops up to a single and a half inches thick.
Bring Learning to Life
Dynamic mastering is just as it sounds: more engaging and active, bringing mastering to life. To assistance this sort of instruction, students have to have the ideal type of mastering atmosphere. By following this suggestions, you can generate extremely powerful dynamic mastering environments that lead to improved student outcomes.
To find out how School Specialty’s Projects By Design division can assist you style more dynamic mastering environments that properly assistance active and engaging mastering, contact (800) 305-0174, e mail [email protected], or visit our website today.
1 Bell, Kasey. “Move from a Static Classroom to a Dynamic Classroom.” Shakeup Learning (weblog), April 17th, 2017, /shakeuplearning.com/weblog/ move-from-a-static-classroom-to-a-dynamic-classroom/
2 Brooks, D. Christopher. “Space and consequences: The impact of different formal learning spaces on instructor and student behavior.” Journal of Learning Spaces [Online], 1.2 (2012): n. pag. Web. 24 Aug. 2021
Explore Flexible Seating Options
Giving students versatile seating solutions not only gets them moving—it also builds ownership of their education, empowering them to make positive alternatives for their personal mastering. When students are comfy and happy, they can keep focused and keep on job. We’ve gathered a collection of revolutionary seating options to assist you engage students and facilitate every single style of mastering.
Dr. Sue Ann Highland
Sue Ann Highland, Ph.D., is the National Education Strategist for School Specialty. She has more than 25 years of knowledge as an educator, administrator, and consultant with college systems across the United States.
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