Thursday, July 30, 2009

Restructuring Schools Through Design - Think CCHS Library!

Raw Notes
Session #9
Alan November, Restructuring Schools Through Design

Washington International School
Student News ActionNetwork - example of publishing facilitated by librarian - a global Ning

Future University, Hakodate, Japan

Build libraries to:
  • big presentation space (big screen)
  • internet capabilities for presentations
  • social and engaging space
  • global communication center
  • librarian - global communication facilitator - get beyond the limits of paper, connecting children to the real world, design to build connection to authentic audience around the world. Cameras, high speed, big bandwidth pipe, projecting people out to the world from the library.
  • role of educator is global communication facilitator
  • library on first floor, own entrance, accessible at all times by students and communities
  • library open on weekends, open at night, equity issues so kids can stay late. Flex time for librarians to have flexible hours and support.
"Don't build a new, old building."
Build different kinds of spaces in library.
  1. global communication center
  2. online learning center - kids can go there to take courses from all over the world. Facilitate whole courses in the library. Librarian as course-broker.
  3. smaller spaces for small group work - (multi-media design center, noisy and messy) studios for creating content. Studios for 12/8/4/4 group sizes. Each space should have its own story/purpose.
Emerging use of library - place for students to create. Revolution of the Internet - everyone learns to publish. Kids need to make added value, make the world better, smarter. Library should be center for where this happens. Small, intimate design labs - really great idea! Collaborative spaces. Glass walls for social kids as well as supervision. Noisy environment. Mix of mediums needed to make these global connections (books, web, tech tools, e-tools, projectors, diverse spaces). Make sure technology infrastructure is easy to use and not easy to screw up.

Learning Commons - all IT people have offices in library. IT people out of labs and into classrooms to work with teachers. "Easier to build a computer lab than take one apart." - Alan November.

High Tech High, San Diego - examples of beautiful design
Learning.com - design examples - give every kid their own computer and cubicle to personalize
3 years and millions to build this space. Kids were not self-disciplined enough to work at their own space and get things done. Role of teacher was to move and kids sits still. Kids didn't want to work on their own in their own space. Didn't work. Tore it down and started again. Reverted back to classrooms and it is going well. Built glass walls so maintained some transparency, HUGE hallways, student art, murals. Moral: whatever school you build won't work.

What does work in good design? Good space planning for community. Daily get-togethers by grade level. Kids take big leadership roles. Games, team and community building, based on responsive classrooms.

Chairs - pilates balls aka Swiss balls
Teacher designed standing desk

Family / Community
Scotland - abolished Education Dept, merged with Health & Family Services. One organization serves the entire family, and education is a sub-set of family services.
MET School, Providence RI - poverty stricken area, high test scores, school every other day, because they are in the community working. Campus divided by roads, so community drives through the campus. Campus not cut off from community. Embedded in school are offices for health and human services to encourage families to incorporate into their life.

Big Picture Company - Architect / educational consultant that also supports school for future years. "Transforming education - one student at a time." Architect understands curriculum.

Merging family service - put public library in school (!) - don't like this idea. Pedophiles and oddballs would love this idea. Different missions.

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