ICT suites have been a wonderful resource over the years, but the time has come to move away from them. With the implementation of mobile and personal devices being used to individualise the learning, I have found our suites becoming more and more obsolete.
Students are looking for space, but the space needs to be much more versatile than fixed PCs on benches. In looking at our KS1 spaces, I decided to ask the student tech leaders what they would like to see the learning spaces to look like. Unsure of the responses I armed them with paper, marker pens and absolutely no prompts other than what would you like to see in this space?
The results were interesting:
1. Interactive tables (although they called them digital tables)
2. Sofas and bean bags to work with friends
3. Tables or benches to sit at
4. Glass writing wall
5. iPad spaces
6. TV screen and Xbox Kinect
7. Karaoke (yes they are 5 and 6 years old!)
The same question was posed to teachers, with a much less enthusiastic response. It seems children are much more willing to accept change, they teachers were wondering how they teach ICT skills without a suite. What they didn’t realise, is they are already doing it with the mobile devices, they just haven’t had time to stop and reflect on it.
Having spent time reviewing what some primary schools are doing with their learning environments in NZ and Australia, it was time to move our spaces into the now! We have made a commitment to move with the children’s ideas, with changes beginning to take place over the next few months. Exciting times, innovative times!