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Modern Learning Environments

Started by Lyn Ross 25 Nov 2013 9:58am () Replies (8)

Hi everyone,

I was recently in a discussion with two Palmerston North school leaders about their plans to set up a MLE in their school - starting 2014.  They are altering a block of classrooms to house all their Year 5 and 6 students as one group.   The teachers will be teaching & learning facilitators across the group.  A great deal of research (including school visits), and planning have gone into this initiative, with use being made of Mark Osborne and Derek Wenmoth's work and resources ( MLE videoesMLE Matrix) .  The matrix is very powerful (and useful!)

Are other schools in the Central South Region (or elsewhere) on this journey?  What have you seen that you liked? How did you organise your MLE?  How is your learning space designed? How have you developed teacher pedagogy?  ... What can you share?



  • James Rea (View all users posts) 26 Nov 2013 10:10am ()

    I am just exploring a new tool http://educanon.com. It alows teachers and more importantly children to create video tutorials, questions etc for any online video content. Great for staff pd. It time stamps the video and asks engages the viewer rather than a passive relationship for most video content. You can assign these as must do with dates to complete by etc. Has some potential.

  • Lyn Ross (View all users posts) 25 Nov 2013 8:59pm ()

    Thank you for posting, Fiona.  That sounds like a great start.  So,  new layout and furniture  ... do you have any photos?   In fact, photos from anyone in the region would be great!  And also specific planning  i.e.  'how are we making this work', 'what planning do we have in place?', would be good as well. (Please upload files)
    The first question: What is your driving force?  The second question: 'What teaching and learning strategies will make this  happen'?  Many NZ educators are interested.

  • Fiona Robertson (View all users posts) 25 Nov 2013 8:25pm ()

    At Mosston School  (Wanganui) we are currently remodelling our old cloak bay/ toilet area to an open planning learning space between two classes. We have got new furniture which will make it look inviting for the children. We will also have several computers that will also be placed in this area. Next year we are starting off by teaching reading together and cross grouping our children. 

    I really interested to see and hear what and how other schools are doing with their modern learning environments. How they are working with students (running programs) as well as what they are doing to support their teachers. 

    I think this is a very exciting journey to be on. Smile

  • Lyn Ross (View all users posts) 25 Nov 2013 8:07pm ()

    That's so exciting for the school, Megan!  What level are the  students?

    We tend to focus soley on pedgogy, but you've made some excellent points about community involvement - taking parents with you is vital ... and really, it can define success and failure.

     James - can you comment about your information to and liaison with the parents of Year 5 & 6 students at Russell Street School?

  • Megan Wilson (View all users posts) 25 Nov 2013 4:54pm ()

    We are also starting on this journey next year at Ashhurst School.  Although we won't begin until term two or three when our classrooms have been remodelled, we realise the importance of developing teacher understandings around this early on.  We see it as a great opportunity for the children as well as the teachers and are excited (as well as a bit nervous) about the changes that will occur.  I would be interested to see what other schools have done about helping build the partnership with the parent community around MLE's to ensure that parents feel informed, comfortable and motivated by the new look of education their child will be a part of.

  • James Rea (View all users posts) 25 Nov 2013 3:28pm ()

    We are commiting to taking our first steps with this next year. We have been working with developing our self directed learning for some time now and moving to children being true agents of their learning is a logical next step. The space we have isnt perfect but leds itself to the collaborative teaching and flexible learning we have seen in other schools and read about. Some of the readings that really got us started on our way are listed below. But it was a discussion with our leadership coach around the level of engagement, rigor and support that children working independantly had in a traditional single cell class were recieving that really ignited our thinking. We are very aware that it is not the space that drives the change but just enables this approach to learning to flourish. 


    NZC Issue 26 Future Focused Learning

    Modern Learning Environments

  • Gaylene (View all users posts) 25 Nov 2013 10:19am ()

    At Glenview (Porirua) we are beginning down this track. Our problem is that we are unable to change the classrooms as we are 2 storey and they have load bearing walls. However, we are enlarging a door way (to double) so we can open up between 2 rooms more easily. We will be changing the layout of these rooms (with this limited access between them) into "busy" areas, and "quiet areas". We have purchased standing height furniture, have bean bags (only 2 so far), floor pads, lowered our desks to kneeling height etc. We asked the children this term to set up the room as to how they want it. That was hugely successful once they understood what was needed within the room.

    The furniture makes it look nice, but the real emphasis is on the pedagogy. We have spent 2 years reviewing what we do, how we do it, etc and 1 teacher has demonstrated a total understanding of what is required so we have begun in his class this term. 

    The response from the students has been so positive & rewarding. They volunteer to keep going during their break times as the learning is meaningful to them. Laughing

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