Dat Physical and Pedagogical Shift

I never thought I would put the word “dat” and “pedagogical” in the same title– blogging is the best.

I want to talk a little bit about my 21st century classroom.  I (with a ton of help of Michelle Morley) submitted a proposal to create an innovative, sustainable, and responsive learning environment for high school students.  The physical environment I designed was not specific to my teaching habits, but rather to what improves student learning. Math teacher? ELA teacher? Elementary teacher? You would be able to walk into my classroom and utilize the technology and environment to suite whatever subject you teach.  
Teacher Desk View

I wanted the space to be dynamic + collaborative = enter technology. Technology allows students to demonstrate their knowledge in multiple ways and collaborate. Technology allows me to take a step back from teaching and learn alongside my students, providing them with support and guidance when necessary.

My classroom has six whiteboards which encourages flexible grouping.  Students also have the opportunity to become the teacher and share what knowledge their group has discussed. Chromecast allows students to wirelessly connect their Chromebooks to TVs so everyone can see collaborate Google docs, presentations, or videos that are being viewed. It also allows me to see the progress students make quickly and efficiently.

Tables and Chromecast

I’m still a new teacher and won’t pretend like I constantly have assignments that are innovative and CHANGE THE LIVES OF MY STUDENTS FOREVER. Some of my lessons don’t work the way I want them to, but it’s all part of a learning process. I have experienced some amazing learning taking place inside and outside my classroom (pictures in below tweet).

The beauty of having such a collaborative environment is that I can continuously innovate and adapt assignments to fit (and change) this responsive space. I have no doubt that feedback I receive from students, whether it be gauging their level of engagement or the Google Forms where I straight up ask for feedback/ideas to improve, will keep evolving my practice and foster active participation.

Teacher Desk POV

Special thanks to Michelle Morley, Alec Couros, and Katia Hildebrant for helping me design this space. Also need to give a major shout out to Brandon Needham and Darren Wandy for believing in my crazy ideas and making this entire thing possible with your support!!

– Koskie Out!

**If anyone has ideas to help utilize what is available in my classroom, please comment below! :)

8 thoughts on “Dat Physical and Pedagogical Shift

  1. I must say that this classroom is undeniably ingenious. I looks like anything but the “traditional classroom.” Mind you, I think it would be a step forward if we began thinking of this as the “traditional classroom.” In particular, I appreciate the lack of colour on the walls, which may come as a surprise. Regardless of whether or not the students are five years old or fifteen, science supports the need for a focused-environment (See Psychological Science: Visual Environment, Attention Allocation, and Learning in Young Children by Fisher, Godwin, and Seltman), one free from distraction and as focused as possible. I believe you have successfully modelled this notion. Was it on purpose? Did you choose to do so? Or, was it simply coincidence? Again, great work on this amazing classroom. I’d love to see it in action!

    • Hello Vanessa,

      Thank you! A lot of time and effort went into creating this space. In regards to your question about the walls, you hit the nail on the head. The Good Spirit School Division believes in the focused-environment and the intention was for it to have no distractions for students. The principal at MCS wanted to create a neutral-coloured space so my classroom was painted last year (previously a blue colour) , and the posters I put up are catered towards higher grades.

  2. I’m afraid to admit it, but I would be a little intimidated by your classroom as a teacher. Intimidated in a good way I suppose. I think it would be amazing to have a classroom like that but coming from a classroom where I still use an old school overhead projector (yes, the ones with the transparencies) and no Smartboard, I would be a little overwhelmed. My school is a private school and we don’t have a lot of funding so we are quite far behind when it comes to technology. I would love to step out of my comfort zone…and into the 21st century though. Maybe someday I will have a classroom that is more suited for the 21st century.

    • It’s definitely different from the traditional way we were taught. I still need to find a balance between direct instruction and facilitating learning. I’m hoping that comes with time and critical reflection; I’m currently teaching new classes (ELA) too, so I’m also trying to become familiar with the ELA curriculum this year. Next year I hope to develop some really engaging assignments that utilize this space.

      I think it’s normal to be uncomfortable with this. After all, education is always evolving and this is all new to us. That’s kind of the beauty of education though; it only becomes stagnant if you want it to. I’ll be interested to see if my classroom is outdated in 10 years. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

  3. As a new teacher, I can really appreciate the scale of this undertaking. You’re clearly committed to what is best for kids. They are lucky to have you!

  4. Pingback: Damn, Koskie! Back At It Again….. – KATHERINE KOSKIE

  5. Pingback: Back At It Again | KATHERINE KOSKIE

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