The Power of the e-Space

The power of the internet is amazing.  What we can learn from the knowledge gained from reading, researching and browsing can change our lives, as it did for William Kamkwamba.  He lived in Malawi, in Africa.  He was poor and lived with his family on a farm growing Maize for a living.  When famine hit in 2001/2002, it propelled him to do something for his family. He was introduced to the internet, where he read how to build a windmill, irrigate his crops, provide electricity for his family, and ultimately improve his life, and the life of the people he loved.  Watch his TED talk here.

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Reflective Post

I have gained a lot from studying EDFD459 The Learning Space, which given me new understandings and perceptions of learning spaces.  I no longer want to limit the possibilities with my class, my students.  I want to open up possibilities by promoting ownership of learning amongst the learners in my care.

As a teacher, learning spaces have an impact on my teaching practice. The immediate impact I can think of is the fact that I need to step back more and allow students to discover for themselves, take ownership of their own learning, and see the product of this in their work and learning growth.

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I’m not sure if my classroom will look quite like this next year, but I’ll take my first steps towards improving the learning spaces of my class.

Learning spaces of the future may entail a move beyond the four walls of the classroom, and venturing out into spaces which can motivate and enrich their learning.  I believe it is becoming more and more evident that many students are simply bored at their desk, focussing on the teacher, and listening to what the teacher would like them to soak up from whiteboard or from a worksheet.

Learning today involves more – excursions, inspiring spaces to think and imagine, e-spaces where learning can occur at the learning pace of the individual student. All these options allow students to work collaboratively or individually, to suit their needs and requirements as learners.

As a result of EDFD459, I’m going to be taking ideas back to my classroom to allow students the opportunity to be challenged to take ownership of their learning.  I certainly will utilise the e-space more, by working and collecting work samples via the internet.  I will also take a good look at possible learning spaces around the school, which can be used as a more comfortable and motivating place to think, calculate and work.

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