MyBlend RoundTable | Physical Learning Spaces

MyBlend RoundTable | Physical Learning Spaces

How should the physical environment of a blended classroom be designed?

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Tuesday, 01 July 2014.

We are excited to start a new adventure with our MyBlend RoundTable series! Our intent with this series is to bring panels of experts together to engage in deep discussions on blended learning topics. The first of these roundtables has been archived and can be viewed above.

The purpose of this roundtable was to explore how to design the physical environment of a classroom to maximize blended learning practices. Blended learning aims to strike a delicate balance between face-to-face and online interactions. Many teachers choose to use the online space for content delivery, student project workflow and communication with students and parents.

One great thing that comes from increased interactions in an online space is that students are given more autonomy to drive their learning forward at different speeds and direction, customizing their learning. With students taking greater ownership in these areas, they need a workspace that better facilitates their study habit needs. How do we design for these accommodations?

We were fortunate to learn from these great panelists:

  • Erin Mastin  - 1st Grade Teacher at Boyne City Elementary School, Boyne City, MI

  • Tara Maynard - 8th Grade Math Teacher, Creekside Middle School, Zeeland, MI

  • Sandra Sawaya - Instructor, MAET program, Michigan State University

  • Chris Stanley - High school English and 21st Century Literacy Teacher in Fraser, MI

On a personal note, I really enjoyed the opportunity to build relationships with these people as part of this discussion. They are all assets to their institutions and I look forward to furthering our conversations on this topic well into the future. After all, today was largely a think tank session. It's going to take much more than five voices to ensure all our students find themselves in learning environments that accommodate cutting-edge blended learning pedagogies. 

In other words ... this is not the end!

Make your voice heard:

How are you designing your physical learning spaces?

What ideas are you "stealing" or building upon that were shared by the panel members?

Write your thoughts in the comments below or link us to your reflection wherever you wrote it. We'll follow you there!

About the Author

Jeff Gerlach

Jeff Gerlach

Jeff Gerlach (@JGer1) is an instructional design coach for Michigan Virtual University. He works with teachers to design blended learning experiences for students through presentations, school partnerships, online courses and 1:1 coaching. He holds a master's degree in educational technology from Michigan State and has experience as a face-to-face teacher in the metro Detroit area where he blended his classroom for six school years.

Schedule an appointment with Jeff

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