This week in CEP 811, our challenge is to design a 21st-century classroom following the principles of Experience Design. Tedde van Gelderen describes Experience Design as something we encounter every day. We all have experiences as we live our daily lives. He relates these experiences to four specific qualities: time, flow, participation, and emotion (van Gelderen, 2009). Although van Gelderen does not explicitly mention education in his examples of Experience Design, a classroom, school, or educational setting can certainly fit into “an experience.” Considering these principles of Experience Design along with using the SketchUp software, our task is to deeply consider the environments in which students attend school and how conducive they are for learning to take place.
Last school year, my 2nd grade classroom was a typical square room with desks aligned in rows facing the front whiteboard. It came equipped with only one school computer for the students to use, although I did have an interactive Smart Board and document camera. I believe my classroom was very conducive for student learning, but there were two disadvantages that stand out to me. First, my classroom always felt overcrowded. With twenty-five students and the constant transitions that take place at the elementary level, it always felt cramped and congested. Second, with only one student computer for twenty-five students, I was always scheduling trips to the computer lab and making use of the Smart Board. We did the best we could with the resources available to us, but I always thought there was more I could do if I had just one more computer or even access to laptops. As a result, I formulated a plan to solve these two problems and make learning easier in my elementary classroom.
My plan for restructuring my 2nd grade classroom would be very simple. Instead of desks aligned in rows facing the front whiteboard, I would take out the desks and put five round tables in with five students at each table. I believe this would promote more group work and collaboration among students. Relating to the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, incorporating tables for students instead of desks would help with the interpersonal area where students learn from interaction with others to communicate effectively and empathize easily with others. With desks, in contrast, students were much more on their own and not learning from others. Moreover, in dealing with the problem of having only one student computer, I would keep the one computer and buy a tablet for the students to use as well. This would be cheaper in price, and it would allow students to access it in different places around the classroom. Since our entire school is equipped with Wi-Fi, students would be able to sit on the carpet, for example, and play educational games. Relating to Experience Design, this would create a much better flow in the classroom, for students would be able to sit comfortably wherever they wanted instead of always being confined to one specific area.
Much effort and many resources would likely be needed to accomplish this change to my 2nd grade classroom. I, along with my students, could fund-raise to be able to afford the tablet and five new tables and chairs. In addition, teacher grants are always available, and I could apply for one to get the resources I needed. Our school P.T.O. (Parent Teacher Organization) is always a great resource that helps with supplying classrooms. Overall, factoring in the tablet and five tables and chairs, I would need around $700 to make my design a reality. I believe my design is completely realistic, and it could help improve student learning tremendously. You can see my embedded imagined learning space below.
Experience Design. (2013, July 29). Retrieved on August 4, 2013 from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experience_design
Van Gelderen, T. [ChangSchool]. (2010, February 9). Tedde van Gelderen on Experience Design [Video File]. Retrieved on August 4, 2013 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB4VFKn7MA4#at=40