So as promised (a while ago) my school’s journey from a traditional ICT suite of rows of computers to a ‘Discovery Centre’ fit for the 21st century. Taking a cue from my 5 year vision for ICT (unbelievably a year to the day of posting on here)
Here’s a picture of the original ICT suite, complete with rows of desktop computers and an obligatory interactive whiteboard at the front. The senior management team felt that the suite didn’t properly represent the school’s creative ethos, didn’t reflect our vision of learning and wasn’t capable of delivering the future curriculum needs of our pupils.
So we started gathering ideas from pupils about what ‘future learning’ might look like and what they needed to make it happen. We asked staff about what they thought was needed to teach a future curriculum and did a lot of research! Most of the ideas pointed to a place that combined research, books, science, technology and computing. A place where several activities could happen at once-a science experiment, building a robot, finding out about asteroids or just reading a book. A ‘movable’ place where everything could be easily moved-technology, furniture and resources. A place large enough to teach a whole class, comfortable enough to learn with a small group and snug enough to learn in private.
So we came up with our ‘Discovery Centre’ a multi-curricular, multi-discipline, multi-technological headquarters. So what tech do we have?Two multi-touch screen TV’s, two multi-touch interactive whiteboards, a laptop trolley, WiFi and the obligatory iPads. Our school library is based in the centre, so are our Science resources.We have ‘zoned’ the room into five areas-Experiment and Investigate, Research and Development, Explore and Explanation, Read and Relaxation, and Wet Zone. This doesn’t limit the learning that takes place in these ‘zones’ merely highlights what resources are available there.
We even have a secret reading den!
Wybourn Discovery Centre on PhotoPeach
Here’s a plan to see exactly what it looks like.
Yes it’s quite a transformation and yes it did cost a great deal of money (30,000 English Pounds!) and yes it really is the same room as the top photograph!I am really pleased with the results and the pupils love it too, already we have had some outstanding teaching and learning using the Discovery Centre. I can’t help feeling that in few years time it’ll all seem ‘old hat’! What do you think?
This video by Melinda Kraft about teaching in the 21st Century inspired me.www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"