This past weekend as I was preparing to teach my students about facilities and designing a school library learning environment I revisited the 7 Spaces of Learning and how these apply to the school library. These include: Secret Spaces, Group Spaces, Watching Spaces, Performing Spaces, Participation Spaces, Publishing Spaces, and Data Spaces.
Matt Locke first came up with the concept of the Six Spaces of Social Media and then Ewan McIntosh, a European expert in digital media for public services, and his team team added a seventh, Data Spaces. They have taken this idea of digital spaces -where we interact and with whom we interact with in each space and have defined what that would look like in a physical environment. Here is a 15 minute video explaining these thoughts:
The Seven Spaces of Technology in School Environments from NoTosh on Vimeo.
They have explored how education can harness these spaces to not only meet the needs if their current students and existing practices but as “influencers of future practice” by providing spaces for projects and learning in the future.
In class this week as we discussed meeting the needs of our learners it was interesting to see how the various modalities of learning including, independent study, peer tutoring, team collaborative work, one on one learning, lecture format/teacher centered, hands on project based learning, technology based learning, distance learning, research, presentation, performance, social, and emotional, seem to align with the 7 Spaces of Learning.
Collaborative and social learning are important aspects of 21st education and are prominent in the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner as well. School libraries are becoming more and more places for teams to work together formally and informally, but the question arises – are we providing students with the right environment where they can work and learn collaboratively?
And are we asking students for their input? See what happens when a third grade teachers asks her students to design their Secret Space.