I was just in Nebraska working with some online teachers at one of the best facilities I have ever experienced. From the offices that had defined areas, but no doors to the classrooms with polycom systems for distance learning, mobile laptop carts, and the ability to record entire lessons (with video capture, screen capture, audio capture and doc camera capture all rolled into one). This place had it all. Flexible learning spaces with comfortable chairs and movable tables. Rooms for robotics, rooms for networking instruction, rooms for nurse training, and an enormous area built for taking apart locomotives. This building was the space that I would love to call my learning space, my office space or any other type of space that they would let me use it for. It immediately made me think that I would like to get together with some very smart people and just let the space grow our creativity.
While I do believe that everyone should move in with the folks at ESU 13, my question literally is asking is there a space like that for everyone who wants one. Is there a space that is flexible for different types of projects? Is there a space for us to congregate and think through every struggle we have? Is there a space for us to try new things and to fail miserably, to get back up and fail again?
West Side Story aside, I would like to find those spaces that really are required by things that I want to do.
I will not be satisfied by the spaces that have been given to me. I will create the spaces that I would like to see. I will move chairs and tables. I will not sit in spaces that only allow for a certain type of meeting to take place. I will request the tools that I need to draw and to change what is on the screen. I will hang art and infographics. I will have both digital and analog interactive elements within my space. I will have huge whiteboard walls, if I have walls at all. I will move around and cause others to move around. I will have music. I will allow for privacy and transparency, glass, cameras and shades. I will light from the floor up and the walls in. I will allow for plugging in anywhere and projecting on anything. The front of the space will never be static, and the corners will have as much life as the middle. I will make this space because it doesn’t exist yet. I will make this space because that is where there is space for me. I hope that after I build it, you will come too.