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Designing future learning spaces without a crystal ball

08 March 2018

15 years ago, if you had suggested that mobile phones would have touch screen technology without a number pad and keyboard, you would either have been laughed at or called Steve Jobs.

  • Designing future learning spaces
  • Designing future learning spaces

The technological era in which our students thrive as ‘digital natives’ is an exciting one, offering a wealth of opportunities for schools to grow and develop in innovative ways. However, scratch beyond this exciting veneer and you may uncover school leadership teams fraught with managing the changes ahead of them – which technologies should we be implementing in our schools, how do we train our staff and what should our learning spaces look like? The list goes on – building a successful learning technologies ecosystem is a process littered with pitfalls as well as compelling opportunities.

This process is well underway at BIS HCMC, but fortunately without a crystal ball of conjecture as we navigate a digital jungle of devices and classroom designs. At a recent conference for all Nord Anglia schools in South East Asia, I presented our approach to building our future learning environment at BIS, by looking to the past for inspiration.

In the 19th Century, Jean-Marc Côté conjected a vision for the year 2000 – his artwork adorned cigarette boxes for the Paris exhibition in 1900. His beguiling images are, on first inspection, fanciful and the technological devices depicted within them faux. However, look a little deeper and the principles behind his predictions are scarily accurate – increased mechanisation of tasks, our lives revolving around electricity, faster communication over space and time, to name but a few. Try and predict the technological device of the future and you will probably fail. Predict the area of learning you seek to enhance whilst understanding the principles behind it and you will probably be riding the crest of the technological wave.

At BIS HCMC we have developed our guiding principles for our future learning spaces with fully integrated learning technologies. I look forward to sharing them with you, not clouded in theoretical ether, but as concrete outcomes. One thing is for sure, we won’t be pausing for breath as material changes are implemented – the path to excellence is endless – take a break in the digital era and you’re back at the starting line.

Lee Falconer, Assistant Headteacher – Teaching and Learning