Dr. Yotam Hod Leads an International Panel of Experts to Guide the Concept and Design of Future Learning Spaces
(Feb 17, 2016)
What should the future of classrooms look like? This is the key question asked by University of Haifa, Faculty of Education researchers who are involved in the LINKS I-CORE Center for Research Excellence Future Learning Spaces project.
To advance scholarship on Future Learning Spaces, these researchers are involved in an ongoing effort to design, construct and explore their own Future Learning Space. The space will enable cutting-edge research in the intersection of pedagogy, technology and space, and will also serve as a model to guide the design of other spaces across Israel, and the development of appropriate curricula, while partnering with schools and NGO education organizations such as World Ort Kadima Mada. The space, which will be ready by the Fall 2016 semester, will be located on the first floor of the Faculty of Education building.
This effort is vital today as schools and institutions invest large sums of money to redesign their spaces, but often do so without integrating the new designs so that they support modern pedagogical approaches, collaborative technologies, and the learning of specific subject matter. Spaces that fail to be based on principles of learning may be fanciful, but risk having no positive effect on deepening students’ learning.
To advance the notions and practice of Future Learning Spaces, Dr. Yotam Hod, project director, organized an international panel of experts which served as the closing session at the 11th annual Chais Conference for the Study of Innovation and Learning Technologies, at the Open University in Israel.
After an introduction by Dr. Hod, four international panelists joined through teleconference to share their research on Future Learning Spaces. The experts included Prof. Jianwei Zhang (SUNY Albany), Dr. Elizabeth Charles (Dawson College), Prof. Jim Slotta (Univ of Toronto), and Prof. Scott McDonald (Penn State Univ). Each of these researchers has been engaging in multi-year research on their Future Learning Spaces. A summary of each talk as well Dr. Hod’s introduction can be seen on this website.
Dr. Yotam Hod, who brought together the international panel, introducing the conference closing panel
Four international experts on Future Learning Spaces presented their research through teleconference for the closing session of the 11th annual Chais Conference
Following the presentations, Prof. Dani Ben-Zvi, Prof. Tamar Weiss, and Prof. Yael Kali of the LINKS I-CORE Center joined the stage for a discussion with the audience. In the words of Prof. Zhang, the panel entailed “wonderful coordination and leadership” by Dr. Hod. It led to many “thought provoking” ideas, as described by Prof. McDonald on this collection of “really interesting work.” This was a sentiment echoed by the audience in the main Chais Auditorium. Vered Silber-Varod, on behalf of the conference organizers, wrote that “the panel was very successful in every possible way.”
The panel discussion included four LINKS I-CORE members who were joined by the four international experts via live teleconference
This group will continue their international collaboration by presenting a research symposium at the International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) in Singapore in June, 2016, to be co-led by Dr. Hod and Dr. Charles. They will be joined by several other international experts including Prof. Manu Kapur (The Hong Kong Institute of Education) and Katerine Bielaczyc (Clark University).