Have you developed total new learning environments and places?
We found and discovered quiet nice place – the Learning Bus.
Our 3rd grade students and our teachers had common bus drive to Helsinki. Students had their Studia expo, where they joined and explored postgraduate studies like academic universities and universities of applied science round the Finland.
Teachers visited the Finnish
National Board of Education http://www.oph.fi/english and one of the very famous Finnish coaching company Trainers’ House http://www.trainershouse.fi/en/Services/Philosophy.aspx .
So we both had plenty of time to spend together in bus. We should have more time together with students and of course with staff. Having common experiences, ideas, thoughts and discussions we will build our community. It is obviously that schools should go outside of the school like companies, authorities, organizations and so on.
We had three iPads 2 (3G) with us. Some of our teachers have used iPads few months but most of our group did not have any experiences about these devices. So our experienced teachers show the benefits of iPads and let others use tablets. This teacher to teacher mentoring helped everyone understand the basics of these marvellous devices. At the same time we show Facebook, Twitter, blogs and some teaching applications. Everybody was very pleased about mentoring and learned something in very short time.
Secondly we had possibility to tell learning stories during bus drive. Students and teachers could tell didactic, educational or other informative stories in their lifes, hobbies, memories, schools or homes. We must encourage students and teachers tell more stories. People connect, affect and rely more stories than texts. Digital storytelling in one new way of telling stories with photos and videos. Still oral storytelling is crucial.
This kind of Learning bus -method has got lot of good points and potentials :
-in bus we had almost eight hours to work and learn
-everybody was in same room and very near by
-discussion and dialogue was easy with your sitting companion
-telling stories is great
-sharing with students and teachers
-learning each other
-have fun and jokes
-build a learning tribe