February 16, 2015

New Learning Innovation Hub for Teacher Training

New Learning Innovation Hub for Teacher Training
By Holly Rittenhouse

Thanks to the Office of Educational Excellence and Steelcase Education Solutions, the Robert Bell Building at Ball State University is about to get a modern makeover. The wall between rooms 108 and 109 will be knocked down, and the new space will be redesigned into a Learning Innovation Hub (LIH) with new furniture and technology from Steelcase Education Solutions. This project is part of the Interactive Learning Space (ILS) Initiative in which TC 414 and TC 412 have already been refurbished with Steelcase products, and BB 109 is in the works to open fall 2015 with new equipment.
Figure 1
The LIH in Robert Bell will include Verb tables with Node chairs, individual whiteboards, Huddle boards, wall whiteboards with short throw projection, an Apple TV, and a Verb instructor’s desk. Gary Pavlechko, Director of Teaching Technology in the Office of Educational Excellence, says that this space “will accommodate our teacher education course enrollments. Inclusive to the room will be furniture and technology that promote active, engaged learning.” 

Gary Pavlechko
The Office of Educational Excellence recognizes the need for an updated teacher-training environment which better aligns with the pedagogy Ball State expects graduates to implement in K-12 classrooms. “Ball State University currently does not have a classroom primarily created for pre-service teachers to develop critical thinking around effective pedagogy for K-12 learners” says Pavlechko. “All too often, our pre-service teachers begin to learn about the practice of teaching while being lectured to – the typical teaching practice found in higher education. This is not the pedagogy we want to see these graduates implementing in the K-12 school environment,” he says. “It would be most important for our pre-service teachers to learn how to teach in an active learning space before they enter their practicum work in the K-12 classroom, as part of the teacher education curriculum.”

Steelcase Education Solutions works with educators and designers to improve the way classrooms function. They design flexible furniture and tools that support active learning. For example, the Verb tables and Node chairs support fast, easy transitions between various teaching modes, such as lecture, discussion, and project work so that class time is best utilized and students can stay engaged without interruption.
Figure 2
The Office of Educational Excellence expects this Learning Hub to accomplish three main objectives. Students of teacher education courses, taught in the Learning Innovation Hub, will…
  • participate in active learning methodologies, and in turn, be able to design active learning curricula, including long-term and short-term activities for K-12 students. 
  • use learning hub technology assets, during active learning experiences, and will be able to design similar activities for K-12 students.
  • participate in active learning curricula that are enhanced by space considerations.
Priority for utilizing the space will be given to “classes that directly affect teacher education and learning how to effectively teach in an active learning space,” says Pavlechko. To teach in the Learning Hub, faculty members must go through the ILS Initiative faculty development program. For further information on teaching in the Learning Innovation Hub or other ILS spaces on campus, click here.

The Office of Educational Excellence anticipates to finish the project and for courses to begin in the Learning Innovation Hub by fall semester 2015.

Figure 1 http://www.steelcase.com/en/products/category/educational/tables/overview/pages/verb.aspx
Figure 2 http://www.steelcase.com/en/products/category/educational/seating/node/pages/node.aspx

No comments:

Post a Comment