What would an exciting learning environment be - digital or physical?
I would combine both in a third approach to learning environments. We have digital and physical learning environments, but also social learning environments - how the environment is socially constructed. I recently read an interesting article on the importance of the first school day and what the student sees when first stepping into the classroom.
I prefer teaching students in groups of two or four. Of course they sometimes work alone as well, but the main idea is social learning. Adolescent students come to school because their friends are there - they are rarely in school for school. We have to take into consideration that they want to be together, and so they should be given the possibility to learn together collaboratively. The classrooms must be modified for this need. If you visit a school, you can pretty quickly sense the school spirit - all you have to do is walk around for a bit, see what the classes are like and how students and teachers interact with each other.
Digital learning environments should of course be made use of. First I was confused as to why digital learning was integrated into primary schools, but now I understand why. I have seen how innovative teachers use technology to their advantage. In art, for example, they'll take a photo of the surrounding nature and then draw it to make it a bit different with their style of drawing. However, we are still expecting a breakthrough in how these technologies are used as a natural part of learning in secondary schools and higher education for example.
How learning happens is what's important. I often speak about social learning, hands-on learning and phenomenon based learning. Digitalization should be integrated with a pedagogical goal.
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