Bookmarked Flexible Classrooms: Research Is Scarce, But Promising | Edutopia (Edutopia)
Classroom flexibility, isolated from other measured factors, appears to be roughly as important as air quality, light, or temperature in boosting academic outcomes.
What is interesting about this report is that rather than discussing furniture in isolation, it is considered as a part of a wider conversation about learning and environment.

Flexible classrooms are successful because they go hand in hand with a change in pedagogy.

The impact of flexible spaces though can be almost incidental at times, as is with the case of Maths:

Flexible, welcoming spaces had a startlingly large effect on learning in math—73 percent of the students’ progress that was attributed to classroom design was traced back to flexibility and student ownership. The reasons are a mystery, but Barrett and his team hazarded a guess: Academic subjects that provoke anxiety—in math, that’s a known issue—are better addressed in classrooms that feel comfortable and familiar to students.

This speaks of agency as much as it does of the chairs in the classroom.

Replied to Maths eats robots for breakfast - Issue 83 - Dialogic Learning Weekly  (Dialogic Learning)
Most of my week has been spent thinking about, advising on and reviewing future school designs. I have noticed the rising influence of the interior design of workplace on the aesthetic of secondary and senior learning spaces. It reminds me of this article outlining how WeWork (a co-working business) designs spaces using rich datasets and machine learning. I wonder if future schools will have responsive learning spaces based on similar sets of data about usage and pedagogy? It is not such a big leap, my home thermostat continually learns the patterns of how we heat the house and creates a schedule for us. Imagine a campus that can respond in a similar way to the patterns it predicts from how we use it.
Another great newsletter Tom.

I remember Ross Halliday focusing on what might be deemed as ‘IoT for education’ at GTASyd. It is an interesting space. I can see the potential for it in education, but at what cost? For what impact? Here I am reminded of Marshall McLuhan’s tetrid:

  • What does the medium enhance?
  • What does the medium make obsolete?
  • What does the medium retrieve that had been obsolesced earlier?
  • What does the medium reverse or flip into when pushed to extremes?

I recently finished reading Ben Williamson’s book on Big Data in Education. Although not solely on this topic, definitely relates and worth reading.