Educational Environment
of the Future

Bulletin Board

What is different today than yesterday? What opportunities are available today - what would you like to do tomorrow in your classrooms that you are not doing now?"

This is an opportunity for those of you interested in exploring and incorporating engaged learning techniques into your classroom curriculum. The primary goal is to engage all of you in learning to your fullest potential. In groups, you will initially be involved in designing the perfect school environment of the future. Throughout this simulation as a participant, you will be engaged in an authentic "engaged learning" activity. Through the development of the future learning environments, you and your team will also be involved in learning various aspects of the indicators of engaged learning and best use of technology for the classroom, as well as have the opportunity to design your vision.. Ultimately you will design a unit for your own curriculum and students based on the engaged learning model and best use of technology.

What will the classroom of the future look like? If you could have anything in your classroom that you wanted and teach any way you thought best for student learning and preparation for life in the 21st century, what would you want to see?

In collaborative groups you will design a learning environment that matches attributes you will define to take our youth into the 21st century. Using current technologies you will interact with team members, experts, and your facilitator through the Internet. Research, data collection and posting of work will be done online.

Finally, you and your team will develop a web-based presentation for the AFT and NEA. Use your research to justify and support the vision of your learning environment.

Phase 1
Form collaborate groups and brainstorm what a learning environment would look like if you had no constraints put on you. List what you would like to have and what you would leave out. When all groups are finished you will share your list with the whole class.

Phase 2
Identify the team you wish to work with for the Educational Environment of the Future project. Working with your team select the attributes from the brainstormed list that would fit in with your vision of a new learning environment. Add any traits that you think are lacking.

Phase 3
What are some ways you can research the key traits for your new learning environment? Identify current, accurate, easily accessible avenues to gather your information. Don't forget to go to the resource link provided for your use

You and your group may look at many sites on the web, email colleagues and schools across the country for information, and talk with educational experts both on the web and on the telephone. Group members may choose to chat with each other at prearranged times throughout the week to keep each other posted about their findings.

Research all information necessary to formulate a plan for your educational environment. You may wish to see the project rubric to give you some tips for your research.

Phase 4
Develop your Educational Environment of the Future plan. If you would like to use an electronic mind map, go to the site that can provide you with Inspiration. Include all key attributes your team deemed vital to the plan. Review the presentation rubric to prepare for you presentation. Be sure to include electronic, human and hard copy sources in your project.

Phase 5
Present your plan to the class. Your projects will be diverse and interesting to share. Learning that engages students may be evident in your project. You and your group will have the opportunity to rate not only your own project but presentations from other groups as well by using the student rubric. .
Remember to site all sources electronic, human and hardcopy.

Phase 6
Some of the key features of Engaged Learning include: encouraging students take more responsibility for learning and learn to problem solve, learning takes place in all four learning styles, learning is real and not artificial, collaboration with communities and other students is encouraged, adequate space is available for working, and technology plays a much larger role in learning. You will have the opportunity to analyze existing lessons for some of the traits.

Phase 7
Assessment is ongoing. We will be looking at your weekly journal entries, where you respond to our questions and reflect on what you have done for the day. We will also be continuously looking at the notes and research you keep in your individual participant journals. During class periods, we will collect assessment data by observing each of you at work within your groups, as well as when you report out to the group/class, post information in the bulletin board for all to see, respond to others' posting, and your participation in chat sessions.

Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.

Author(s): Barbara Holdiman, Gina Keifer, and Lucianne Sweder
Lincoln-Way High School District 210, New Lenox, IL
Lockport High School District 205, Lockport, IL
Professional Development Alliance/Regional Office of Education for Will and Grundy/Kendall Counties, Joliet, IL
Learning Technology Center One South, Joliet, IL
Created: February 25, 2001 - Updated: March 25, 2001