Monday, 4 March 2013

The Importance of Learning Outside of the Classroom

Last week, we discussed innovation in the classroom and the importance of influential mentors to help shape our ideas, encourage us to dream big and the courage to take risks and try again. This week Alicia Bedard provides some great insights from field with how our students can engage in a rich learning experience outside the classroom.
Guest Blog: Alicia Bedard

Drab beige walls, grey commercial grade flooring, the hum of incandescent lights fill your ears while sunlight from a small window filters into the corner of the room. Where are you? If you guessed a classroom – you’re right! Other acceptable answers include a retirement home, on a bus and an airport waiting area, none of which are particularly engaging or inspiring. As a child of the late 80’s, this is how I remember my learning environment.

Some of my fondest memories from my formative education are from experimental learning outside of the classroom – competing on a sports team, performing in the choir, volunteering at a homeless shelter and going on field trips. All of these activities provide real-life experience and create framework for lifelong learning (both inside and outside of the traditional classroom).

What’s changed?
Major technological innovations have been introduced to many classrooms over the last 10-15 years. Most students have access to computers, tablets, mobile devices, flat screen televisions and smart boards. The way in which a student accesses learning has changed drastically, ultimately enhancing the learning experience. However students are still stuck in the same room. (probably with the same paint)