Thinking about CHANGEd: What if national organizations created conferences like the classrooms for which many advocate? 60-60-60 #4 and reflecting…

If a fairly traditional medical school secured the financial support to overhaul its century-old educational approach and create a 21st century learning studio, what’s holding us back? If Georgia Tech can re-envision the academic crossroads of their 127 year old campus and create a transformative and sustainable learning environment, what are we waiting for?

Sir Ken Robinson argues in his famous Schools Kill Creativity TED Talk that we must “innovate fundamentally in education.” Interestingly, the theme of the most recent educational conference I attended was innovation. Yet the chairs were physically locked together in rows in every breakout room I visited.

I love this Framework for 21st Century Learning created by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. We spend so much time thinking about Standards and Assessments, Curriculum and Instruction, and Professional Development. But why are we ignoring our Learning Environments — why are we waiting for the trickle-down effect from higher ed? Why aren’t we building these spaces for adult learning and also for our PK-12 students? Could NAISAC14 take place in a conference center (or school) which featured varied spaces for learning? Instead of a traditional conference center, what about a learning space that was more like a library, lab, and lounge combined?


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