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School Design

Tomorrow's Learners Today feature at the BETT 2007 Educational Technology Show, London

BETT, the Educational Technology Show takes place at between 11th and 14th January 2007. The show attracts some 28,000 visitors bringing together the global teaching and learning community. It really is the place to be. The show usually features a good mix between experienced exhibitors and presenters in the field of educational technology.

The feature stand this year is "Tomorrow's Learners Today" and is supported by DfES and Partnership for Schools amongst others.

When technology can do anything we wish, says Professor Stephen Heppell, the question becomes: What should we wish for?

The stand is divided into two. One half will showcase a school each day. Pupils on the stand will be surveying visitors and exhibitors about their ideas on future schooling. At the end of each day, the results from the surveys will be announced.

  • Lampton School, Hounslow (on Wednesday)
  • Homewood School, Kent (on Thursday)
  • Castle Manor Business and Enterprise College, Haverhill (on Friday)
  • Edensor Technology College, Longton Stoke (on Saturday)

The other half of the stand will feature BETT Brains - and will consist of leading experts on the design of future schools. Many Building Schools for the Future (BSF) case studies will be presented over the four days and the presenters include:

  • Peter Wain, Becta,
  • Mike Rumble, QCA,
  • Hannah Jones, NCSL
  • Kate Stewart, Learning Designer, TeamAgogo
  • Carole Chapman, Notschool - Virtual Learning
  • Dan Sutch, Futurelab

... along with several representative from Partnership for Schools (PfS) and not forgetting Stephen Heppell presenting daily. I will also be on the stand talking about my work with Stepping Stones School on Friday and Saturday, so please do come along and meet me on the stand, D62.




You can read more about the feature stand.

If you want to see what went on last year, take a look at the BETT 2006 Review movie

School Design meeting

I attended another school design meeting today at Warwick School for Boys in Walthamstow. I presented some of our CABE research and showed them some of our case study schools... this stimulated a good discussion about what some of the issues are regarding the design of a new school.

Our discussion broadly covered these issues...

  • Future technology.... mobile phones, portable computers, smart cards, PDAs
  • Curriculum design.... teacher-led, personalised learning, workplace learning, university studies
  • Building design.... classroom size, utilisation, ownership, corridors, toilets

What was clear that these couldn't be discussed in isolation since the learning spaces can depend on the organisation of the curriculum, and both the design of the building, curriculum and technology

Again, involving stakeholders in the design of the school is well understood. In fact, the Head and her team understood lots about school design having been involved in this process for some months now. She was keen that I should meet the children who are on the school design panel (this is in addition to the School Council.)

One thing is clear, we need to plan for the certainty of uncertainty. This requires us to be creative about building flexibility into the design of future schools and how both the curriculum and technology is implemented.


School Design scenario building


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