What’s a Learning Studio?
Learning Studios are designed to engage students in powerful learning experiences. A visitor to a Learning Studio will observe that:
- Students are deeply engaged in learning;
- Students demonstrate ownership of their learning;
- Students understand the value of taking on another perspective;
- Students understand that systems and products could be designed differently;
- Students take action to improve their local and global communities.
In the Learning Studio, students develop important skills:
The next generation should be equipped with the skills they need to do well for themselves and to do good for their communities and the world we live in. Through practicing computational and design thinking, students will acquire skills for building, inventing, and sharing innovative products and systems that serve their local and global communities.
In our globally connected world, being able to understand different perspectives is an essential part of engaging and taking action. By using design thinking processes, students and teachers create solutions to open-ended challenges. Central to this process are human-centered design frameworks and techniques that encourage working with the user of a product to design empathetic solutions.
Technology has fundamentally changed how we live, work, and even how we think. Computational thinking is an approach to problem-solving that leverages complex models and simulations, logical processes, and data to take on challenges. By developing associated skills, students can better understand complex systems and design them effectively – whether they manifest through code or through the interplay between individuals in society.
Skills for Inventing
From wood and brick to electronics and computer code, the objects we interact with on a daily basis are designed and made by people. The next generation of leaders, thinkers, designers, and builders must understand the way physical and digital objects in the world are constructed and feel confident in their ability to construct their own. The skills of engineering and design are fundamental to how we generate ideas, build and test models, and ultimately begin to implement solutions to the most difficult problems.
Skills for Building
In recent years, digital fabrication tools that dramatically increase an individual’s ability to create and duplicate precise structures have become available to consumers and small businesses. At the same time, tools for programming computers, robots, and other electronics have followed a similar path to accessibility. Students need the skills of fabrication and coding to turn their solutions and designs into prototypes and then into reality.
Skills for Sharing
When we communicate with both words and images, our meanings become more clear and memorable. This can be especially important when communicating across borders and languages. As part of the process of designing solutions and solving problems we recognize that even if a product is useful and important, it will never be fully adopted if its inventor cannot tell a compelling story. Through the skills of digital communication and storytelling students can share their work with peers, families, their communities, and the world.
The Learning Studios Teacher’s Guide
Educators in the Learning Studios collaborate with Digital Promise Global in the ongoing development of The Learning Studio Teacher’s Guide. We invite you to read, use, and share the projects and practices documented here that teachers in the Learning Studios use to bring these skills and strategies to their students.