This was originally published for Natural Pod HERE

Learning during a pandemic has spotlighted concepts that have always been involved in some education conversations, but now seem to dominate the media, talk in the community and future planning. These concepts include synchronous and asynchronous learning, blended/hybrid/concurrent learning, and learning loss. Though all of these areas warrant some conversation and consideration, we should also create space to talk about how we can design for the future learning, including where learning occurs, to grow our resilience and restore our humanity.

Teacher Resilience

This school year has stretched our teaching professionals in so…

This was originally published HERE

We are tending to the garden of learning. This garden needs attention as it has been neglected for years. This garden needs to be nurtured as it allows everything inside to grow and prosper. This garden needs time. It takes seasons and iterations to get it right. Getting through projects cannot be a priority over getting into projects.

This garden has weeds. They never go away completely, but if we partner effectively, we can influence generations. This garden needs to grow corn today and beans tomorrow, so flexibility will always be the right answer (even…

This was originally published HERE

Over the last year as the pandemic has grown in consequence, I’ve been listening to the open schools, keep schools closed debate. Some of it, on both sides, seemed like a proxy war about things like teacher voice, local control, and funding, but some of the debates remained focused on the task at hand which was to figure out the three dimensional chess of maintaining as much optimal learning as possible while caring for the physical and mental health needs of students. In many places, this brought creative solutions to the table that balanced the…

This was originally published HERE

As a part of my work as a school designer, I’m able to visit and walk through many flavors of schools. My role is to help leaders and design teams to resee their buildings, help them to notice what has moved to the background, and ask questions that promote actionable solutions surrounding the design of their space. One of the questions that I often pose is “what makes your building healthy for students and teachers?”. The purpose of the question is to guide those working with me into a new way of seeing the space…

Inertia and tradition can be the barriers that prevent schools and districts from beginning the essential work around learning space design. Change isn’t a natural state of being for school, education or humanity, but it is in change that we grow. As we attempt to modernize the ways teaching and learning happens, we hope that The Space: A Guide for Leaders is the playbook that you need to push through the objections and entropy around having a bias toward action. …

Designing learning spaces is a learning-centric endeavor not a furniture-centered enterprise. There will be a time for finding the right furniture to complement, supplant and replace the current items in your school, but it doesn’t start there. Over the past four years of design work with schools and districts surrounding the concepts in The Space: A Guide for Educators, we have found the greatest success when we have worked with students, teachers, leaders, and families prior to any purchases being made. In our latest book, The Space: A Guide for Leaders, we dig into this process and unpack for design…

by Dr. Robert Dillon and Rebecca Hare

Is this really the right time to be talking about learning space design?

This was one of the questions that kept coming up as we discussed setting the release date for The Space: A Guide for Leaders. (It will be live for purchase the first week of February). It was a fair question seeing that school and learning as we know it has been turned upside down by the pandemic that has dominated the planning and conversations of school leaders since March 2020. Most schools have taken short-term counter measures to battle against…

there is a unique quiet that our bodies crave. It is wise when we listen. The noise of the day hasn’t reached our ears, and the burden of the previous day hasn’t realized that we are awake.

In the morning light…there is possibility. Our life isn’t being attacked by our past, our potential unrealized, or our pandering to the social norms that swirl around in the normal parts of the day.

In the morning light…there is a different flavor of air. It can be wet, dense, heavy, airy or sweet. It can feel like a blanket of air that we…

This was originally published on the Demco Ideas blog. https://ideas.demco.com/blog/how-to-reduce-your-communitys-fears-about-reopening-school/

COVID-19 has shown itself to be a formidable adversary, with its destruction costing our nation lives and livelihoods at rates that very few thought possible. It disrupted education as schools were forced into emergency remote learning, and it has created more questions than answers as we try to reemerge as a nation.

Although the specifics are still being worked through, many communities will be reopening schools for the 2020–2021 school year. Not at the same time. Not at the same rate. And not with the same ways of learning. …

Hotspots are a band-aid not an answer.

For the last few years, I’ve been working to make sure all of the students and families in the district have access to wifi. This is a worthy battle, and I hope it becomes one of the focused actions from our spring of emergency remote learning. Having quality broadband in all homes is an issue of justice. Access to information, networks of support, and modern learning are all dependent on this utility. There will be a time when we tell stories in this generation about getting broadband access like those that were told about electricity and indoor plumbing, and unfortunately…

Bob Dillon

Learner, Leader, Dreamer, Pursuer of Happiness, Arsenal Fan, Dad, Author of @spacethebook, Director of Innovative Learning, Supporter of @learningSTL

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