Earlier this week I was lucky enough to attend Civica’s Digital Literacy Symposium in Singapore. Don Collins, the Principal of Coburg Senior High School, was the Keynote speaker and someone who truly captured my imagination.
Don spoke about his schools ‘workplace of learning’ where all students who attend (between the ages of 16-18) work and learn in an open plan environment rather than classrooms just like any common office workplace or university. The students days are less structured and utilise technology to support the learning outcomes of each and every activity they do.
This open plan design and structure of the lessons is something that’s often spoken about in many educational forums but it’s the first time that I’ve actually seen it successfully put into practise.
It’s amazing to see students produce such fantastic work in such a short timeframe. Most projects or class assignments take only an hour and a half and afterwards all students get to offer constructive feedback to help improve and learn. There work is also saved or uploaded to Wiki’s for everyone to view and students to reflect on.
Seeing how the students are ‘learning how to learn’, their approach to solving problems and just getting the project done was great.
Don’s strategy of empowering the students giving them freedom yet responsibility and ownership over their work is wonderful to see. Maybe we could all learn from this.
If you have time I suggest you visit the schools website to see what his students have been up to, for me it was very inspiring!
Coburg Senior High School, Melbourne, Australia