Friday, January 18, 2008

AWNM Design Fishbowl/LiveBlog Per. 4

Participants for January 18th LiveBlog

James Folkestad:
James is an associate professor from CSU in Fort Collins, CO. He is currently working on developing social networking uses in and out of the classroom in order to “leverage the collective wisdom and collapse the network around (him).”

Jeff Whipple:
Jeff is a technology mentor from Fredericton, NB, Canada. Jeff started teaching only five years ago and has over the course of a few years been, “… forced to readjust, rethink and relearn all that I had previously known.” Jeff moved from the rural school to Nashwaaksis Middle School where he is transforming his school to be the largest 1:1 laptop school in Canada. He comments about the entire venture, “There is a revolution taking place, and our students are the revolutionaries. We can either join them in a velvet transition, or be run over by the trucks.”

155 comments:

Jeff Whipple said...

Greetings all..

Thanks for inviting me into your class.

Sorry I can't get into MeBeam (darn school filters!) but I am here and ready to connect.

James said...

Thank you for the invite - I am looking forward to the conversation. I will try to get MeBeam active.

James Folkestad

Jeff Whipple said...

Why is it we tend to see Macs in movies? It it because they appeal in some way (or maybe APple just had deep pockets for product placement)?

Karl Fisch said...

We're starting.

Madisont said...

I would also add windows and add different colors to the walls because white walls just make me depressed, contained and bored. Windows bring in life, light, and sunshine. To me that just wakes me up every morning. And to have a bright window in the classrooms would make us feel less contained and fidgety. Also if we had like green or purple walls I think it would make the classrooms more interesting for sure.

Tasha P said...

I would probably change the look of the classrooms. They look too bare and white and kind of academically pressurized. I think more color or design on the walls would make it more welcoming, and not so intimidating

Jeff Whipple said...

Most relevant to me (you?) is school design. What about school physical space? As a teacher I don't want classes in rows with desks. How does design affect your learning?

jordans said...

If I could change the design about AHS I would change the hallways! They’re tiny! I would also make the color schemes and lighting less dank and dark because sometimes it feels like a hospital or a psyche ward. I want to feel like I want to be here instead of feeling like I’m forced to attend school.

James said...

Great! I can hear a bit of the voice through MeBeam... However, it keeps removing me. I don't have a camera on my computer at work.

Jacque said...

Mr. Whipple,
I actually have a decisive answer to that. Apple several years ago signed a deal with Hollywood agreeing that in exchange for a large sum of money, Apple computers would be used in movies.

stephanief said...

I think the school could be updated. AHS has an older look, it doesn't really fit in with how modern the rest of the world is today.

dermodys said...

Put in functional funky desks, that are comfortable that make sitting down and listening to a hour lecture comfortable and less stressful. Making it easier to focus on the lecture instead of making your self comfortable.

matta said...

About the macs, I think that they are more appealing. Many windows computers are black and square, wheras Macs usually have interesting shapes and appealing colors. They are just more fun to look at.

Jeff Whipple said...

What about classroom furniture? Desks/rows? Tables/workspaces? casual spaces (couches, etc)?

As a teacher I think desks/rows leads to teaching while more casual spaces lead to learning.

Madisont said...

True I am always worried about personal space. If we had more spacing, possible more comfortable desks and chairs, it might help us to concentrate on the discussion more instead of trying to get comfortable.

James said...

I have a question about school design and computer lab design. Do you see computers as social tools? And if so is your computer lab a social space? A social place for learning and collaborating?

So many of my computer labs at Colorado State University are not open and do not allow for collaboration.

Tasha P said...

I think maybe the design or arrangement of the desks has a lot to do with the focus of the students. I think if the desks are just the same old, boring rows, I know that I would get very bored of the style very quickly (as a student).

AustinD said...

I’m fine with the functional design of the school; just something more aesthetic would be nice. When it isn’t overdone, d├ęcor tends to soothe and relax students. And, myself being one of them, I can concentrate and be more comfortable in a nicely decorated room then a plain white room.

Jeff Whipple said...

Is design becoming "internationalized"? Do you see more influence from other areas of the world in products you use?

Madisont said...

I think couches would be perfect for the students to sit in. If I had a couch to sit on, I know I can get comfortable fast and quick and also I am more liable to listen.

helenp said...

Comfort in school allows students to relax and puts them in a positive mindset which lets them focus more on learning.

stephanief said...

I don't think the physical design of the classrooms would change how we learn, but I think if we had brighter colors it would wake people up, unlike white walls, that are boring.

lgaffney said...

Dermodys,

I notice the verbiage you used, i.e. "less stressful". What message does the classroom environment communicate to you that makes you feel stressed? Do you think learning would feel more relaxed and enjoyable should we change the classroom design? If so, why?

Coled said...

Mr. Whipple, I agree that more comfortable learning spaces may lead to more learning. However, there is a delicate balance between a comfortable environment and a distracting environment. Just having rolling chairs in the classroom can distract me from my work.

Jacque said...

I do not think that design would affect learning. It does though affect students’ mood, and students in a good mood will probably be more motivated. Also, I do think it varies for individuals. For some, complex colors and designs could be distracting. For others, complex colors and designs could be stimulating.

Tasha P said...

If the classroom is more than just a white, square, room with rows of desks, that would automatically make the room more interesting to enter everyday. If some funiture like a bookshelf or even like a couch. My mom teaches high school and her classroom has a couch and it gives her room a little more welcoming feel to it.

matta said...

If a classroom was less stressful, or more comfortable, it would let a student focus on learning instead of the feeling that they have to memorize facts so they can pass the test. A less stressful eviroment will let students actually retain knowledge.

jordans said...

You would watch a video because you have more of an emotional connection with the characters and the plot because they can visually follow the story. I Think Pink would recommend you read the book and watch the movie because it’s satisfying different parts of your brain, not just targeting the left dominant side or the right dominant side.

dermodys said...

In our old classroom, your teaching style was a lot different. You seem a lot more stressed and uptight now where as in the old classroom you were more just one of us. I don't know if its the design of the classroom or the design of the class but your teaching styles have changed.

Madisont said...

Reading is right brained yes, because you have to imagine the appearances, you have to imagine the circumstances. But in movies, you get to sit back and let technology think for you. I think reading is a lot more important because it also helps you figure out things about the world. Many movies are fiction, meaning it is not as reliable, nor is it as good to enhance the right brain thinking.

James said...

There have been many studies that show that the design of a classroom / layout of chairs and desks have a direct impact, what students can learn in that space, and an indirect impact, learning about who they are and how they are valued by the school. These are very interesting studies.

lgaffney said...

In listening to the inner circle conversation about reading a book vs. seeing a movie, I heard a student say that with a movie, you don't have to "figure it out" for yourself.
Do you think our digital age is moving us into a world that actually discourages thought and discovery of personal meaning?

Jeff Whipple said...

Apple is one of the best at design...iPod is almost a general product name rather than a brand./...what is it that makes their products stand out?

dermodys said...

Sorry if my last comment was unclear, I was trying to say Ms. Moritzs teaching style has changed.

Oliviak said...

The thing that makes apple's Ipod stand out is the design of it and everyone has one.

stephanief said...

I think the world is changing so we don't have to think for ourselves such as making a charactor in a book be who you wabt them to be. Now we have movies for books and the charactor is made up for us, we arn't able to use our imagination very much.

Madisont said...

Ipods just became based on technology. It becomes better in design- compact, color, videos, latches... All of this is design because it appeals to us. The better the design, the more people will buy it.

Tasha P said...

I think what makes products stand out is their differences from normal products. Apple has a name that stands out more than like WalMart or businesses like that. Apple also is very simple in their designs, unlike other products from big businesses.

Anna K said...

Ipods have such a different design then anything before it that it appeals to many.

Jeff Whipple said...

If you get an opportunity, watch Ken Robinson's TEDTalks address about "educating" the creativity out of kids ...why is it that Grade 1 students self-identify as artists while most HS students won't draw anything?

matta said...

Mr. Whipple said that Apple seems to be more about design, and I agree. I think that while they focus quite a bit about how it works, they think even more about how it looks, wheras many microssoft products seem to almost ignore the outer design of products, when I was shopping for a music player there was one that was better than any of the ipods, but it was ugly, i got the ipod,

Jeff Whipple said...

should design / art be a graduation requirement like Math/Language? Is it inherently less important in this new landscape ahead of us?

Coled said...

One of the ways Apple makes the i-pod stand out is by offering it in many varieties, even though they have the same functions. It allows the consumer to feel like they have control over their i-pod by choosing which version, as well as accessories.

lgaffney said...

Your response about how environment affects a teacher is an important one. In graduate school, I did a study that asked students to determine the factor that most affected their learning through a series of observations, surveys, research, etc. I discovered that the thing students felt most affected their learning was if/ how well students liked their teachers. I wonder, then, what a tremendous impact it would have if each teacher could create the environment he or she wanted in his/ her own classroom.
Have any of you had that experience and, if so, what did you observe about its effects on both students and teacher?

stephanief said...

Ipods are changing all the time, they are getting smaller and more compact. Also there are a ton of different varieties of ipods. I think everyone likes the ipod because it's a look, if you have an ipod then you are "cool".

Jacque said...

I’ve heard a lot of discussion about couches…
Do you really think that would help students to be more attentive? I know I would probably be falling asleep, not more attentive. I believe couches would prevent me from learning and focusing even if they might make the environment seem more “casual.” I don’t believe casual is always good either. Casual doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in creative thinking, to me it just means less gets done.

Tasha P said...

I agree with Cole because most people like to have a variety to choose from. Apple displays their variety and they're still creating new products.

Sydney said...

This is Hillary.

I think that the design of the school is not going to affect the students' learning ability.

I think that sometimes it is better to have a boring school, so that the design isn't destracting or obnoxious.

Madisont said...

In this world, left brainers have been the ones to succeed in jobs, such as math, engineering, etc. Now we are in the mindset that we have to be better, we have to look the cutest, we have to look the most fashionable. In highschool, popularity and social status is a lot, so if students try to look the cutest, try to be the most fashionable, they won't want to worry about being something boring like a good drawer. But little kids are so amazed by the smallest things. Drawing is just one of the ways they can express that because they are not as mature yet.

James said...

What are the high concept and high touch design features surrounding the ipod?

matta said...

I think art and design should be graduation require ments because, as Dan Pink says, the job opprotunities in our society are going to require more design and right brain activities, so while math and science should still be included, art and design should be included at least as much as something like history.

Jeff Whipple said...

@stephanief
you mentioned that in todays world many students don't have to focus on the imagination (they are told too much of the story)...but isn't it true that many young people are drawn to virtual spaces where they get to create their own avatars...what about the design elemnets they learn there?

AustinD said...

It should be a requirement to have art/design class. Anything can make a functional t-shirt, but if everyone else has one and wanted to get another, would you rather get the plain and simple variety or one with good design?

lgaffney said...

Stephanie,
Your observation about how movies discourage imagination is a terrifying one to me. Particularly if you subscribe to Pink's philosophy that imagination is one of, it not, the most important skill to produce success in the 21st century.
How do you imagine this will affect your generation that feels less inclined to read? Are there other ways that your generation stimulates imagination that, for example, people of my generation, were unexposed to?

dermodys said...

As to Mr. Whipples question, I think that first grade students will draw beacause in first grade drawing is considered cool and something the teachers stress as important! But as we get older drawing becomes less and less important and cool- our teachers no longer stress the ablity to draw.Its no longer important to be able to draw, the only thing that is important now is getting the right answer.

jordans said...

What makes ipods stand out is the fact that they are everywhere. You can bring them basically anywhere, your car, your room, school, to workout, etc. The ipod has a numerous amount of programs that can enhance its features from your computer to you TV. the ipod is a part of it.

Sydney said...

This is Sydney.

I agree with Jaclyn. If we had couches in the classroom, I would be falling asleep.

I think the design of a classroom doesn't need to be comfortable. It needs to be a relaxed enviroment that could spark inspiration and ideas.

James said...

Madison,

I like your comment. You are correct, kids have a natural ability to explore and play. I believe that play is so critical to creativity. However, we are reducing the amount of playtime for your kids and for our adults. We need to have time to discover :)

Tasha P said...

I don't agree with Matt because sometimes art and design are not right for people. I've taken a couple of art classes and I would definately recommend it but I don't think that art should be required in a college or anything. But on the same track, I think that art and design should be something that people should train their right brains to do and think, because people's brains could be "more healthy" that way.

matta said...

The internet has become the medium for design in many ways. Weather it be to make your web page more visually appealing than just text, or creating an avatar in an online chatroom, it just seems like people get more design from the internet than they do from the classroom.

stephanief said...

In response to Mr. Whipple:
Teenagers today have their own spaces such as Myspace or Facebook to design. But most people instead of designing their own layouts, they find a layout they like on another website and they use that. Most teenagers don't actualy really design it themselves, although some do.

AustinD said...

I agree with sydney; if the enviorment in a classroom was too comfortable , it would be a hinderance.

Sydney said...

This is Sydney.

I think that art and design classes in school should be an elective. Some students are not artistic. Would it be fair to left-brained students who thrive on facts and charts? And not on art and design?

lgaffney said...

Stephanie,
Your observation about how TV and movies discourage imagination is a terrifying one to me. I agree with Pink who seems to believe that the most important skill for success in the 21st century is imagination. It terrifies me that, because things like movies have made "learning" so easy, that your generation will suffer.
What do you see as the fall out of this general dislike of reading that is so prevalent in your generation? Are there things that your generation does to stimulate imagination that people of previous generations did not?

Jeff Whipple said...

isn't it interesting that some of the most creative companies in the world have very casual "play" like work environments...pool tables, couches, casual spaces...not rows of desks...

what does this say for creativity at school?

jordans said...

A great deal of youth play the role of designers on a daily basis, technology has created a virtual reality that you create and you design. What makes places such as myspace and facebook so popular? What are you really designing when you crate a virtual webpage?

Jeff Whipple said...

I would tend to think it is the content that doesn't engage you, rather than the environment that distracts you...

How huge a factor does the design of your courses (assignments, lectures, etc) play in your learning...

Coled said...

Mr. Folkestad, I agree with your comment about reduced play time. As students begin to age, people lose focus of how play affects their relationship later in the world. I think that adults see play as more of a break from learning than as an opportunity to learn.

matta said...

Tasha you said that some people are not right for art, but I can say the same thing about every other required course in this school. Are you telling me that math is required because everyone is good at math? No they need it to survive in the real world. I think that a design or art class is needed the same way, whether you have an aptitude for it or not.

dermodys said...

I think that design should be brought into every class it is not as important to have a design class as to have design combined into everything because in the real world it will be beneifical.

Sydney said...

This is Hillary.
In response to Jeff. It is definately true that people like to customize. Even back in the days of neanderthals, cave paintings and such were used to tell stories and to make the good ol' cave feel like home.

Tasha P said...

In response to Mr. Whipple,
I think that a more comfortable design of a classroom or a company stimulates a more creative side of the brain. I think a pressurized, boring design relates more to the left brain since its not concerned with design. If an area is more comfortable, then the rightbrain relates more to it.

Jacque said...

I agree, the best school work I’ve done in my life was for the best teacher I’ve ever had. But I don’t agree that design affects that. Her room was the normal, plain, white, box with mundane shelves and hard desks in straight rows. She had the ability to bring light and life into the class though, despite the design. People, their character, and their enthusiasm matter so much more than design ever has mattered or ever will matter. In this class, my teacher truly loved us. We were a bright and well-behaved class and thus fueled her enthusiasm for teaching us. Her enthusiasm fueled my enjoyment and thus my learning. Design had nothing to do with any of this. It was completely insignificant to my motive and my ability to learn.

stephanief said...

In response to Mr. Gaffney:
I think it is terrefying also, it reminds me of "Fahrenheit 451", how they burn books because they are "bad" to read. I think books are very important to read, but most teenagers these days go out to see a movie rather then staying in to read. I think it will affect people my age, beacuse they will become less creative maybe. It's a scary thought.

Anna K said...

I don't think design is only about appearence. People design their lives with their words also. Teachers in a classroom have specific ways they teach and that's how they design their classroom. Sometimes that is more important then the actual look of the classroom you are learning in.

Oliviak said...

About Jordans post
The web and the way it is designed makes places like myspace more appealing to people because you can meet people, post stuff on the web about yourself, and chat with friends. People like to do mutliple things in this busy world.

Madisont said...

I agree with Cole. Play stimulates the imagination. It brings about how kids design things, and how they build things. Sometimes kids almost seems a lot smarter than adults because they already seem to know that to play is why we receive our imaginations in the first place. To discover and learn is what adults need to figure out.

Jeff Whipple said...

@sydney
interesting point, but is it "fair" to right-brainers (creative artist types) to HAVE to take Math and Languages? What is it that makes language more important than art...

I would suggest that art should be right up there with reading, writing and rithmetic...as we place less emphasis on text based communication and more on images and video, shouldn't we be teaching this in school?

AustinD said...

Everone is an artist, it's just that people don't show it.

Coled said...

I think that kids are less enthusiastic about becoming an artist because as they are young, the only part of art that matters is the creativity, yet as they age art becomes more of a hassle. Drawing kids away from the design and creativity and more towards the quality, making art less about creativity and more about perfection.

matta said...

People are not involeved with the drama department for one reason. Many poeple think that it isn't cool.

lgaffney said...

Sydney,

You ask, would it be fair to left-brained people who like charts and graphs to make them take design? To that I would say is it fair that the un-athletic are forced to take gym? Is it fair that right-brainers are forced to take math?
I guess what I'm saying is should school be a place that encourages students to further pursue their interests or one where students are asked to explore subjects and ideas that might be outside of their comfort zone, i.e. design for left-brainers?

Madisont said...

I have just noticed that teenagers most of the time will try to act cool, calm, and intelligent. And trying to have make believe like drama plays, just makes us seem immmature. We are stereotyped and trying to prove that wrong has changed our way of thinking especially with our imaginations.

AustinD said...

It's sorta become a l-directed standard that creativity is at a minimal level. For the last generation, the "cool" has been saped out of being creative.

helenp said...

It is sad that society has discouraged imagination. People design their lives to comform with the surrounding society.

jordans said...

In relation to the discussion I think that people stopped raising their hand about being an artist because they were never taught what being an artist meant. It’s about creating images that could appeal to all or any of the five senses. Their parents are encouraging them to learn about mechanics and principals but they forget that artist expression is a way to apply the mechanics and the principals of the world to reality. We learn rules and regulations but how are we ever going to apply these if we can't imagine or explore?

Madisont said...

I completely agree. Me being 81% right brained, hate math. I can not stand it, I don't like it, and I don't do well in it. But I am forced to take it just as I don't get to do the classes I really want to do such as photography, art, and design.

Anna K said...

I think right now in high school, not many of us know exactly who we are, so we need to be able to explore all the possibilities by being required to take classes that we might not think we are particularly good at, but we might be surprised on how we actually enjoy those classes.

Tasha P said...

I agree with Matt because today most teenagers are only concerned about what's going to make them "cool". They follow the stream of everyone else who think something is "cool". Drama is a great way to get involved and it's a lot of fun because it gets both the right and left brain involved.

James said...

If we are collaborating online around the world via the Internet... does it matter what the classroom looks like? I am learning something today from you... and I could be riding on a bus or a subway.

Just a thought.

Sydney said...

This is Sydney.

Jeff you make a really good point. It definitely isn't fair to the right brainers. But if teachers use different methods to interest right-brainers in the classes they do not like, wouldn't that make it fair? Teachers can help right brainers using different methods. Is it as easy to teach left-brainers to use their imaginations in classes like art and design?

hredmond said...

In response to Tasha, itsn't it true that most classes these days are designed for left-brained learning experiences? For example, math, reading, science? I don't see a point of trying to create this beautiful masterpiece of a school just to learn math in!

lgaffney said...

I agree with Helen. Think about how one's desire to be cool in and of itself inhibits creativity. Instead of trying to "design" one's self via their own interests, hobbies, and dress, they imitate those of others.

stephanief said...

In elementry school, there was art work that kids designed down every hallway, in all the classrooms just about everywhere. But why don't we have alot of art down the halls of high school? What makes art so uncool for teenagers? Personaly I love drawing and designing things. Why are most people embarrassed to be an artist?

Jeff Whipple said...

Good design / creativity is about not being afraid to make a mistake...how does our fear of making mistakes (which we place value on thru increased testing in school) affect our abilities as designers? Would a different kind of learning environment place a greater emphasis on design?

Oliviak said...

In response to lgaffney

We have to take all kinds of classes because the school system is trying to make us we rounded people, and have all kinds of skills.

lgaffney said...

Hredmond,

You say reading has been a left-brained experience for you. What experiences have you had with reading that have made you feel this way?

matta said...

James said that classroom design may not matter with the internet, but I think it does matter. I am sitting in a classroom and I am on the internet. While I am in a grey classroom, there is lots of stuff on the was which gives it a more homey unique feel, and stimulates my mind, I think your physical location is just as important as where you are online.

Tasha P said...

Hillary
I'm not trying to say that every classroom should be covered in design and colors, etc...but I think that sometimes the classroom needs to be more than just a blank room. A math class should have "decorations" relating to math that make the room more interesting to look at, but at the same time not too distracting; maybe a design class or an art class should have creative "decorations" that are more what you are thinking of

AustinD said...

Mistakes is why the upper-grades don't call themselfes artists.

Sydney said...

Igaffney, you also make a good point. Life is unfair. You can't make someone enjoy an activity. Do you have a better idea on how to correct this in schools?

jordans said...

I think one reason people don't try and personalize rooms and designs is because people are too scared and apprehenisive that they will affend someone else. No one ever seems to be satisfyed with other peoples designs. But i think that one cool thing about personal design and creativity is the controversey that comes attached with it.

hredmond said...

Stephanie,
It's not that people are embarrised of being artists, it's that for decades kids have been taught since a very young age to learn math, learn science. These used to be the only way to make a living. Daniel Pink's point is to say that that is changing. Now, being an artist or graphic designer CAN earn you a living. Monumental!

James said...

In regards, to the fact that we don't see artwork in the halls... how much is that "not being cool" and how much of it is that the school doesn't value art? Or the priority is not on art? Would you see the same thing at an art oriented school?

Madisont said...

I consider myself an artist and that doesn't particularly mean I just draw well. I also write poetry, and I write creative fiction, and I sing. Most people have become so caught up in a left brained world, they have categorized artists just as people who can draw good. It also means stereotypes. It brings about a sense of embarrassment to people sometimes if people discover they draw. It is just not something that is significant to the scoiety in our world.

matta said...

stephanie asked why we don't have artwork on the walls. there are a few reasons. One I don't view myself as the best artest and would not want my art on the walls. For another, if it has my name on it, I could potentialy face ridicule, last highschoolers rip stuff off walls.

Coled said...

What Sabrina is saying about making change makes sense, but it is more of a theory because I bet that if you asked everyone in the room, sure they could all find something they dislike about the desk, but in the end, only select ideas would be used for new desks. This would cause minorities who are upset, and people could still find something wrong with it.
The question isn't whether or not to change it, but how.

Jeff Whipple said...

I was watching a piece on a new school (was it not in Denver) that was designed with learning in mind...went so far as to expose the heating systems (in a nice way) so students could learn about how they work as part of their classes...

students loved the open and flexible spaces that promoted collaboration...

can the functionality of a building not be enhanced by good design...

helenp said...

We do see art in our hallways, but only when the school has an art show. Unfortunately, we don't have artistic displays year round.

lgaffney said...

Sydney,

My hope as a teacher is that by virtue of my passion for English and the creative ideas I employ can make even my left-brained students interested in English. I realize that this is not always realistic, but as a teacher, realistic is not something I can usually afford to be.
I think about a physics class I took in high school that was one of my most memorable, fun, and interesting classes and I HATED science. My love for physics came from good teaching, not my tendency to think like a scientist.

hredmond said...

lgaffney,
I was thinking more of the process of reading and the act of reading itself. I suppose this is more relevant in elementary schools, but the concept is the same. Reading is left-brained when one is participating in the act of reading, however, it is right-brained when interpreting a book.

Coled said...

What Jason says about how people constantly want to change things reminded me directly of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Sometimes when I've watched the show, the younger kids get a personalized room with a dinosour design or some childish design. All I can think about is that within several years, they're going to hate their room and regret all the work put into it.

Tasha P said...

I think if the world learned to value other people's works and ideas and views, then everyone would not be afraid to express who they really are. Everything that the right brain can do that can be expressed is a work of art. People today are too concerned with what other people think. If people just accepted everything as it is, then the world could be so much better off.

AustinD said...

Having the rooms school colors would be a little distracting.

Jacque said...

As a right-brainer, I do think that it is fair to require people to take math, science. These skills are required for life, regardless of your profession. So many everyday activities require skills like geometry and algebra. Everyday people need to know biology to realize the risks and disadvantages of antibacterial soap. These are subjects required for all of life. Everyone must possess these skills, while art is not required for all people in everyday life. Do you honestly think Bill Gates needs to know about interior design and pottery?

lgaffney said...

Jordan,

Another obstacle for personalizing our classroom space is that none of the teachers here have their own classroom; I teach in 4 different rooms this semester and have to share that space with others.

stephanief said...

In response to painting the walls ourselves:
I had a teacher last year who painted murals on the walls of our classroom. It made the class more unique and comfortable. It was more interesting to be in that classroom, rather then having white walls.

matta said...

I just had a thought. Reading a fiction story is perhaps a good way to combine both left and right brain activity. Language and reading (words) are left brained activities. But taking the words your left brain interpreted and forming a story is a major right brain task. It seems like a good balance.

Madisont said...

It is just so hard to redesign a room because no matter what is accomplished, at least one person won't be happy. You can't make everyone happy and just make a communistic class. Something just has to be decided and neutral seemed to be the best option.

jordans said...

In relation to the inner circle, what about students who are color blind or blind? How would they benefit from the asthetic design of a classroom?

Oliviak said...

In response to Mr. Whipple.
I think that the functionality of a building can be enhanced by good design. Isn't that why we design things it is to change the way things are and make them better for what we need them to do.

Karl Fisch said...

madisont - who decides what is "neutral?"

There are at least five students in here who despise "white" - they're not happy now.

helenp said...

Colorful settings in classrooms aren't always effective. Too many colors in one place make me claustrophobic and distract me. I don't like white, but no one can be happy all the time.

AustinD said...

What about the functional design of the class? Art and comfortable decor are all good design, but what about the flow of the class and how does it affect your learning?

Jeff Whipple said...

@jacque

I would suggest to you that in the 21st century, art/design will be just as important as math/language, in fact, I suspect it will envelope language/math...

stephanief said...

matt:
You said that you could face ridicule and that you arn't the best artist. But why does that matter? In elementry school we definetly arn't very good artists, but we didn't really care, we were proud of the work we did, it didn't matter how good it was. Why as we grow older we care more about what other people think, and if we make mistakes? In the end I think that really holds people back.

Madisont said...

Well I'm not saying that everyone is happy with neutral. That just is what makes it so hard to design a room. Because not everyone will be happy with it. I just don't see how everyone would be happy with one color.
I mean how would someone find one color to define everyone in this room? Its almost impossible.

hredmond said...

Jaque,
Gates may not need to know about pottery (actually, he definatly doesn't) but he does need to know about how his target audience will see his products. If the public sees his computers as expressive of who they are, they are more likely to fork out the chunk of change and buy that laptop.

James said...

What about creativity with math? Is math just a process of memorization and testing your memory?

Many mathematicians visualize their results... very creative process?

Are we teaching math the best way that we can in the best environment? Or are we just teaching math in the most efficient way by lining everyone up in rows and testing them?

Coled said...

Remaining neutral is making a desicion, it's making a desicion to ignore the problem and therefore is deciding not to do anything.

James said...
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lgaffney said...

What do you think the designers of AHS had in mind when they created this school? Why do you think they chose to paint all the walls white, for example?

matta said...

Jaque, your point makes sense, but does bill need to know about the great generals of the spanish american war? No because he decided to go into a proffesion that does not require that knowledge, but he was still taught history in school. The same should go for design, it is becoming increasingly useful in more and more jobs, more than history, and everyone needs to have some base knowledge about design

matta said...
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Madisont said...
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Jeff Whipple said...

my wife and I just painted our house...bright vivid colours inside...

we are thinking of selling in the spring...our real estate agent (also a good friend) suggested we paint the walls neutral...but we just couldn't stand neutral one more minute...

will it affect the sale? I don't think so...there are so many tastes...and besides...like the faceplate on your phone...it can be changed...

Sydney said...

Igaffeny,

Thank you for making that more clear. I'm glad that when you teach, you think about all the students needs. I think that's a great trait in teachers.

Tasha P said...

I completely agree with Stephanie because people should not be so caught up in what other people think because who cares what other people think? What matters is how someone thinks of themselves and their work (as long as it's rational). What's sad is that not very many people past the age of like 12 are willing to be themselves and allow the world to see what they can accomplish.

helenp said...

There are many outcomes changed by bad design, but we have to improve the flaws instead of dwelling on "what ifs".

hredmond said...

Good point Madison,
If one is going to paint a room in a school to be expressive, no one will truely be expressing themselves! One person's idea of beauty may be completely opposite to another's.

lgaffney said...

Madison,

That was absolutely the intention. That in conjunction with what the towers symbolized: power, freedom, Americanism.

AustinD said...

Why is there a buisness in house staging if design isn't important in society?

Anna K said...

I don't think design is just right brained. The right brain and the left brain have to work together. I agree that subjects like math do involve your right brain also. Pretty much everything in life requres both sides to work together.

Madisont said...

Exactly meaning the design has a lot of intention, a lot of feelings, a lot of meaning in the creation of the building. The design affected the fate of the towers.
Good point

Jeff Whipple said...

@james

great point about teaching math...efficiency (in construiction) has long been the cry of the industrial age (think automobiles) but more and more people have been stimulated into demanding both function and esthetics...

Oliviak said...

All designs will not please everyone so you have to try and please the majority or a a group of people.

hredmond said...

Ahh, math. Math is a traditionally left-brained excersize that has guarenteed a middle-class living for many who master it. These days, in the middle schools of Colorado, the school board is attempting to create a right-brained approach to traditional math. I don't agree with this. Math should always be right or wrong and should not produce any feelings from people. That's what I love about math. It's totally objective. Right or wrong. Is that so bad??

matta said...

Tasha asked "who cares what other people think?" My answer, every one. It is human nature to seek contact, so in result we are a highly social society. No matter what anyone says words hurt, and people care what other people think especially thier friends.

Sydney said...

In response to James. I believe that math does have some creativity. In algebra, you can think of equations as puzzles. Last year in Algebra 1, I was extremely lucky to be in a class with only 6 students. When we discussed problems, we always found more than one way to solve it. Would you consider that creativity? Or do you only consider language to be crative?

Jeff Whipple said...

thank you all for allowing me to join your class and for the engaging conversation...

Enjoy your weekend!

:)

Karl Fisch said...

Thanks Jeff and James. We're done.

Jacque said...

HRedmond,
First that I would like to point out that Microsoft is not a computer manufacturer, it is a software developer. These computers are Windows computers (Microsoft) but the actual machines were manufactured by DELL. Regardless of this, speaking hypothetically if Gates needed his computers to appeal to consumers, he would not learn to design, he would just go to company employees who are responsible for design. There are designers and there are engineers within the company. The engineers do not have to know design, but the designers trying to perform everyday tasks will need to know math.

Jacque said...
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James said...

Sydney,

Your are right on the money. Often we think that there is only one answer to the problem (this is what many want us to believe - it is easier to deal with this). But we find that there is more than one way to solve a problem... this is creativity!

Thank you.

James said...

Thanks Karl... interesting had fun.