Exploring Seeing Spaces

At a lunch with the Innovate Newberg team, Joe, the superintendent for their school district, challenge Luke and the rest of the team to think about the makerspace that is being built in the high school differently.

What if this makerspace, which is being called the Agile Learning Lab, was a Seeing Space ?

A seeing space is about creating a data rich environment to understand a complex experience.

But I began to wonder if that concept of seeing space could be expanded - understanding that its value is not only for those inside the space but also for those outside of it.

For the Agile Learning Lab, this means creating a space not only for the students inside the space, but for those looking in. The room where the lab is being built has a huge window right at the entrance to the library. A perfect place to be seen by others.

What might be the impact for those students and teachers walking by it to look inside and see another type of learning experience? How might this visibility spark their curiosity and give them the courage to walk inside and directly experience it?

the Dayton experience

In Dayton's i3 Center, they spent this last summer putting new windows into the walls the divide the makerspaces. By doing so, they are, in essence, creating multiple seeing spaces.

They are doing this renovation because they recognized what happened when they initially put large windows between the ideation lab and the fusion lab, the shop where the welding equipment is located.

They began to see students in one area become curious about the other. Then they started encouraging students to teach the skills of each area.

For instance, a student who might be more comfortable sitting in front of a computer doing design projects began to ask question about how to use a plasma cutter.

They would then be trained on the plasma cutter by another student whose Comfort Space might be in the shop environment.

Through these interactions, personal relationships would be formed that encouraged other peer-to-peer cross training of skills.