Students and staff at Martin Elementary are enjoying newly remodeled spaces focused on collaboration and technology-enhanced instruction. The new “Learning Labs” feature large spaces optimal for co-teaching classes, flexible seating arrangements, and large monitors to enable collaborative work among students.
The labs were remodeled over the summer and have been occupied beginning on the first day of school this year.
“This is actually an idea that goes back to the 1960’s,” said Principal Jim Stotz. “But we’ve updated the idea for the 21st century.”
Students at Martin are used to using Chromebooks for classroom work. All Huntley 158 students are issued a Chromebook beginning in kindergarten, through the District’s Always Initiative. Martin was the first school to pilot 1:1 learning five years ago.
Equipped with personal devices and software geared toward collaborative work, including a full suite of Google Apps for education, students are well-prepared to tackle project-based learning activities better suited for flexible group spaces rather than the traditional desk-based classroom.
In addition, teachers have been excited to use the space for co-teaching, or combining the classes of two or more teachers for large collaborative learning projects, Stotz said.
Additional technology resources are slated for the room but were not yet available for opening day. But based on the pictures below, students and teachers have still gotten great use out of the spaces in the first few days of school: