Last week, “EdCrunch: International Conference for New Educational Technologies” became the first ever major event in Russia to bring together educators, education entrepreneurs, practitioners and researchers from around the world. Gullstén-Inkinen Design & Architecture CEO Jari Inkinen gave a lecture on new learning environments as a part of the event program.
Held in Moscow on 13-15 September, the conference was a joint effort between the National University of Science and Technology “MISIS”, the center of technological entrepreneurship Digital October and the online magazine and social platform Edutainme.ru with support from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.
New approaches to an old industry
The conference addressed the changing nature of learning and the need for education reform on all levels of education from elementary to higher education and professional training. The increasing role of mobile technology and interpersonal skills in professional life has uprooted education from its conventional contexts: the classroom and the school desk. This has made it necessary to rethink our teaching methods and environments.
Jari Inkinen’s lecture “New type of learning environment” discussed the possibility of reform in architecture and interior design. Designing properties for such educational institutions as the University of Helsinki, University of Tampere, Aalto University and multiple libraries in Finland has led Jari to believe that modern learning environments must support creativity, mobility and new technology. The growing demand for collaborative workspaces and small tutoring spaces should serve as a challenge to designers everywhere.
Where do we go from here?
To help the design community with the task, Jari presented his own checklist for modern learning environments:
- Adapts to different types of learning situations from solo to group work to one-on-one tutoring
- Enables and encourages movement of students and teachers
- Supports modern technology from mobile appliances to video conferencing
- Inspires with its colors, shapes and textures
- Promotes a healthy mind and body with its furniture, lighting and acoustical solutions
- Offers protection from noise and other stress factors
The other lectures, panel discussions and workshops at EdCrunch delved into various aspects of education development: designing new school buildings, modernizing old ones, finding balance between innovation and safety factors, fostering collaboration between teachers and designers, and so on.
See pictures from Jari’s lecture and the event venue below, published with kind permission of copyright holder Martela.