A New Learning Space for Junior Schools

A New Learning Space for Junior Schools
Posted on 09/10/2018
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Collage of innovation hub photos Students at all four of Lakota’s junior schools are discovering that their media centers have been reinvented. Innovation Hubs, previously known as media centers, provide a flexible space for teachers and students to collaborate, innovate and learn.

The spaces have been designed to foster creativity among students. “Innovation Hubs are a reimagining of media centers to continue to meet changing (educational) needs and provide a first class learning experience for all of our students,” said Krista Heidenreich, director of digital learning for the district. “The Innovation Hubs encourage face-to-face interactions along with the integration of digital tools into learning.”


Cesia Guerrero and Samira Guseinova, eighth-graders at Liberty Junior, are enjoying the new space. “The new furniture is really comfortable and it inspires you when you’re working,” said Cesia. “There’s a lot of new technology and this is a new way to learn.” The girls are using the green screen technology to complete a science project.


“We’re filming a news report talking about different eras in history,” said Samira. “We had different options for the project, but we liked the idea of a news report. You can choose different backgrounds for the green screens.”

Books and access to online resources for reading and classwork are still available in the new spaces. Recent additions allow teachers to use the Innovation Hubs for both whole class and small group learning, and take advantage of exciting technologies that students can use to further their learning. Examples of these include: virtual reality stations, video filming and editing, including green screen technology and 3D printing.


With the 1:1 technology rollout happening this month, the Innovation Hubs will also serve as a support area for teachers and students. Following a successful targeted pilot last year, all junior school students will receive a district-owned Chromebook in September. As part of the #WEareEmpowerED initiative, junior school students will have expanded access to innovative instructional content, activities to increase collaboration and communication, guidance on digital organization, and new opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom and school day. Chief Technology Officer Todd Wesley, notes, “This new initiative supports the development of key student skills and responsibilities necessary to navigate the digital transformation of today and the highly-skilled technology driven global world of tomorrow.”


Along with staff providing instructional support, students with an interest will be encouraged to become experts in technology resources and tools in order to help their fellow students. Innovation specialists have been assigned to each of the junior schools to support teachers through professional development and modeling practices as the integration of digital tools and resources continues.


Caption: Pictured above, junior school students enjoy using the new learning tools in their Innovation Hubs.