Technology provides opportunities for creating and "living" in virtual spaces but the physical spaces in which students learn have a tremendous impact on what and how they learn. Too many classrooms still look pretty much like they did 100 years ago, just with more metal.
David Jakes (right) gave a presentation called "On the Development of Learning Spaces" at Educon 2.2 to help participants understand how space impacts learning. He says the design of learning spaces informs the learner about the intent of the lesson. When learners see rows of desks lined up facing the front of the room (left) they already know that the teacher considers him or herself the source of knowledge and the person in charge of learning. They see that they are to work individually and not collaborate with other students and they see that the information is going to be presented in a lecture format with no expectation of discussion, collaboration, or hands-on activities.
Click on the heading above to go to Jakes' site with his presentation about learning spaces at Educon 2.2.