Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Designing 5D Schools: Immersive Learning Environments

2D design for schools includes all the textbooks, maps, posters, signs, interactive boards, white boards, bulletin boards, handouts and other flat materials we use everyday.
3D design for schools includes all the objects, manipulatives, chairs, desks, cabinets, plants, sculptures, tools, supplies, and other things students physically hold, touch, walk around, sit on or work on.
4D design for schools includes all the spaces in which learning takes place such as halls, classrooms, cafeterias, playgrounds, science labs, gyms, auditoriums, etc.
5D design for schools includes all the interactions that take place with images, objects, spaces and people. What do students actually do? If you took a picture in each classroom what would it show? Are students sitting at desks, sitting at tables, gathering around to listen or watch? Are they mainly reading, writing and listening?

How can we make schools more interactive and immersive learning environments? Where can we see students making something rather than just working with things others have made?

In 2D design do students also create the books, maps and signs used in the school?
In 3D design do students actually make objects and things they use in the school?
In 4D design do students change the spaces in which they learn, work, play, and live for 6 to 8 hours each school day?
In 5D design do students help design the way they interact with each other, with teachers and with the content of the curriculum? What do they actually experience and do rather than just read, look at or hear about?

Can the students write, design, illustrate and make books about topics in science, history or social studies?
Can the students work with tools to create 3D models of the planet, universe, heart, DNA, vehicles, clothes, etc. in their science and history books?
Can the students research, design and construct their classroom to look like an aquarium, a building from history, a place from another culture, or a natural history diorama?
Can the students create their own video games, toys, interactive exhibits, musical instruments (think Blue Man Group and Stomp)?


Allen Berg said...

Dear Professor Rayala,

This is wonder-full again!! This is going straight to STEM and PBL Groups at

You are an Imagineer and an Imagineer's Friend...

Thank you very much,

Allen Berg

Chicago remodeling said...

I feel that I will be here for hours reading everything as I’m an information junkie.

artiemom said...

As a design teacher at the middle school level, I find this to be an inspirational challenge. My students are creating 3-D sculptures of themselves using their own clothes. The display will be used to enhance other 2-D bulletin displays. Not all teachers have the time or expertise to think in a 5-D fashion. I do think that this could be the roll of an art teacher. To coordinate with a subject and include a unit of study with sculptural interpretations for their rooms! Great ideas, but not so easily accomplished for the very busy teachers who are mandated to teach a curriculum within a time line.
Mrs. Sharyn Bieber
Art Teacher