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Teaching environment

Last week I took part in a 'hackathon'. Never been to one before and despite writing software for a living I have always steered clear of events where I need to mix with a bunch of geeks. Fortunately, as Jeremy Rossmann has pointed out (see earlier post), the modern software engineer needs to be a people person and the group of people I worked with at the hackathon were easy to get on with and certainly wouldn't be tarred with the geek brush. There was a good mix of adults and school students, experienced and inexperienced.

The hackathon took place in an old industrial building in one of the less celebrated parts of Hong Kong at an establishment called Maker Bay. This is divided into a number of smaller rooms and spaces and, while set up for design technology, it shows how we might design schools in the future, assuming we need to design schools in the future.

Go to any modern school and it is likely you will find that the rows of desks facing the front of the classroom where the teacher will spout forth have been replaced with a much more relaxed environment. Even so, it's still a classroom and it's still in a school. Good work can be done but can we do better.

Back at Maker Bay you have have an environment where adults and students can go along, take classes, work on their own projects, work with others, make a coffee, sit down on a sofa and chat with friends about whatever. A relaxed environment where everyone can feel some ownership of their environment and which encourages creativity.