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Studies show that children learn better when they are more comfortable, which leads to an increase in creativity. Educators are reacting to those studies by implementing more flexibility into K-12 classrooms. Now, when teachers take professional development classes at Erie 1 BOCES, they will be learning in a flexible and collaborative environment to spark their creativity. 

“Erie 1 BOCES will have two new rooms available where adults can be creative and, in turn, bring that creativity back to the district,” stated Michelle Okal-Frink, director Instructional Technology, Research and Innovation.“The Creation Space and Activity Learning Center rooms will help teachers get a feel for a new way to teach to their students.”

The rooms have everything from white board tables, to movable interactive screens. The two rooms have also aligned with a new trend called flexible seating. Flexible seating allows teachers to transform their classrooms in an effort to make their learning spaces more student-centered.

“We may have a Google workshop, where there are various levels of proficiency, so some novices might be in one part of the room – while on the other side of the room we may have grouped the experts,” said Okal-Frink.

The Creation Room is where everyone can get creative. White boards adorn cabinet doors and table tops, so that learners put their ideas down right away instead of ripping out individual pieces of paper and trying to find that pen or pencil.

Here they are able to sketch out their ideas, collaborate, and then walk over to get their materials to start building.

“Typically, our sessions entail a lot of different designs, sketches and redesigns,” stated Okal-Frink. “If someone is here for a full-day workshop, and they are making a hummingbird robot, they can draw out their design list of what they need, go over to the totes and get the items, go over to the cabinet and get the robotics pieces, and make something. If it didn’t work they can go back and redesign it.”

The technology in the rooms, including the interactive boards, laptops and chromebooks, were donated by various vendors – while the iPads were supplied by Erie 1 BOCES.

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