While in Las Vegas for the SITE 2015 conference, I stopped in Bobby's Burger Palace, a diner by Bobby Flay. I was overwhelmed with the design of the restaurant. The tables, the work spaces, and even the chairs all worked so well together. At that moment, I realized that I was standing in my dream blended learning classroom. Below, I will describe how the design of each area of the diner would work within the blended learning classroom.
Order Here- Personalized Learning Menus
Imagine a classroom where the students walk into a bright cheery place and someone is there to take there order for what they want to learn for the day. The students would get a personalized menu that they can select from and prioritize what they want to work on first, second, and third. That menu is then captured and delivered to the education facilitators (also known as teachers) Also at the counter, the students can place request for tech support, small group working sessions, and even one on one support with the educational facilitator.
Small Group U shaped Tables
Blended Learning happens online and face-to-face while the students are working that their own pace, place, and path. The U shaped tables at Bobby's Burger Palace would work great for the small group teaching sessions. At one table close to 15 students could be working with enough space for the facilitator to walk around and help the students. The chairs are swirled so students can redirect to the board, other parts, of the room or even just turn and work with student beside them. On the sides of U shaped table would be places for facilitators to store supplies and materials to use with the small groups. Of course the U shaped light would mimic the tables just like at the diner.
Group Work Tables
One of the great things about the layout of the Bobby's Burger Palace, is that there is a lot of seating but it feels very open. In a blended learning classroom, we can take this concept and remove all unnecessary items and allow more space for the students to work. In the picture to the right, ten people could sit and work together at one table. Again, the chairs are very sturdy, able to swivel, and allows for plenty of work space at each location.
Just by having the U-Shaped table and the one long table in a learning environment, there would be enough seating for 25 people. But we are next going to explore the digital content area which would then allow for more student seating.
Digital Content Area
The final spot to explore within Bobby's Burger Palace is the side bar that allows patrons to watch out the window while eating. In the blended learning classroom creating a digital content bar for students work on their online content is necessary. I have seen a lot of schools using window space just like the picture to right. The benefit of having the students facing outwards is that the educational facilitators can watch what the students are doing while working on their devices. The swivel chairs give the students the ability to turn back towards the center of the room for group messages or to work with person sitting next to them.