Monday, January 9, 2017

Design for Learning: MMW Media Center Update

Six months ago I wrote about the work underway on the remodeled Media Center at Minnetonka Middle School West. I posted some pictures during the summer and gave the background of the process. The project was done in two phases over the past two years. The final work was completed this fall and the students and teachers have enthusiastically made use of the space ever since. 

The video provides a great overview of the new space and includes interviews with students, teachers, and principal Dr. Paula Hoff. Design for Learning is an initiative process in Minnetonka that students and staff work through to reimagine learning spaces with flexible furniture, collaborative meeting areas, and technology presentation spaces. The mission statement of the Design for Learning Advisory Board is "To empower Minnetonka students, staff, and the community  to transform teaching and learning through the design of the learning environment." Every year the Advisory Board awards funding to innovative design projects at each school.  Funding for the MMW Media Center redesign was provided by the PTO and the District. Three other Minnetonka media centers have been remodeled through a similar process in past years. 

Each morning the Media Center is open an hour before school begins and students can get dropped off by their parents to work in the space. As the video shows, the space is also utilized for staff meetings before, during, and after school as well. Throughout the day students can come to work in the Media Center individually, in small groups, or teachers can bring their entire class to use the space. It's been amazing to see how the same space can be reused and feel entirely different after a redesign!

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