Establishing the classroom environmeNt
The physical environment or setup for a S.O.L.E. is very important - from our experience the most effective structure for a classroom S.O.L.E. is one which allows for ease of movement for students.
Students will be moving around the space observing what others are doing and discussing their learning. Students can do the research aspect of S.O.L.E. whilst at a table , on beanbags or the floor, whatever is comfortable for them. It is less effective if students are leaning against a wall etc. as others can't observe what they are doing and their findings are harder to share.
We encourage the use of laptops or tablets with a reasonable size screen but this is not essential. Desktop computers are less suitable. The use of technology is often left to the students. At times students may record their findings on large sheets, personal books or on a device.
Sometimes sessions incorporate platforms such as Edmodo or Onenote to record information, some students may prefer using an ipad to record information or video themselves. It is not the technology that is the most critical thing, it is the conversation and discussion about the learning.
The emotional environment that a S.O.L.E. provides offers many of the critical aspects for engagement and motivation to learn - autonomy, choice, trust, relevance, sense of belonging, greatly diminished sense of impending failure or embarrassment.