It’s working!

During  the past  few years  I have  felt very  fortunate  to have a  fantastic admin  team at CIS  that has been extremely  supportive  in making sure the Educational Media Center grows as a learning center, not only in terms of resources but also facilities.
Last School year, in preparation for the upcoming renovation of our EMC, we had to start thinking and planning on the design of a space that would be conducive to the challenges of a 21st century  learning environment. Before getting hands on, we had to think about how  the EMC  could provide a  space  that  is engaging, creative, flexible, adaptable and  supportive  to new and more varied modes of learning.
While we were gathering information and suggestions, an idea hit me like a bolt of lightening:  

“We have to give students something special and inviting. The EMC has to offer a physical environment that is different from any other space in school that teachers and students regularly use.”
My point was, why would students and teachers use the EMC facilities, when they can continue to use their own classroom, a more private space that has been customized to their specific needs?

In our efforts to make a 21st century learning center, we had mistakenly tried to recreate a standard, formal library, with a space with tables and chairs at the very front of the EMC, assuming that teachers would want to use it as an expanded classroom.   

After months of discussions and drawing of design alternatives, we decided to  redesigned  the EMC space  to make  it more of a “movie theater”, as well as open up  the  shelving  to  spread  the  tables  throughout  the  library  to allow more privacy  in seating and better supervision:

pic 1

Our  next  step was  to  renovate  the  “computer  lab” area  and  transform  it  into  a  multimedia  editing suite with 14 brand new desktop computers and a floating cart of laptops for students use.

pic 2 

Can you tell from the pictures that everything in the EMC  is on wheels now?   So we do have a lot of movement and flexibility. The EMC has become a multi-purpose  space  since  once you  remove  everything  on  wheels,  all  you have left is an open space ready to be rearrange for workshops, presentations, meetings, etc 

pic 3

We  are  hoping  we  have  captured  the “something  different”  concept  with  these  major renovations. Is there any teacher at CIS who has a movie theatre  in his/her classroom with  comfortable  chairs  and  soft  seating areas?  (and wait until we install surround  sound  speakers…coming very soon). 


It  is working! We  are  seeing  changes  already! More students are coming on a daily basis. The atmosphere feels friendly but at the same time we can see that the MHS students are focusing on  their  tasks. There  is energy and purpose  in the EMC!

What other brain waves can you offer to help us continue what we have already started?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar