Hillbrook School, an independent, coeducational JK-8 day school in the heart of Silicon Valley, is leaping straight into the fray of mobile learning.

Welcome to the Hillbrook iLab

Posted on August 29, 2012 by Tim Springer under General
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Hello Hillbrook Friends and Welcome to the Hillbrook iLab.

This is the start of a conversation about learning and space. It centers around the iLab – Hillbrook School’s innovative, flexible, agile learning space.


Best wishes today on the start of a new school year.  It’s a crazy, busy and exciting time.

It’s been a busy Summer  - sprucing up the space, installing the furniture, developing rubrics for collecting observational data, working to build additional data collection tools; developing student feedback and informed consent forms; building a new iLab website.  Now that hard work pays off and phase two of the iLab project begins.

What’s an iLab and Why Did Hillbrook Get One?

Several years ago Hillbrook started thinking about how best to accommodate the changes in technology and increased mobility that accompanied smart devices. In 2009, the school launched a 1:1 iPad program.  As part of a larger mobile learning initiative to foster innovation, and support creativity with appropriate technology, tools and space, Hillbrook eliminated its traditional computer lab to develop an agile, experimental learning space – the iLab.

Hillbrook wanted to explore ways in which the physical environment could provide flexible and agile support for active learning.  The foundational idea of the iLab project is that learning spaces are tools. Like all tools, when used appropriately they yield great benefit.  Our goals are to:

  • Increase student engagement
  • Foster interaction
  • Encourage creative problem solving
  • Support a range of pedagogies
  • Improve student outcomes
  • Support learning with technologies

The iLab “Project”

The iLab Project is really two parts.  First, a demonstration project showing how agility and adaptability of the physical space can support learning and teaching.  The second part is a research project to collect evidence of what works and what doesn’t.

The idea is to measure whether and agile, adaptive space can affect student engagement, confidence and performance.  The evidence from the iLab project will inform decisions regarding future redesign of other Hillbrook learning spaces.

To make effective comparisons with other learning spaces at Hillbrook, lots of good information will be collected – from observations, photos and vidoes to stories, interviews, surveys, user input and feedback.  Both from teachers and Hillbrook students.

What’s in it for you?

If you’re a Hillbrook teacher, a student, a parent, or an interested party – we’d like your help.  Use the iLab – or talk to someone who does.

It’s your space – help us understand what works and what doesn’t. Record and share what you do in the iLab and elsewhere. Share your thoughts, ideas, suggestion and feedback.

If you are part of the larger community outside Hillbrook and are interested in the iLab, we welcome your comments, suggests, questions and ideas too.

Once again – this is the start of a conversation.

We look forward to an exciting exploration.

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School of the Week: Hillbrook School | The Puzzle on January 8, 2013

[...] the 2012-2013 school year we debuted our iLab—short for Innovation Lab. This is a prototype space with modular moveable furniture, rolling [...]

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