What is the best way to learn? Its an extremely complex question, but a new and exciting approach has been adopted at two Ontario schools that provides a glimpse into the role universities can now play in the learning process. It involves creating an idea incubator dedicated to students.
Last year, the University of Waterloo's VeloCity received some attention for its innovative approach to helping student's collaborate and build on their ideas. VeloCity is a small 70 bed residence in the corner of the UW campus that was due for a renovation when a discussion took place between staff in residence and graphics that radically changed the normal approach to renewing a residence building. Those discussions lead to the creation of VeloCity which provides entrepreneurial students with a chance to innovative, collaborate and learn.
Staff at my school used VeloCity to help build on some discussions and ideas that had been happening around campus. The dialogue has lead to the creation of the Digital Media Zone or DMZ. Our video blogger recently posted a video of a tour she had of the DMZ that will help explain what happens there.
When learning is real to a student it can lead to powerful outcomes. And it does not get more real then seeing an idea grow from a thought to reality. By creating space for the purpose of incubating ideas Waterloo & Ryerson are creating extremely powerful learning opportunities for students.