Creative modern classroom design extends far beyond simply equipping a 20th-century classroom with computers. It must be an entirely new concept, from the basic shell of the classroom to the teacher’s area to the work stations for students. Smart classrooms have to come up to speed in more than one area in order to provide the truly intelligent learning space of today and the immediate future. These are five design elements that distinguish the truly 21st-century classroom.
- Collaborative classroom furniture. Collaboration means interaction between students and teachers and among students, as well. Problem-solving and group projects require learning furniture that adjusts to multiple learners, then quickly reconfigures to individual mode for activities like testing and independent reading.
- Sufficient electrical resources. The image is common: Students in a school library or elsewhere crowding around a single available AC outlet to charge devices like tablet computers or laptops. Schools must realize that electricity is a teaching and learning resource today and that making it conveniently available is an asset to the educational experience.
- Intelligent lecterns. Teachers need a technological home base in the classroom. The lectern can fulfill that need if it incorporates features such as a recessed flat-screen monitor, USB ports, interactive whiteboard controls and audio/visual capabilities.
- Flexible lighting levels. On/off lighting is not sufficient for the needs of the 21st-century classroom. Lighting levels that adjust to a wide range of learning activities better accommodates today’s realities. It must be easily dimmed or enhanced according to the needs of the moment. Electronic displays must be viewable and students should be able to read projection screens and whiteboards whether they are closest or furthest away from the presentation.
- Downsized gathering areas. Space utilized for large auditoriums may have better uses divided into smaller gathering areas that host the students of a few classrooms at once. Maintaining smaller size preserves collaborative and group possibilities. This more closely aligns with the experience students will encounter in today’s working world.
Since 1986, Nova Solutions has provided answers to the learning challenges of today and tomorrow. Contact us for more information about modern classroom design.