BY SAMANTHA BROWN
A practice that’s trending all across the globe is to transform traditional college environments to an all new modernized space.
Modern students seek much more from their higher education set-up than they did before. While degrees and academic participations are important, they are no longer the only goal in their lives. It’s absolutely refreshing to witness new-age students focusing on becoming the next big name in the Silicon Valley, and realizing that an ornamented degree isn’t all it takes to reach there.
Nevertheless, we cannot undermine the value of higher education, nor can we risk bypassing it. But, with changing mindsets and preferences, the model or plan of a higher education curriculum is also changing drastically and how!
What we need are upgraded technologies that can pave way for an interactive learning environment, where students have, besides all resources at their display to augment their learning, all the modern equipment to ensure they don’t face any discomfort while attending classes.
In order to revamp the structure of your University, you need to bear a few things in mind.
Ensure your Classrooms Are Well Protected
What this requires is the use of sturdy blinds, preferably privacy shades, which can be effortlessly installed on the windows of the classroom. This needs to be done to ensure there are no distractions and no scope for heat, cold or dust that can disrupt the learning experience. Examples of good privacy shades are room darkening cellular shades, faux wood blinds, Venetian blinds, wooden shades.
No Distractions for Students
The learner’s focus should not be compromised under any scenario. Instead of letting the teacher or facilitator ensuring students are focusing on the subject under study at all time in the classroom, an environment needs to be created where there are minimum distractions. A student’s attention can waver when the window is open, so it’s essential to have the windows protected through blackout curtains or shades. Install app operated motorized smart blinds that are available in a wide variety of costs, colors and designs.
Students are seeking real world challenges
The line between a student and a professional is getting more and more blurred with time. The primary idea behind an innovative campus is to create a culture which includes the vibes of a professional world. Providing ample opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurial activities is the key. Offer the real world’s most complicated problems to the sharpest minds on campus, and that’s what will keep them coming back.
Break the walls and take it easy
Taking immense inspiration from Steve Job’s innovation Centre in a garage, recent studies have shown that an open, relaxed and flexible environment contributes significantly towards sharpening the thought process and bringing out the most out-of-the-box ideas. A pale and serious classroom environment with geometrically aligned desks and a strategically positioned whiteboard and a stringent time table is gradually going out of fashion and for good. Modern learning spaces should emanate an easy-going vibe and a more informal setting to give the students physical and mental flexibility to express themselves.
Don’t add on to the pile of books but let your libraries be
Anyway when we talk about libraries in today’s times, we refer to a lot more than the syllabus books. A library can include rare manuscripts, journals and vintage literature which is hard to find over the internet. And, of course, we can’t forget the online sources. A library which also has categorized online materials easily available is sure to be a hit. Moreover, all students and even professional to some extent are emotionally connected to libraries, irrespective of what source of knowledge they use. Thus, a well-planned library which strikes a great balance between the traditional and contemporary is a brilliant idea.
Offer beneficial support to students with great ideas
For students with crystal clear goals, a vision or an entrepreneurial idea, suitable backing including finances is a huge asset. A university can play a massive role in offering the same. Organize events and provide platforms that give these young geniuses an opportunity to pitch their ideas before authorities who might be interested and would be happy to collaborate. Connecting current students with successful alumni is a great way of doing this. When students are sorted with the knowledge aspect, colleges can help in providing resources to take the next leap.
Invest on robust cyber security
As it remains the pivotal factor, campuses are going digital in a major way, and that’s how students like it to be. Thus when majority of the infrastructure and functionality lies on digital platforms, you can’t ignore or underestimate the perils of cyber threats. Leading edge cyber security is one of the most fundamental measures or investments for today’s colleges. With such valuable resources and student data uploaded on digital platforms, college networks are always on the hit list of hackers.
Plan your infrastructure like an urban planner
A thriving and successful community lies on 4 pillars – inspiration, resilience, good health and great connections. Thus, when you are thinking about a thriving college campus which is at par with modern standards and expectations you need to build and support these characteristics. Also, it is important to understand that all the above pillars are connected and dependent on each other in some way or the other. Thus to create a happy and vibrant atmosphere within the campus, this is crucial.
Time and tide waits for none, and it is only wise and obviously logical to move ahead with it. Changing trends are and will always be a debatable topic. But, as universities, you are offering a service, and you need to keep in mind what your potential customers (students in this case) are seeking for their betterment.
Samantha Brown is a freelance writer who specializes on carrier guidance, she is also motivational speaker and author