The Classroom of Tomorrow: 21st-Century Classroom Design
BY JANE HURST
Today, your classes may be set in a traditional classroom, with old-fashioned desks and maybe even a blackboard. But, that is about to come to an end. The future of classrooms is here, and it is only going to get better and better. Modern classrooms come complete with new design concepts, better accessibility, more mobility, and teachers are getting to know their students more so they can better help them to achieve greatness in their studies. Let’s take a look at how classrooms are changing for the better.
One of the biggest changes in classrooms is that they are now often divided into special zones. A practical classroom will have a zone for group gatherings, such as meetings, and the spaces will be a lot more flexible. Professors can get creative with spaces by setting up areas for students working alone, in pairs, and in groups. Today’s educators are coming to realize that comfort is important when learning, and many classrooms incorporate sofas, beanbag chairs, etc., which can be found at thrift stores for next to nothing. Furniture can be arranged to create nooks, where you will find bookshelves, study areas, etc.
There was a time when a student in a wheelchair couldn’t get into a classroom. Today’s classrooms are made with accessibility in mind. The classrooms are designed to ensure that all learners get the most out of their experience. If any of your students need better accessibility for any classes, don’t hesitate to ask them for feedback to find out exactly what they need. Then, you can come up with a way to accommodate them. Talk to the administration and ask to have bulletin boards, whiteboards, hooks, etc. lowered to accommodate everyone.
Today’s student doesn’t necessarily sit in one spot for hours on end. Modern education is all about mobility, and thanks to the Internet, there is no end to how mobile one’s studies can be. Some students thrive in a traditional classroom environment, but there are many who do not. Set up classrooms in a way that students can get up and move around while still being able to take in everything going on in the class. There are many devices and apps that make this easier, and you can have them use blogging apps (WordPress and EduBlogs), math practice apps, and more, all from their mobile devices so they aren’t stuck in their chairs all day. You can even create educational blogs with your own special logo (with the help of free Shopify Logo Maker) and design.
At one time, it was expected that students showed their instructors respect, but reciprocation was never necessary. That has changed. Today, instructors need to be respectful of their students. Each one has different needs, and some do better in their studies than others. Rather than being disrespectful of those who have difficulties, get to know them better, and find out what it will take to help them make it to graduation. As they grow, you will find that you will be growing as well.
Rather than giving students assignments and expect them to be creative, find ways to inspire their creativity so it is always there, and they don’t have to turn it on and off. There are many ways that you can do this. You can create an inspiration zone that students can use at any time. Teach them the characteristics of creativity, from risk taking to learning how to deal with failure to keeping at it, and help them learn how to apply these characteristics to their own work.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter!