Classrooms are constantly evolving thanks to technology, but the COVID-19 pandemic has also had a huge impact on the future of the learning environment in the 21st century. Before students make their way back to a physical classroom, take into consideration things that can propel the learning experience further. Classrooms must stay on top of these evolutions to be effective for students. There are many factors that stress the importance of versatility in K-12 learning spaces, and you can learn more about them right here.
Versatility in a learning environment can do many things and this first element is not only beneficial for the students, but for the teachers as well. An organized learning space makes things clearer, especially for younger students. Versatility allows for this to be possible since you can set up a classroom to your liking. There are a lot of areas in a classroom, and having as much flexibility as possible ensures things don’t get too crowed and guides students in the right direction.
Technology has always been a major driving force in education, but that has become even more clear and fast-tracked due to the pandemic. Blended and e-learning environments are most likely here to stay, so it’s important that your learning space can suit both of those needs. Having the technology your classroom needs along with the space for it is going to be huge in the years to come.
What takes up most of the space in a classroom is the furniture in it, from the desks to the chairs. Furniture in a classroom is a must, but it can also put you in a corner because of how necessary it is to have. Choosing furniture that can be easily maneuvered is a key consideration when planning your classroom.
Many students have been without a normal classroom environment for more than a year. When students slowly start to come back to a school building, plenty of safety precautions will be in place. These safety precautions can be a variety of things, such as plastic shields for school desks, to having the ability to practice safe social distancing. Versatility is going to be the key to welcoming students back to school safely, which is why you must keep your options open because of how unpredictable the future is right now.
True face-to-face collaboration between students has been nothing more than staring into a monitor. Versatility can establish a great learning environment in which students can openly collaborate on team projects together when the time comes. This means having the ability to move desks together with alumni classroom furniture, so students can work on stuff when it’s safe to do so.
However, not all schoolwork requires group teamwork, so the layout of a classroom should recognize this as well. When it comes to individual assignments like tests, writing prompts, or time set aside for reading, a classroom will also have to work for those instances. Part of this means having furniture and a space that allows students to focus on their tasks without distractions. This also helps to prevent cheating.
Interactive learning is a great way to spark student engagement, and teachers are always looking for new and inventive ways to incorporate this into their own classrooms. Versatility gives you the ability to have some fun with in-person activities your students might’ve been missing when they were learning from home.
A classroom is full of different walks of people, and some of them require accommodations due to special needs. This is where versatility can give those who have special needs a better suited classroom experience. There are various types of special needs out there that require specific attention, so an adaptive classroom environment is something you must be ready for. In addition to the teaching style, small changes such as the layout of the classroom, playing music in the background, and more can all be positive steps in the right direction for students’ development.
In addition to special needs students, classrooms also have to suit those who learn differently. This is another challenge that teachers must juggle because every student can digest information differently. Allowing a classroom space to be versatile for different types of students gives them the best chance to succeed.
A classroom also needs to be versatile so students and anyone else can move around freely. There’s nothing worse than a cramped space that’s incredibly restricting in terms of how a lesson can be taught. The type of furniture you select goes a long way in making sure students can get from one end of the classroom to the other with ease.
Much of what we’ve talked about has related to the traditional classroom setting, but there’s more to school than just sitting in chairs. A learning space should also be versatile for physical education. This means having the versatility to play different sports and giving students the physical activity they need during the day.
No matter what point a student is at in their schooling lifespan, a comfortable learning environment is always beneficial. This may mean changing things around for students to ensure they absorb the knowledge. A classroom can be a stressful environment, but this can be combated by incorporating new elements like furniture or different layouts that encourage growth.
Lastly, plenty of versatility in the classroom no matter the grade is also vital because it can lead to better engagement. A classroom can be full of distractions, and teachers are always trying to maintain a student’s focus. Having the freedom to try different methods of teaching is what keeps a learning environment fresh and exciting.
The importance of versatility in K-12 learning spaces shouldn't go unnoticed. The classroom is an ever-evolving environment more so than ever before. Keeping up with what impacts students and teachers ensures that it’s suitable for them. Start by getting them the right furniture with Martin Public Seating before students return for the new school year!