Ideas that Inspire Productive Learning Environments
Our New Idea Book is Available Now
This book is all about one thing — inspiration.
We've filled it with a ton of useful information including research on educational trends and ideas for creating complete learning environments that improve student outcomes.
Following are excerpts from the articles that are included in the Projects by Design 2017 Idea Book.
Are Your Classrooms Outdated? Updating is the Right Move!
These days, when school and district leaders look at outdated classrooms with aging furniture that is needlessly rigid, they understand that their facility is not providing what the 21st century's students need. They also believe that rectifying the situation is beyond their control.
That's not the case. With the right mindset and a strategic plan, updating your classrooms is a realistic possibility.
Learning Happens Everywhere.
Hallways, courtyards, and other common areas in a school used to be forgotten space. It wasn't thought that they could serve any purpose other than getting students from one place to the next or giving people a place to wait.
In the 21st century, learning happens everywhere. That is especially true on school grounds, where technology allows students to work, collaborate, and connect anywhere.
Focusing on Student Health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 13 million children ages 2-19 are considered obese. Yet, in recent decades, physical education and activities have taken a back seat to more academic time in response to high-stakes testing.
That is no longer the case.
Makerspaces: Places for Hands-On Learning and Exploring.
Although hands-on learning has been around for decades, a lot of difference lies between being able to touch something and being able to create something. The latter allows students to practice skills in demand in the modern economy.
Teachers and schools are realizing they need to provide more experiential learning experiences for their 21st century students. One way is through learning environments called "makerspaces".
Advanced Career & Technical Education: Providing Real World Skills.
The vast majority of the new jobs created during the recent economic recovery were for high-skilled workers. That trend is only expected to continue as the world's economy becomes more technical. Yet many of these jobs can be filled with certifications or two-year degrees. This is where career and technical education (CTE) can play a role in moving the country forward.
Creating the Right STEAM Lab For Your School.
When the nation started renewing its educational focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects, some educators felt that the approach came at the expense of art. In many classrooms, you now see "STEAM", with teachers incorporating a more multi-discipline approach that requires creativity, as well as critical thinking and problem solving.
The Right Environment For Today's Early Learners.
While much of the focus of education reform in the past decade or so has been focused on preparing students for college and career, how we approach our youngest learners is just as important. The early childhood environment sets the stage for how a child learns throughout their academic career. Today's best practices call for rethinking these environments to support 21st century learning skills and aligning these spaces to high quality program standards.
Create Productive Spaces For Special Learners.
Varied exceptionalities are just that – varied. Some students with special needs require more freedom of movement. Others need choice in seating that meets their sensory needs. All students have preferences that help them feel safe and enable them to focus.
New Cafeteria Designs for Healthy, Productive Learning.
If you walk into a modern cafeteria, you would be forgiven if you thought you were instead in a hot new restaurant or the neighborhood coffee shop. For too long, eating spaces were afterthoughts in school design. But creating engaging cafeterias can make wide-ranging differences in student health, engagement, and school finances in the only education business unit that actually generates revenue.
Put Safety First: Protect Your Students & Teachers.
Unfortunately, it seems anywhere people gather is a popular target for those who wish to do harm. For those individuals, schools and education institutions are increasingly high value.
Preparation for threats is now a sound investment in the protection of students and teachers. This preparation can come from both training and products that can help secure a school and provide safety during an emergency.
To help you get your creative juices flowing, we've also compiled some great products representing new thinking and trends in education environments. These products capture the spirit of the concepts we're presenting in our new Idea Book.