“The world has changed since chalkboards came along but the classroom hasn’t gotten the word,” observed Lennie Scott-Webber, Ph.D., Director of Education Environments for Steelcase. For many generations blackboards worked well enough. Classrooms were passive learning environments where students were required to absorb whatever was presented. Not today. Now students are active learners, empowered by technology, in a collaborative and interactive environment. Rethinking the educational space to support this new model has created a far more engaging and productive experience for students and teachers alike.
Room to Learn
Steelcase researcher Andrew Kim suggests that, “more mobility inside and outside of classrooms, and new kinds of learning spaces” are important to advance problem-solving and communication skills among students. The 2014 Horizon Report published by New Media Consortium concurs: “educational paradigms are shifting to include more online, blended and hybrid learning and collaborative models.”
Today learning happens everywhere, from classrooms and lecture halls to libraries and student lounges. Technology is central to that experience. Schools and universities looking to recreate traditional learning spaces to accommodate it will find dynamic solutions here. We offer innovative solutions and furnishings that enable a seamless integration of mobile technology along with the flexibility to change and adapt to different spaces and study challenges. The next classroom is here.
Research into the Classroom Design
Steelcase has long been a proponent of thoughtful examination into how a space and its furnishings impact the learning process. We present the highlights of their research, identified as Insights, throughout this section.