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Collaborative and CreativeNow that school has started and you’ve been in the full swing of things for a few months, you might have some ideas on how your classroom can be better configured for learning. Ghent has some ideas to share with you, as well. The modern, collaborative classroom is an exciting place full of possibilities and a different perspective can really help put creative concepts into practice.
Room to GrowAccording to a Hechinger Report article, this new movement of being more flexible with the space in a classroom is well-founded: “It’s based on brain research that is still in the early stages but has shown that, when it comes to learning, space matters. A space that allows for movement can reduce student fatigue, improve performance and promote student collaboration.”
Preparing for the WorkplaceThe article goes on to say that the approach also follows the format of many modern workplaces where employees are encouraged to use different settings to produce problem-solving work. The logic is that the students will be better prepared for the workforce after they graduate.
Think Outside the LinesSchools are really seeing the value in a classroom with a flexible design. The Hechinger Report article stated, “In all, Miami is spending $1.2 billion to upgrade outdated schools and open up cramped classrooms that used to have desks lined up, as one teacher put it, ‘cemetery style.’” Read that again. “Cemetery style.” It all begs the question: If we’re trying to teach kids to be innovative, why do we keep falling back into the same classroom design? If students are free to collaborate with their desks in a circle or jot down quick ideas during brainstorm sessions on moveable whiteboards, everybody wins.
Porcelain and CorkThankfully, Ghent has some reasonable options that won’t break the bank like the budget mentioned above. Porcelain and cork surfaces are ideal for everyday use and transitioning between lectures, presentations, and group activities. Placing these tools around your classroom can easily create microzones for collaboration, without rearranging your classroom.
Mobile and ReversibleThis reversible board would be perfect for a project that uses both gathering information and writing out ideas. One side is corkboard, so students can pushpin essential papers or maybe even map out a writing web. The other side is whiteboard so they could compile approaches and solutions to a project. And they’re mobile! Aluminum boards come with durable, locking wheels—and the wheels are optional for wood-framed boards.
Allow OwnershipNexus Easels are an excellent way to allow students to take learning into their own hands–literally! The design enables students to have ownership of their work by being small enough to work on individually. Then, the thoughtful design allows the easels to be attached to other easels to complete the process–the mobile double-sided magnetic whiteboards allow the user to configure their workspace as needed. With a magnetic porcelain whiteboard surface and Nexus Tablets to expand the writing surface, the double-sided, mobile board is an all-in-one tool. Tablet hangers and storage keeps everything you need within arms reach.
Let the Learning BeginWith so many brilliant ideas on how to make your classroom more conducive to genuine learning, the question is: where should you start?! Introduce one new concept at a time and see how your students become much more interested and engaged.