Research shows that classroom design has a significant impact on student performance. Constant use means that classrooms suffer a lot of wear, and can quickly look tired and outdated. Unfortunately, shrinking maintenance budgets mean many classrooms go years between redesigns, and student performance suffers as a result.
Today I’m sharing four simple ways you can modernize your classrooms to improve student engagement.
Modernizing your classroom doesn’t need to be a big, expensive project. Often, a simple coat of paint can transform the environment, and completely refresh the feel of your classroom space.
Especially if it’s been a few years since your last classroom redesign, wall paint can start to look tired, dirty and neglected. Repainting your classrooms will refresh them, and brighten them up to create a space that is more likely to inspire positive outcomes and student pride.
2) Invest in Technology
Technology plays an ever-increasing role in classroom learning, and staying up-to-date is key for engaging your students. As such, internet connectivity is key. Whether you want to show educational videos on Youtube or enable students to conduct research for group projects, a good (and secure) Wi-Fi connection is vital.
Classrooms will need a projector and screen, or smart board digital display, for showing presentations in class. Additionally, it’s becoming increasingly common for schools to invest in laptops and tablets which are available for students to use in the classroom.
3) Design for Flexibility
If there is going to be more technology in your classroom, you’ll need a way to power it. Some companies have developed power distribution products that use carpet tiles to conceal thin power tracks that distribute power throughout the classroom. Another flexible power options is to have power sockets embedded in the floor, although installation of this may be more disruptive.
Modern classrooms are increasingly moving away from the traditional, lecture-based teaching setup. It’s been proven that active learning is much better at engaging students compared with them passively listening to their teacher.
Therefore, you need to equip your classroom to maximize flexibility. Your choice of desks and chairs will impact how easy it is for students to move around and work in groups: if it’s hard to change the layout of your classroom, you’ll keep it static. But by enabling movement you will facilitate active learning, and improve student engagement levels.
Your choice of lighting can help to modernize your classrooms, making them feel brighter and more welcoming. Good lighting can also help to emphasise the clean, fresh feel of your newly redecorated classroom.
If you have the budget for a bigger classroom redesign, daylighting – using skylights and larger windows – can help to maximize light levels in the classroom. Studies have repeatedly shown that students exposed to more natural light in the classroom are more engaged with their learning compared with their peers who have less exposure to natural light.