Schools are preparing students for an entirely different world after graduation than the traditional classroom was designed for, resulting in Agile and Active Learning Spaces. “Today’s educational paradigm is no longer one of knowledge transfer but one of knowledge creation and curation.”* Classrooms need to evolve.
To create effective and efficient learning environments, you need adaptable, durable furniture that can flex to the task at hand. From lecture halls to active learning classrooms, agile furnishings help create dynamic learning environments that enhance the student’s academic experience.
The “Agile Classroom” design centers on flexibility. It is a reconfigurable space that quickly addresses different needs. Furniture is portable and convertible, creating spaces to engage different kinds of learners and teachers. Teachers and students reconfigure their rooms very quickly. The focus then moves away from a defined front of the classroom and a whiteboard or a blackboard. That opens up the entire class, which changes the mindset.
The Agile Classroom transforms easily from a traditional classroom layout to collaborative group work to student-focused presentations. It allows the teacher’s role to progress from center focus to a guide. Rolling desks and chairs can be arranged in rows, clusters, teams, or even in a circle to support the day’s needs. There are whiteboards everywhere. The adjustable-height faculty podium allows the instructor to sit or stand and is moveable throughout the room. Wireless connectivity allows content to display on the classroom screen or the student’s laptop, tablet, or phone easily.
“Active Learning” engages students in the process of learning through activities and discussion in class, as opposed to passively listening to an expert. Student engagement is known to be more effective than traditional lecturing for student learning and student success. According to many students and instructors, the most critical technology in an Active Learning space is the movable and round tables. In addition, the movable tables and whiteboards enable active learning instruction, as opposed to advanced technology classrooms with screens for every student*. These tools create a situation that is conducive to them to interact with one another to talk.
The pandemic has also emphasized the safety benefits of Agile Furniture in the classroom. All furniture fits through a three-foot wide door. The whole classroom can be rearranged within a couple of minutes. Students can optimally configured classrooms for social distancing and group discussions while in class. Whatever new challenges arise in the future , classrooms stocked with Agile furniture will meet them, making them effectively future-proof.
Portable Air purifiers effectively reduce concentration of airborne particulate matter in indoor spaces. However, most portable air systems are not suitable for a school environment. Home-use air systems would struggle to deal with the high levels of particulates in an average classroom or do not have the trapping capability to trap the ultra-fine particulates commonly found in an indoor classroom environment.
At an east coast school, one EnviroKlenz Air System Plus was used per classroom. For this case study, the air meter was allowed to be set up in advance of the EnviroKlenz Air Systems Plus deployment to establish background PM 2.5 readings. The readings were taken before the school dismissal for Thanksgiving Break. The EnviroKlenz Air Systems were deployed following the return in December. The baseline readings showed the impact of student movement in the facility with spikes during high traffic times such as arrival and dismissal as expected. Once the EnviroKlenz Air Systems were deployed, the spikes leveled off, and the monitoring area was able to maintain PM 2.5 levels at or below the EPA national standard when that was not the case before deploying the EnviroKlenz Air Systems
Testing Period: 12/9/20- Present
Setting: Classroom in a School
Running Time: Typically only run during school hours.
Monitor status: Kept on throughout testing period
Observation: Spikes can be seen at night and decrease in the morning, which shows the abilities to remove particles quickly.
Higher Education facilities demand a variety of traditional and open plan solutions that support diverse individual work styles and provide multiple opportunities for collaborative work and group activities. In addition, with the increased use of technology and mobility, colleges and universities have shifted from fixed dedicated offices for faculty to more flexible spaces.
The majority of departmental leaders say their workforces move to different locations throughout the day and do not require dedicated workplaces. Regardless if the transition is due to a mobile workforce, breaking down departmental “silos,” or improving employee engagements, the main focus for educators is enabling people to choose where, when, and how they want to work.
Learning spaces designed for collaboration have flexible seating arrangements, boast comfortable furniture, and are agile enough to be reworked quickly. As a result, collaborative groups may go from only a handful of students to larger groups in a class period.
Although collaboration is vital, there are undoubtedly times when students will want—and need—to work independently and in their own space.
Learning spaces designed for understanding do not emphasize a separation between teacher and student spaces, as there is no set “front of the room”. Instead, makerspace-type areas for students to create, tinker, and design, push students to ask questions and seek understanding—not listen to information and regurgitate. Students, who have such opportunities today, solve the problems of tomorrow.
Learning spaces that promote social interactions, encourage students to develop social skills and relationship building. During a class period, these spaces may be used for small-group instruction and interactions. Before school, between classes, and after school, these spaces provide areas where class discussions continue, social skills are built, and informal interactions occur.
When creating a multi-faceted learning environment, the right furniture can transform a classroom, STEM lab, cafeteria, or other areas. Whether it is updating a few pieces or redesigning an entire room, Agile Furniture will provide the foundation needed to engage students and facilitate every style of learning.