Designing Classrooms That Engage Students

Classroom design can be a burden. It can feel like starting from scratch. A blank slate, or a blinking cursor, can be paralyzing. But with a little inspiration, you can apply thoughtful design that catalyzes learning in common spaces, libraries, and media centers, as well as in classrooms. Much of this stems from the notion of today’s always-connected students and the need to adapt learning spaces “designed with the assumption that students will have constant access to connectivity.”

Design thinking is a crucial skill, not only for students, but for educators as well. For teachers, administrators, and staff who love technology, this kind of thinking often shapes how we assess and use new tech. Is the user interface well-designed? Is this system intuitive? Does it reinforce learning goals? Does it work with other devices or software? Motivated educators use this kind of thinking, meant to encourage thoughtful consideration, planning, and use, to help their students achieve. But do we often apply this thinking to the physical world? To the non-digital space in which we engage students?

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