There have been some big changes in Education spaces over the last few years. In an article by University Business Magazine Catherine Gall, Vice President Education Business at Steelcase highlights that technology is driving the way institutions develop their educational landscape.
One of the fastest growing trends throughout education has been the increasing use of mobile devices such as laptops and tablets in the classroom to substitute traditional resources, however being “technology rich” does not automatically mean that students will be sharing and interacting any more than they would using pen and paper. Furniture that integrates, facilitates and promotes the technology that is essential for these collaborative interactions is pivotal to the experience. Education spaces in which students can choose their desired method of collaboration via any connectable device can be achieved by using furniture designed with technology in mind, such as the TOP-TEC Collaborative-Furniture Range.
In order to stay fresh and connected with a student population that has technology and instant access to information at the heart of everyday life, educators are having to adapt the way in which they teach; motivating students and facilitating problem solving, information gathering and self-driven learning rather than spoon-feeding them knowledge.
Creating Blended Education Spaces
Many universities have already adapted existing spaces or created new ones specifically for collaborative/blended learning as opposed to individual classrooms or traditional lecture theatres, for example we worked on a project for Newcastle University who were keen to move away from traditional pedagogies. Newcastle wanted to develop an innovative learning space that encouraged collaborative activities for students in small groups to work on a variety of tasks including, problem solving and preparation of presentations, all of which could be facilitated by ICT.
A number of departments had to combine in order to transform the first floor into an innovative, collaborative learning space, the ‘Herschel Learning Lab’. The lab had a capacity of 120 students and was fitted with TOP-TEC SYNERGY Plectrum and Folding shaped tables. The SYNERGY tables support a variety of teaching spaces and methodologies and provides greater flexibility than standard lecture spaces. The tables integrate AV/IT equipment and power connectivity options for different and multiple devices to create an immersive and interactive way of teaching that increases academic engagement and enhances the student experience. You can read the full case study here (insert link to case study).
If you are interested in creating a more engaging learning space that facilitates the use of technology, please speak to a member of our team today on 0121 783 3838, alternatively get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also be interested in our previous blog post on blended learning Collaboration and Technology Improve students’ learning experience.