Whether at Work or School, Design to Activate a Hungry Mind
From antibiotics and the printing press to electric lights and the internet, many of the world’s breakthrough discoveries and inventions share one thing in common: They were the result of curiosity.
Curiosity makes us eager to learn and to solve problems. It’s a special spark that seeks out new knowledge and the desire to learn how things work.
If you’ve ever sat at a rigid, fixed desk and chair for any length of time, you know how uncomfortable this nonconforming setup can be. Whether a student trying to learn and engage in a classroom, or an employee tasked with being productive and creative at work, natural body comfort and alignment is closely tied with how well we feel and perform.
In fact, study after study confirms what we know intrinsically: that our physical surroundings — from the chair we sit in to the air temperature in a room — make a difference. Energy levels, the ability to focus, and even rates of absenteeism are all linked to our physical surroundings.Read More
Although the nature of work, school, and how we take care of ourselves is changing, we humans — whether as children or adults — continue to spend a significant amount of time together in a physical place, such as an office building, school, or health facility.
What impact do these spaces have on our engagement and well-being? And how can we create environments that encourage greater interconnection and productivity?
The teachers’ lounge should be a precious sanctuary, a small safe harbor from a storm of taking care of students’ needs, assuaging parental concerns, and being responsible for keeping everyone in line and on task. Here are 6 design tips for the teachers' lounge that will make the most of the space by turning it into a true refuge, a place where teachers can escape the oftentimes chaotic world of the classroom, and recenter their minds, hearts, and even their souls.Read More
Colors in the classroom environment that should maximize information retention, stimulate participation, and will boost active learning. But what colors are the best to achieve these results for active learning? The key to creating an environment conducive to learning in a classroom is to not over-stimulate learners.
Color can affect our feelings, memory, attention and motivation to work due to their impact on our emotions. Here are 5 colors in the classroom that you should consider such as a room’s wall color, or a select accent, such as chairs, desks or tables, depending on the intended effect.
Color - bright colors in particular - stimulate the brain and help boost memory. In the past, color was primarily used as a tool to influence early learners, but recently it’s been shown that this effect carries across all age groups. According to the College of St. Scholastica, “color does indeed have an impact on student behavior, academic performance, and feelings of well-being”. In addition to their overall influence, each color has specific traits that impact students in different ways. For example, blues and greens are often seen as calming, while reds and oranges are more invigorating. Let’s take a look at how you can incorporate color into your classroom in order to encourage learning and improve the mood of your students.Read More
Classroom design is a powerful tool in your arsenal for improving levels of student interaction and engagement. Active learning improves retention of knowledge by promoting the four C's of learning: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity.Read More
Did you know many schools are no longer calling the library a library? Nowadays it’s becoming more prevalent to call this multi-use space a “learning commons” or “media center” or “technology hub.”Read More
"The more you know about the past, the better you are prepared for the future." - Theodore Roosevelt
Attention span and focus - how do we set up our classrooms for students to feel focused and engaged? This can particularly be a problem in hands-off style classes like History or Social Studies. How do we connect with each one of our students while fostering a sense of community? Here are a couple ideas to maximize time and space in the classroom while getting the most focus from each of your students.Read More
"Play. It brings joy. It is within this context that learning can occur." - Kyle Snow, Ph.D.
Early childhood environments should foster both fun and safety; a place where we balance freedom of expression with fundamentals of good behavior. Here are some suggestions on how to give students room to play and room to focus:Read More
Topics: Case Studies