“What will students need access to in order to learn in an authentic manner?” Britten asks. “Active-learning technology allows them to move from consuming information to creating and thinking on a deeper level.”
Human Teachers Will Always Have a Place in the Classroom
As Baird and his team learn more about the role physical space plays in learning environments, he recognizes the role of teachers.
“Space can push teachers to try different things and take chances,” he says. “New technologies may push teachers in new directions — hopefully toward more human connections with students.”
In the SCALE UP room at Virginia Tech, Baird included more small group activities and discussion, and encouraged use of whiteboards, along with new strategies to leverage the space.
But the human element has been, and will continue to be, key to tying everything together in next-gen, modern learning environments.
“A more open and collaboration-friendly atmosphere is helpful,” says Eric L. Blake, principal of Brooklyn’s Science, Technology and Research Early College School. “But we still need teachers to use a toolkit of solid and battle-tested classroom strategies to engage all learners.”