Mar 18 2022

Benefits and Considerations for Creating Modern, Innovative Learning Spaces in Schools

K–12 districts are putting more thought into creating environments that provide access, engagement opportunities and equity.

Creating a modern learning environment within a school district often used to be the result of a “keeping up with the Joneses” approach. When a school saw what a neighboring district implemented, it would try to keep pace by purchasing similar technology or building a similar space.

These days, districts are taking a much more thoughtful approach when they purchase technology. They are considering what will work best inside their school buildings. They are working with experts like CDW to understand what modern learning environment would best benefit their student populations.

As a result, schools have the ability to create access and meaningful learning for students in ways that weren’t previously available. There are new considerations to be made though, including a lot of necessary planning when it comes to building out these modern spaces.

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Providing Access and Engagement Opportunities

In today’s education landscape, modern learning environments give more students equitable opportunities. The technology schools are implementing also helps bring together students across the country.

On the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Native students were connected with districts in Virginia, North Carolina and Washington, D.C. This gave all of the students involved the opportunity to learn about experiences in other regions.

In some ways, speaking with and learning from one another helped these student populations more than learning from adults did.

Modern learning environments also promote student engagement. One school district created a blended learning lab in which the furniture allowed students to work more creatively and aided the teacher in working flexibly. The school used Promethean interactive displays to increase student engagement, which ultimately led to student success.

RELATED: Flat-panel displays support pedagogy, digital equity and engagement in districts.

Implementing Modern Learning Environments in K–12 Schools

When planning a modern learning environment or digital transformation within a district, school leaders must consider the logistics of the tech implementation.

This can be a lengthy process. IT leaders must consider the installation, configuration, imaging and security settings for any new technology they’re bringing into the district. Details come into play, down to the color of the furniture being purchased, and schools should make sure the proper parties are brought to the table when these decisions are made.

Setting up the new tech is just the first step; everything will also need to be managed at a future date. This is particularly true for anything connected to the internet, which many devices are. There are network-managed speakers and cameras — like Logitech’s BRIO webcams — that allow users to log in and manage everything from a single pane of glass.

Perhaps the most important consideration in the implementation of modern learning environments is the professional development that must accompany the new technology. Without it, educators won’t be equipped to benefit from new ed tech — and can’t provide the access and opportunity to students that these technologies offer.

MORE ON EDTECH: Explore the continued importance of professional development.

With thoughtful planning and implementation, schools can be sure the technology they’re bringing in as part of their modern learning environments won’t sit in a closet unused. Instead, it can give students a more holistic, more equitable learning experience.

This article is part of the “ConnectIT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology” series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the #ConnectIT hashtag.

[title]Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology

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