Education Evolution: Designing Schools for Personalized Learning
When most people think of schools, there’s a similar image of a classroom that comes to mind: orderly desks in a row, with the teacher at the head of the classroom, lecturing out of a book - but that image is evolving, and rapidly.
Schools are breaking through the stereotype of tradition and are adapting to a new era of education. Along with the introduction of new technologies that open up new avenues for learning, classroom real estate is being utilized better than ever before and becoming more fluid to foster a more personalized learning environment.
Learning isn’t a linear process, and true personalization can’t be as well. In a nutshell, personalized learning is education that is tailored to the learning preferences and specific interests of different students. Studies have shown that schools that adapt to personalized learning environments see an excellent return for their efforts, such as 69% increased student engagement and 39% greater retention.
Personalized learning isn’t just about making small adjustments here and there in your students’ homework or reading texts; it’s about personalizing a mix of different activities to provide your students with a richer learning experience.
But just how do we bring those concepts to life? Here are some elements to consider when designing for a truly personalized learning experience in schools:
- Creation zones. Different stations in the classroom that can accommodate the different learning styles of your students, whether it’s visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.
- Flexible furniture. Mobile classroom furniture to support both independent and social-based group learning
- Tailor your tech. Access to technology, whether computer-based or utilizing online education software, can modify the presentation of material in response to a student’s learning needs
- Boost under-performing real estate. Transforming underused space such as libraries to flourishing learning commons has shown to be effective in increasing student communication and collaboration
Companies are shifting their office spaces to more comfortable, open, and flexible spaces because of the huge impact on worker productivity and satisfaction, so it only makes sense that our classrooms should evolve too. Introducing avenues for personalized learning in your next school re-design will not only promote more quality time between teachers and their students, but will also encourage students to use their time in school more effectively.
How does your school integrate Personalized Learning in the classroom?