The Future of Learning: Emerging Design Trends in K-12

K-12 schools are always on the lookout for newer and better ways to keep students’ attention throughout the day. As attention spans continue to shorten, we’re seeing certain behavioral patterns in children begin to mirror patterns observable in adults.

For example, the general population struggles to focus on a digital platform for more than 10 minutes at a time. Similarly, many K-12 students experienced great difficulty focusing on digital lessons during the pandemic. These findings and more are driving current trends in K-12 design in 2022 and beyond.

Nano Lessons – The Future of Education?

As attention wanes, boredom soon follows – not the ideal state of mind for learning. The solution? Many schools are adopting “nano lessons.” These shorter, bite-sized lessons are intended to make educational material easier to digest. Lasting anywhere from 90 seconds to five minutes, they give students knowledge, utilizing various media designed to limit cognitive overload.

To support these types of lessons, a flexible learning environment is crucial. More specifically, it should be possible to configure your learning spaces for small group activities, and your furniture should be capable of storing the items necessary for supporting nano lessons. Modern desks designed for flexibility allow teachers to configure things differently and feature optional accessories and storage. Concepts like these point to the future of classroom design, with approaches that keep the minds and bodies of students fully engaged.

Personalized Learning

Everyone learns differently and at their own pace. Each student can learn the same content in different applications, and smaller assignments using technology or other learning management systems help adjust instruction to the individual. To facilitate this, classrooms need two key elements: quiet areas to stimulate progress and technology zones within the learning environment. Tables, seating and presentation tools must all be chosen and optimized in ways that enable students to move between activities and engage in different types of learning.

Implementing Technology for Connected Learning

Connected learning integrates technology into the classroom for better retention with apps, smart boards and other tools. Connected learning is more about creating a smart classroom than a modern classroom, but the necessities are similar. When considering furniture, you will need seating solutions that are effortless to move and can facilitate all types of education throughout the day.

Stimulating Imaginations with Maker Spaces

Students need time and space during the day to explore and learn about their interests. What they work on is up to them – they’re allowed to select a project out of pure curiosity for an hour or so each week. Creating spaces to support these sorts of activities is about giving freedom to creativity and collaboration. These spaces are becoming a massive K-12 trend and for good reason – they’re loved by teachers and students alike.

Bringing Students Together with Collaborative Learning

Technology is an excellent tool for kids as they discover new ways to learn. However, it can also have a negative impact on their ability to form relationships and develop communication skills. In the classroom, both of those things are vitally important.

While small groups may seem like an old trend (if you’re of a certain age, group projects may feel quite familiar), teachers are beginning to refocus on them as an old-school solution to a 21st-century problem. Design approaches to support small groups can be simple yet powerful: the space needs flexible furniture that is easy to clean, ideally with exciting colors that help to keep students engaged.

Choosing lightweight, durable and configurable furniture is ideal for collaboration and social interaction – or focused study time.

Interested in learning more about our thoughts and approach to K-12 architecture and design? We’d love to share it with you! Click here.

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