K–12 Modern Learning Environments Can Be Built Outside of the Classroom
Teachers have spent the last 200 years nurturing and nudging the K—12 learning environment to make it perfect. What would have they said even 50 years ago if we had told them that the K—12 modern learning environment could be built outside of the classroom?
Why Is the Learning Environment Important?
Several things affect student learning. Among these, the most vital is the classroom environment. A great classroom environment provides clear learning goals, relevant content, strategies to help students succeed, and opportunities to build social skills. All of these are vital to student success.
What Is a Modern Learning Environment?
A modern learning environment is one that integrates technology into learning and teaching. Thus, it gives the students and the teachers the tools they need to succeed in a physical environment. This environment, then, supports several learning styles simultaneously while promoting collaboration.
What Are the Benefits of Technology in the Classroom?
Technology has many benefits in the classroom for both students and teachers. For one, it helps to prepare children for the future. Another reason is that it helps teachers to connect with their students. It helps to incorporate different learning styles. It also improves collaboration among students and teachers. Rather than being a distraction, as you’d think, it encourages active participation and, therefore, creates an environment that’s more engaging.
How Does Technology Change the Learning Environment?
There are benefits and drawbacks to technology in the classroom. However, the benefits seem to outweigh the drawbacks. Because technology provides an avenue for such flexibility in the field of learning, and because it’s an essential building block in bringing about collaborative learning, it is a means by which our students can work more collaboratively. You see, with technology, students can better research subjects, learn specific skills, and share their ideas.
Do We Learn Outside of the School Environment?
Indeed! Students do, and should, learn outside of the classroom! Evidence shows that it can help improve student engagement and classroom behavior when learning takes place outside of the school. It can also raise achievement.
Ways to Take Learning Outside of the Classroom
There are many ways to take learning outside of the classroom. These include: taking a field trip, studying abroad, taking technology outside of the classroom, field trips that are complete with learning experiences, allowing the students to assess field experiences, and requiring the students to research further on the experiences they had on the field trips.
But We Can Also Build Modern Learning Environments Outside of the Classroom!
Modern learning environments are being built outside of the classroom in schools across the states. K—12 schools are taking learning out into the hallways, into the cafeteria, and into the libraries, and more!
How Do We Build an Effective Modern Learning Environment Outside the Classroom?
No effective, modern learning environment is ever a one-size-fits-all. However, they may possess (but are not limited to): collaborative or conversational lesson plans; one-to-one technology programs or student devices; outdoor and indoor learning environments; collaborative room layout; significant partner and group work; a culture of curiosity and positivity; presentation technology (an example of this would be interactive whiteboards); and flexible options in seating (an example would be having yoga balls, standing desks, and bouncy bands available).
As you can see, the right learning environment is vital. The modern learning environment is where it is. And outside the classroom is the place to be! Now it’s your turn! How will you build your effective modern learning environment outside of your classroom?