How to create flexible learning spaces that focus on the needs of students and teachers

Purchasing the right furnishings can make a difference in creating positive and efficient learning environments. Manufacturers such as National and KI, offer a complete range of products covering the full needs of teaching institutions, from the reception area to interactive learning stations and computer labs. All components are designed to meet your requirements in terms of ergonomics, flexibility and the integration of new technologies.

When it comes to creating a fluid, tech-savvy, and collaborative learning space consider the following solutions:

THINK ADAPTABILITY 

The wide range of options provides flexibility and functionality making it easier to adapt to different teaching approaches.

Tables & Seating Solutions

Fold Tables by National

Move tables together to collaborate or apart for focus time, or move them out-of-the-way entirely.

Solution highlight: durable casters and flip/nest capabilities allow users to reconfigure with ease.

Essay Seating by National

Essay by NationalFrom classrooms to informal settings, Essay is prepared and ready to perform in any situation. Easily hang a bag or backpack on the chevron-shaped back and feel comfortable that it won’t end up on the floor.

Solution highlights: The optional double pivoting tablet arm offers a non-handed dual work zone allowing users to swivel the worksurface into the perfect location. Add an optional upholstered seat cushion to any Essay model for extra comfort.

Ruckus by KI

Rickus by KIRuckus innovative seating promotes student movement and lets users choose how they relate to their learning spaces. The Ruckus collection fosters student engagement, enables a wide range of teaching styles and adapts to a variety of users and uses.

Solution Highlights: With Ruckus chairs, users can quickly and easily change from focused to collaborative work on the fly without the disruption of rearranging furniture. Seating is non-directional to improve sight lines, and the chair back is perch-able to facilitate tiered classrooms without the need for stools.

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TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION

Interactive technologies are at the heart of the modern school. A collaborative classroom setting that enables easy integration of today’s and tomorrow’s technologies is essential in every campus.

The Right Tools

The Power Tower by National

Power To wer by NationalThis Power Tower is power hub that can be used in a variety of ways. Simply position it among a cluster of chairs or tables in a lounge, student center, or meeting area to provide 360 ̊ of power to a group of users.

Solution highlight: The power tower provides access to 9 power receptacles and 6 USB charging ports.

 

Power Tower by Nationa;

Connection Zone by KI

Connection ZoneConnection Zone Screens move where you move. Spark creativity and facilitate collaboration with writable surfaces that create and define classroom zones. Screens can be used individually or ganged together for division of space, or to provide a larger canvas.

Solution highlights: A variety of insert materials are offered, from acrylic to steel, to tackable fabrics. Easel hooks support writing pads, while accessory trays give quick access to Collaborative tools and dry erase items.

 

Technology | How It Is Changing Education

 

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As technology has transformed higher education, so has how we accommodate those changes. Technology makes learning mobile and makes students active participants in their education, engaging and collaborating with one another, in both small and large groups, in and out of the classroom. Their tools are at their fingertips. Now the classroom is portable. As a result high education is addressing these needs.                

 

Knoll Office facilitated the University of Portland Oregon’s project of modernizing its Clark Library. “We needed to create a fresh environment that would attract 19-23-year-olds to the library,” said Dan Danielson of Soderstrom Architects, of Portland.             

 

“Serving the digital natives of Generation Y on college campuses requires not only state-of-the-art technology, but also an environment that supports the highly collaborative way students work and learn today. At the University of Portland, administrators and library staff sought to create such a space to replace an existing mid-century library that no longer serviced today’s students,” cited Knoll’s case study.

 

Technology is at the forefront of the evolving needs of education, inspiring a mobile and dynamic learning environment that embraces creativity and collaboration. To bring Clark Library up to date, Knoll focused not only on technology, but also on creating collaborative spaces.

“We knew technology would be the heart of the library,” said Harrington. Moreover, improved connectivity was the driver planners assumed would build traffic.

 

Although the building’s technology infrastructure had been updated through the years, the furniture had not necessarily kept up, explained Erika Dehle, Interior Designer at Soderstrom Architects. A shortage of power outlets resulted in a dangerous and unsightly collection of endless cords across floors.”

 

They had cables, cords, tracks, Velcro,” Dehle said. Hampered by low ceilings that made burying cables in raised floors impossible, planners needed to find another solution. 

 

Equal to technology requirements was an acute need for spaces where students could learn collaboratively in a way that did not exist when the original library was built. “Collaboration was really central to what we wanted to do,” said Harrington.

 

From a cultural perspective, planners sought to enhance the facilities to encourage non-academic usage. “They wanted students to use it as a place where they would feel comfortable meeting, studying or whatever,” explained Gina Zaharie, Knoll Sales Representative. “While the physical piece was important, they really wanted that attraction piece to create a place to hang out.”

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Knoll Case Study 02

“Clark Library went from an old traditional library with limited technical capability to a modern facility providing dynamic, interchangeable power, data, storage capacity and display capabilities,” summarized Corrado.

 

“My favorite part is going into the library and seeing it being used the way it is: a warm, inviting space,” said University Operations VP Ravelli. “It’s really night and day with our old space. The space has moved from a 1960s version of a library with mostly books and not much study space, full of dark wood and low energy to one that is high energy, vibrant with almost a “buzz” when you walk in there. Students no longer have to go to the library. They want to go because it’s the place to be. We’re pretty thrilled.”

 

 

 

Case Study information provided by Knoll.

 

 

A Must for Every Campus

gathering Spaces

Gathering Spaces

With the advances in technology, learning can take place just about anywhere on campus. The student union or commons area, also referred to as gathering spaces, can provide a way to enhance the academic experience.Envision a casual, creative atmosphere like a technology-enabled cafe.  A flexible learning environment gives students a sense of community. 

When considering creating a gathering space on campus, examine these ideas:

1. Mix furniture styles for individual work, one-on-one meetings, and large working groups.

2. Furniture with built-in power and communication access is a must.

3. Select durable, adaptable, and sustainable furniture.Let’s take a look at a few space plans ideas by Kimball:

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Some other great ideas for your gathering space:

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