Giving Compass' Take:

• Brian Bulmer, writing for Getting Smart, explores how creative learning spaces in K-12 schools can drive progress in STEM instruction.

• How can donors help schools foster these types of environments? What resources are necessary to build creative learning spaces?

•  Read more about creating spaces to boost student engagement. 

As technology and innovation become the first priority for school districts, it’s important that students are offered creative learning spaces to expand and challenge their knowledge and ability to create. Technology can help students boost their concentration, retain information and encourage individualized learning programs. Students can also begin to advance their collaboration skills through online projects.

However, providing a creative learning space is more than just updating classroom technology, Learning Experience Designer Lynn Marentette explains a successful, creative learning space should include the following characteristics:

  • Flexible space that can be easily adjusted to meet support the learning activities
  • Allow for movement
  • Allow for various groupings
  • Allow for hands-on exploring, making, and building
  • Allow for curriculum integration, including the arts
  • Support social interaction and development
  • Support cognitive skills and development
  • Support the integration of technology
  • Provide opportunities for students to learn through examples

Creative learning spaces house advanced technology such as interactive Promethean boards, 3D printers, audio/visual production, a computer programming lab and more technologies that help students develop better computer, problem-solving and design thinking skills.

With new technology, students can grow in a multitude of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) classes. In fact, the STEAM framework itself has proved to be a critical component to elementary education that better prepares students’ for future careers, especially since the United States is expecting to see more than 3 million job openings in the STEM-related fields in 2018.

By offering innovative, engaging and collaborative learning spaces, school districts and educators are improving and expanding critical hard and soft skill sets amongst students while better positioning students for future success in any endeavor they choose to pursue.

Read the full article about creative learning spaces by Brian Bulmer at Getting Smart.