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5 Classroom Design Tips for Effective Technology Use

5 Classroom Design Tips for Effective Technology Use

By Jessica Sanders

Classroom design makes an undeniable impact on student learning. For example, classroom layout can improve concentration and good lighting can positively influence test scores, according to Innova Education.

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While you can’t control every aspect of your classroom, you can design a space that brings traditional and 21st century learning together in an effective and cohesive manner.

Use these tips to create an awesome, tech-based classroom that encourages collaboration, exploration, and productivity.

1. Draw a Blueprint of Your Classroom

Creating or studying the blueprint of your classroom makes it easier to outline and define learning spaces, while planning where technology will fit within the room.

When bringing technology into your classroom, it’s important to note the following on your classroom blueprint:

  • Outlet locations: This is where you should place any computers or items that need to be plugged in. Extension chords can be dangerous, i.e. cause tripping.
  • Windows: Too much natural light can create a glare on computer screens. Consider placing devices in a window-less area of the room.
  • Traditional spaces: Do the areas where you plan to put your traditional reading or group spaces have room for computers or charging stations? This can make these educational spaces more fun and engaging for students.

These blueprint details will help you create an effective classroom layout, bringing technology to the forefront without losing sight of the most important aspects of classroom design, like creating defined, comfortable spaces for students.

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2. Create Rule Posters (And Display Them Clearly)

A tech-based classroom should have room for clearly displayed rules. This is especially important for teachers with younger students or kids who are new to using technology in the classroom and need to be reminded of what is appropriate and what is not.

Here are some simple rule poster ideas to start with:

Internet researching rules: Specify whether students are to use a certain website for research, such as Wolfram Alpha, or write detailed instructions for safe searching on Google.

Cell phone use: Cell phones can be valuable educational tools for students. If you do BYOD in your classroom, create clear guidelines for when and how cell phones are to be used.

Social media rules: If you use Twitter or Facebook in your classroom, remind students how to appropriately and safely use these platforms. Include various social logos and symbols to make the posters attention grabbing.

Website suggestions: Encourage students to use a variety of fun and educational websites during free time. Somebook_blog content_ade websites to include on your poster are:

More: 10 Classroom Rules for Technology Use

3. Combine Online and Offline Resources

Do you have a math area or classroom library? Make these spaces more interactive with technology. Incorporating laptops or tablets in various places throughout the classroom, rather than in one computer area, shows students that technology can be used effectively in a number of ways.

For example, keep one laptop in the classroom library. Students can use this to “sign out” books that they plan to read at home or somewhere else in the classroom. This laptop can also be used to log reading with an online tool like Whooo’s Reading or to work on a blogging book report.

4. Build Docking and Sign-out Stations

Create a space in your classroom for docking stations—this is where students will place their iPads, eReaders and Chromebooks when they’re not in use. This ensures that tools are charged every day.

Within the docking station, create a sign out area. Here, students note what device they’re using—for example, Adam, iPad #4, 1p.m. This holds them accountable and encourages them to take good care of the tools because they know that you can see who used what last.

More: Alternative Book Reports for the 21st Century

5. Design With Collaboration In Mind

Increased collaboration is one reason many educators bring technology into their classroom; when students work together they learn how to assess the group’s collective knowledge, communicate their ideas effectively, and use resources (their peers’ skills) to their advantage.

Here are a few ways to build collaboration-focused technology areas into your classroom layout.

Dual Person Activity Stations: Create room for two students at every device space and create group-focused tasks for using those tools. You can write these tasks on a poster that hangs in the area, giving students education-focused ways to use the tech tools.

Desk Cluster Sharing: Provide one device for each cluster of two to four desks, which encourages students to use these tools together. You can create a docking space in the middle of the desks, where any student can reach it.

Central Computer Lab: Put the general computer or laptop area on desks or a table in the center of the room. Even when students are working alone, they’ll be surrounded by other students, rather than sitting in a corner.

Classroom design can improve collaboration and make traditional areas more engaging. Use these tips to create a space where learning and technology come together in a cohesive and effective manner.

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