Giving children options in how they learn
Standardized education doesn’t work. Every person, every child has different needs. Some learn better by listening, others by watching or doing. Some children are fascinated by nature and others by computers. Without personalizing education for each child, it’s near impossible to help each one develop to their greatest possible potential. To demonstrate to K-12 schools how a learning environment can assist in personalizing education, we partnered with Denver Public Schools and with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation developed the Imaginarium Classroom prototype.
The prototype is built at the High Tech Elementary School in Denver, Colorado. It’s a renovation of a standard square box classroom, where the previous environment was 20 desks lined in rows facing a front teaching wall. Our new classroom has unique micro spaces designed to support different learning styles.
Moveable furniture and tools give teachers and students the ability to reconfigure the classroom for different types of activities. Children can work alone, in small groups, or as an entire class.
Multimedia panels let teachers demonstrate concepts with rich media. Custom designed desks have writable dry erase tops and can be reconfigured into many different groupings.
The digital setup connects students over Skype with experts from around the world, or to simply watch Khan Academy and other educational videos online.
When learning about systems and things with parts and pieces — and to learn it in a tactile way — students head to the custom drafting board which has multiple layers of plexiglass for visualizing the various components in a system.
For those children who learn best by making and doing things with their hands, there’s a dedicated messy zone.
To accommodate the variety of preferences students would have, Kurani designed custom furnishings and learning tools throughout.