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Silicon Valley Design Infuses Classrooms
posted by: Melissa | February 22, 2017, 03:34 PM   

EdSource is reporting on how schools in Silicon Valley are working to transform classroom environments to reflect the office spaces often found in leading tech companies.

An example of this is the Palo Alto High School Art Center.  At a cost of $10 million to build, the Art Center is two stories tall and features a central atrium.  The learning environment matches the changed design.  Students don’t have assigned seats and can move around freely from areas such as the kitchen to sitting on couches in the atrium.  Classes are held informally as students need them.  Then there is Design Tech High, the first public high school to be built on a tech company campus.

According to the article, such flexible spaces are important because:  “We have to prepare students for a future that they can’t imagine, and how to succeed in the 21st century, using adaptability, creativity and empathy, along with ethics and problem-solving.  You can’t do it in a regimented environment, […] the best ideas come in collaborative environments.”

How are these new schools possible?  There are a couple of ways.  First, a new proposition was approved last fall that appropriated $9 billion dollars for school construction in California.  Also, many of these schools are being constructed as part of partnerships with tech companies and universities.  If your district doesn’t have funds for a whole new school, try focusing on your classroom, like this teacher did.   You can use AAE’s Classroom Grant program to help with funding!

If you would like to learn more about new school designs, you can read the entire article on EdSource.

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