Promote Learning with Healthy and Flexible Classroom Environments
May 13, 2021
There’s been a lot of debate as of late about what a classroom can and should be. When the pandemic moved students to online platforms instead of traditional school settings, it was clear in many cases that something was lost in translation between the teacher, screen, and student.
As we transition back, it’s more important than ever to examine how children can be welcomed back to an environment where they can thrive. While classrooms are somewhat open to interpretation, there are some critical elements that children need in order to be able to focus on their studies. We’ll look at how open-air and flexible environments can be the foundation of more effective education.
The Health Benefits of Fresh Air for Students
Fresh air isn’t just helpful to prevent the spread of viruses. The imbalance of nutrients (nitrogen, carbon dioxide, etc.) in stale air can affect a person’s breathing. In general, fresh air has more oxygen, otherwise known as the vital ingredient lungs need to cleanse and repair themselves.
Having clean air all around you can also boost energy, mental focus, and even serotonin. Less anxiety and higher levels of happiness make for students who are more alert and ready to absorb new concepts.
How Flexible Classrooms Encourage More Participation
Flexible classrooms are designed to be rearranged throughout the day, depending on the activity taking place. This concept infuses more variety into a classroom setting, giving students a chance to work with different people and see their environment from a different perspective. Some students naturally take to a classroom while others need more help to find their place. A flexible space gives instructors more room to experiment without compromising learning patterns.
For instance, a student at the front of the classroom for a couple of hours a day may be far more likely to pay attention than one who’s constantly in the back row. Plus, that same student will get some relief from being in the spotlight, so they don’t start to feel overwhelmed by the pressure. Or teachers can also arrange students in a circle or semi-circle as a way to get the group to work as a team.
When students participate in class, they’re immediately engaged in what they’re doing. This can not only make the time go by faster, but it can also help them form a more positive association with learning. Classroom success isn’t merely dictated by the activity that students are taking part in. How a classroom is arranged can play a serious role in whether they remain on task.
In more advanced facilities, like college campuses, flexible classrooms can promote better brainstorming sessions amongst students. When arrangements can be quickly done and undone, it gives the room a more collaborative atmosphere. If there are special projects that call for new equipment or a more restricted layout, flexible classrooms are more likely to provide people with the space they need to work.
Open-Air Environments to Stimulate the Senses
How a classroom is designed ultimately comes down to the school, teacher, and students. As we look toward smarter solutions for the future though, a popular standout is folding glass doors and windows. In just seconds, an entire wall can be removed from the classroom, giving everyone access to plenty of sunlight and fresh air.
Depending on the region, you might see open-air environments in gyms, cafeterias, libraries, and traditional classrooms around the country. These are all-weather doors that can still insulate people from extreme events. Faculty can and do see a difference on campus when people are introduced to natural elements within their learning environment.
Sliding or folding glass doors are a part of a larger trend taking place in schools this past year: indoor/outdoor learning. The concept ranges from holding classes outside for a single day when the weather permits to entire curriculums are being planned to take place outdoors.
Movable walls simply take the open concept and add a few more possibilities. Students still have a roof over their heads, making it easier to administer a traditional test or stay out of the rain. If the walls need to be closed during an adverse weather event, students can still maintain their connection with the outside world.
Investing in Folding Glass Doors for Schools
Minimizing the learning gap starts with giving students the resources they need to succeed. At schools around the country, administrative staff found that indoor spaces don’t have to be confining for their students.
At Panda Windows & Doors, our commercial products are perfect for even the largest classrooms, cafeterias, or gyms. Lift and Slide glass doors can be maneuvered to arrange the wall, take out space, and add it back when necessary. Panels can be lowered and raised from the floor using a combination of levers and wheels. This system can support sections that are 100 square feet in size and are guaranteed to be both air and watertight.
There are also multi-slide doors, which feature an optional pocket design that can hide panels entirely from view. This fully customizable system is virtually unlimited in terms of the number of panels, making them ideal for K – 12 settings and college campuses alike.
Our door systems favor a minimalist design, but they’re easily integrated into nearly any environment. State-of-the-art engineering ensures that all components, from the rollers to the extrusions, deliver a seamless experience. In fact, even when a panel can weigh up to 500 pounds, people perceive them as being weightless.
Healthy and flexible classrooms start with having the right priorities. Sliding glass doors can make it easier for students to enjoy sunlight and fresh air while still protecting them and the building from inclement weather or other security concerns. To learn more about how these doors can be customized to fit your structure, we invite you to request a quote or find a dealer.
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