Visualisation of Dining Area in new learning space

Learning Space Trends To Watch Out For In 2016

As learning goes, 2015 was progressive enough. This year should see more progression. We’re predicting that 2016 will hold a lot of development in the learning space. So here are our top 5 predictions. Admittedly, a few of them seem to centre around the impact that technology is having on schools, but that’s the ever-evolving nature of the world we live in…

1.More student-centred learning space design

By giving your students more responsibility for their actions, you empower them. It is a new system ofmotivation and reward, and has been known to improve behaviour and attendance, decrease vandalism and enhance relationships between students and teachers.

Letting the pupils have a say has been held for too long as a belief that ‘it-might-work-for-them-but-couldn’t-work-in-our-school’. Empowering students to make their own decisions about their learning space and learning styles has been tried and tested by enough schools to prove the benefits to any dubious onlookers.

Take designing a new space, for example, if a group of students are working together towards a common goal that is going to benefit them all, they will take pride in making the best choices and in looking after the space once it is created.

2. More student-centred learning

To quote Moira McLoughlin, A Senior Lecturer at The University of Salford: The classroom truly became “flipped” and the “sage on the stage” had to become the “guide on the side”.The days of teachers talking at the front of the class whilst the students listen are fast disappearing. The most progressive schools are focussing on changing the learning space to help their students learn better. This year, more schools need to take the time to look at the student as an individual, and help them to make the best learning choices.

3.Increased mobile learning and use of cloud software.Anything to do with technology can’t really be classed as a prediction…but we couldn’t really leave it out. Even if it’s a foregone conclusion, this year we will become more dependent on technology. Technology will become a greater part of our life. There will be another app, another development that will impact us as individuals. And the learning space is no different. This year, technology shouldn’t be a subject we ‘learn’ but should be integrated into all aspects of the curriculum, after all, it’s the way we live today. Cloud based technology is ever increasing in schools and colleges throughout the uk. Platforms like Show My Homework and Moodle are enabling staff, students and parents to be more effective.We think there will be a greater increase of BYOD in schools, or ‘bring your own device’. Whilst this comes with the challenges of wifi and student discipline, learning to use the devices to study responsibly is a greater life skill that will encourage students to become more effective, lifelong learners. Which leads us nicely onto our next prediction…

4.Encouraging the personal development of students. 
With information being so cheap and easily accessible, schools will start to focus even more on the personal development of students in the learning space. Quality character traits like impeccable manners, self-discipline and social skills are all being valued by schools that are priding themselves on producing better young adults that are an asset to society.

5.Better Collaborative Learning

A multi-faceted learning journey helps students to gain a deeper understanding of their subjects. We are living in the age of Anytime, AnywhereLearning that is not limited to classrooms or study periods. Learning and discovering in groups, working on collaborative projects, or even learning through games is the way the next generation are going to succeed.Although it is hard to admit, old learning styles just aren’t cutting it properly anymore. This new generation have grown up with a tech-enabled silver spoon in their mouths. They don’t know any other way, and it’s increasingly the character of the times we live in.

Lets hope that it’s not just ‘some’ schools that make changes to their learning space this year.

Let’s hope, that ‘most’ schools will take advantage of 2016 to enhance their offerings to students and staff alike.

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