As part of Bond Measure K, the Robla School District has created a pilot classroom to test out furniture options, new technology, and overall classroom design to better serve students well into the 21st century. Located at Bell Avenue Elementary, this classroom will serve as the template for new classrooms moving forward.
Stepping into the pilot classroom, the first thing most people notice are the floor to ceiling whiteboards that cover all the walls. This concept allows for teachers to utilize any space within the classroom to help spark creativity and critical thinking.
Natural light has also been a major factor in the overall design. Generally large windows allow for an abundance of natural light, but generally require the loss of teaching space. Instead of blinds or curtains, rolling whiteboards have been utilized to allow the teacher to determine how much or little natural light is utilized in the classroom while still having access to additional teaching space.
One of the reasons for the pilot classroom is to test out different furniture options with students and staff. Throughout the remainder of the school year, various furniture options will be cycled through the pilot classroom to help staff select what furniture will be used in classrooms moving forward.
When considering what furniture to select, we are looking for comfortable, flexible furnishings that allow for easy collaboration and mobility to enable educators full control over every inch of the learning environment. With mobile furniture, students and staff can quickly redesign a classroom to meet the days activities and lesson plans.
With the new classroom design, a lot of storage space has been eliminated to make way for the floor to ceiling whiteboards, so mobile storage solutions are also being tested to ensure there is enough storage space to meet the teachers need.
Unlike existing classrooms which feature a single interactive projector/whiteboard, the pilot classroom has three (3) sixty-inch display screens placed strategically around the room that can be used as a single unit to display the same information, or used independently to display different content to each screen. This design allows for the teacher to move seamlessly throughout the classroom, and provides students with a 360 degree learning environment. Students now have multiple viewing options and this helps eliminate students from feeling as if they are stuck at the back of a class.
Along with the three display screens, an Apple TV and Chromecast are incorporated to allow for staff to easily connect from numerous devices to one or all the screens to display educational information.