Smart Classroom Design: Key Elements & Considerations to Keep in Mind

May 8, 2024 | By: Extramarks

Smart Classroom Design

In today’s educational landscape, the teaching-learning process has become smarter, more engaging and more immersive. It’s not just about rote learning, mindless note-making, and cramming the night before a final exam anymore. Classrooms have transformed into blended classrooms, which use traditional elements along with integrating elements of Edtech, which helps bring learning to the present and prepare students for the future. In this current time, integrating various technologies to elevate your classroom and turn it into a smart classroom is integral. But when making this leap from traditional to new-age learning, one may face many queries and confusion regarding smart classroom design.

What technologies are you supposed to be using? What are the various considerations to keep in mind when designing such a classroom? Are there any special adjustments to be made? In this article, we shall attempt to answer these questions and emphasise some key elements and considerations to keep in mind when you are finalising the design of a smart classroom for your institution. These considerations will help you harness the right tools that will aid your wards’ development, as this isn’t just about the latest gadgets, but creating spaces that truly ignite learning in the 21st century, by making it more holistic, interactive, and inclusive.

Smart Classroom Design- Key Elements to Emphasise

When debating the hows and whats of smart classroom design, there are some basic elements you should keep in mind when deciding a set structure for your learning environment. These elements work as guidelines or the bare bones on which you should develop a plan for designing a classroom that is suited towards the needs of your institution and your students. Listed below are some factors or elements you should consider the base on which you build your infrastructure of learning.

  • Student-Centricity: Your smart classroom design layout should always put the students first. The educational process used to be teacher-centric for the longest time, but now it has become student-centric, and rightfully so. The design of your smart classroom should reflect that, with priority having been given to student engagement and facilitating learning for various learning styles and needs.
  • Pedagogy First: The best tech in a smart classroom becomes almost invisible. It seamlessly supports lesson goals. Our priority shouldn’t be marveling at the tech, but the incredible learning it facilitates. The Edtech you integrate into your smart classroom should support your teaching and adapt to it, and not have you making adjustments and compromises just so that you can use such tools in the classroom.
  • Professional Development: Along with integrating technology into the teaching-learning process, educational institutions should also ensure that the teachers are properly trained and are upskilling themselves constantly to keep up with the changes in the teaching-learning process. Institutions should also ensure that the teachers are given proper guidance and support during these training periods, as their thorough understanding of the smart classroom tools ensures that they can harness them optimally and utilise them to elevate the classroom environment.

Now that we have understood the skeletal, and structural elements to keep in mind, let us start discussing the considerations to keep in mind to complete and transform your infrastructure of learning.

Smart Classroom Design Considerations

Listed below are the most essential considerations to keep in mind when designing a smart classroom to facilitate learning.

  1. Technology Integration: Let’s shatter a common misconception: not every classroom with an interactive whiteboard is automatically ‘smart’. True smart design mirrors the way our students learn – diversely! We need spaces that adapt as quickly as their needs do. You need to integrate technology that not only has interactive hardware tools to facilitate knowledge absorption, but other diverse immersive tools that promote an active learning process, which go beyond just a projector and a screen. There are two main considerations to keep in mind when integrating new technology into your smart classroom design layout.
    • Interactive Displays: Interactive displays like smart boards or touchscreens help teachers bring reference material to life by presenting it dynamically. Smart and interactive displays allow teachers to annotate, highlight, and access a wide range of resources, give multimedia presentations, and allow students to be more participative and engaged in learning, which has now become tactile and immersive.
    • Cloud-Based Learning Tools: Cloud-based learning tools promote academic exploration, as they give children and teachers access to a vast online library of reference materials, which can be used to solve doubts, spark individual opinions, increase collaboration through discussions and debates, create ideas and opportunities for application-based assignments, all which help teachers gain proper real-time feedback about student retention and interest levels in the classrooms.
  2. Flexible Furniture: Imagine a space where the furniture doesn’t fight the learning, but amplifies it. Students are grouped for discussions, a quiet corner for individual work, and the space itself becomes a learning tool! When we talk about smart classroom design, we aren’t just talking about adding educational technology to your learning environment, but a structure which makes learning more accessible and supportive, holistically. Classrooms should be free of clutter, have enough room for students to move about freely when they wish to collaborate or discuss something, and have an open layout where the focal point of the room, often the teacher’s desk, is equally accessible for all students. This also includes accessibility and flexibility in workstations and dynamic furniture, which can adapt to changing learning needs by the hour, literally.
  3. Lighting and Acoustics: Think about lighting that adapts to different learning tasks and acoustics that minimize noise distractions These factors also play an important role in adapting the classroom environment and making it more conducive for learning. Rather than just investing in simple LED tube lights or overhead lights, try finding lighting that adapts to different learning modes, with different softness levels for different tasks Bluetooth pairing, or touch sensitivity technology, for example. Additionally, your classrooms should be designed so that the acoustics ensure that outside noise does not infiltrate your classroom and cause distractions during learning.
  4. Student-Centred Learning Environment: As mentioned earlier, your teaching environment should be accessible and student-centric. Accommodations should be made for all student’s special needs, their different learning styles, etc. The design of a smart classroom revolves around how it can not only boost collaboration and accessibility through technological tools, like multimedia resources and accessible learning materials, adaptive assessment tools that adapt to learning styles and provide flexibility in terms of learning approaches, but also promote interaction, team-building, and creating a sense of community and camaraderie in the classroom. In our excitement about the potential, let’s never forget – the heart of the classroom is human connection. Smart design must still carve out space for those mentoring moments, for facilitating discussion, where teachers are the guide on the side.
  5. Safety and Security: Consider features like cable management, power outlets, and security for technology equipment. Safety and security should always be a consideration when designing a smart classroom. Ensuring that your classroom is a safe, comfortable and hazard-free environment ensures the possibility of accidents is minimal, as we all know the levels of student curiosity and how their minds can wander towards mischief. Efficient cable management by making it concealed to reduce hazard risks, ensuring that your edtech hardware is damage-proof and securely stored, and making sure that cable outlets are safe and child-proof, are just some ways to ensure a safe and risk-free smart classroom.

How Does Extramarks Help You in Designing a Smart Classroom?

Learning is a collectivistic process, and smart classroom technology helps you make it more personalised while not losing that essence. Extramarks helps you bring valuable Edtech that will help you bring your classroom into the 21st century. When integrating our innovative technology, our consultants are always available to guide and support you in this journey of planning your smart classroom design. Don’t feel pressured to have the perfect smart classroom tomorrow. Start with one change, observe the impact, and iterate! And remember, the best designers in this room are your students – involve them in the process. This is a journey for us all, and one well worth taking.

Last Updated on May 8, 2024

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