Smart boards that students and teachers can plug tablets or laptops into or connect with wirelessly to project their work product for classmates to see are among the innovations finding their way into schools built by the Wichita Kansas Public Schools, says Julie Hedrick, Director of Facilities. No longer just reference rooms, libraries are active components of the learning infrastructure at many 21st-Century Schools. When libraries are wired, they can serve as real-time information labs.
At Frisco Texas High School, designed by the Dallas office of Corgan, the library offers students the added benefit of lots of natural light streaming into the space. Photo: Charles Davis Smith.
One-to-one learning—where students engage with teachers and fellow students individually and collectively through personal electronic devices—is being embraced by more school districts from coast to coast. Within the next few years, Orange County Public Schools plans to supply every student in its system with a laptop, says Ali.
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This month, schools in that district will switch to electronic testing. Through a school improvement grant, Portland Ore. Two high schools in Fishers, Ind.
Rocky View Schools: a 21st century school division
He and Matthew Kegley, Principal of Hamilton Southeastern High School, note that technology is putting non-learning spaces to better use, too. Cafeteria and common spaces can now double as teaching and instruction areas during the day. Kegley points out that as technology gets cheaper, options like these become more appealing to school administrators. The big question for school projects is what will fly with the community that is footing the bill for school construction.
Even one-to-one computing has its naysayers. USD, with workstations on wheels and lightweight chairs so that rooms can be reconfigured easily depending on usage needs or number of students.
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The K-6 school serves students. Milpitas USD has incorporated similar Learning Centers in two other elementary schools in the district. Political considerations sometimes impede change, too. Public school districts—particularly those with diverse populations and older schools—must be sensitive to any appearance that one school provides better learning opportunities than another. To mediate these different agendas, it has become common practice for school districts to reach out to stakeholders—teachers, parents, students, community and business leaders, lenders, academics—to help map out their construction game plans.
For each new project, Portland Public Schools sets up a Design Advisory Group, whose members include parents, neighbors, and businesses, says Miller. New Mexico assembles planning groups—comprised of teachers, administrators, bankers, parents, and businesses—that communicate with the community at large to determine what direction to take: Should a school be renovated or torn down? What types of classrooms and furniture should be included? These groups, says Gorrell, also determine what the building should cost to operate.
He believes these meetings actually create more room for innovation. When DoDEA launched its renovation and building program, it hired Jacobs, the construction services giant, to vet idea submissions from community stakeholders. The trick for other AEC firms is to position themselves as integral to these conversations. Before it touches pencil to paper, HMC Architects wants to know what its client is trying to accomplish. It behooves AEC firms to take the lead in shaping those guiding principles.
Otherwise, their designs will be shaped for them. Public Schools. Earl P. Gaithersburg, Md. Photo: Pexels. AIA Board of Directors approves member-led resolution to rally architects in mitigating and adapting the bu Architects, registration boards, and others join effort to ensure a unified voice for professions in growin Interior architect Mary Bartlett selects her favorite products and systems from the NeoCon show, Chica Photo courtesy Perkins Eastman.
Image: Courtesy of Clayco. This prototype mountainside cabin is entirely customizable for homeowners to purchase, tailor, and have the tiny house built within months in any location, for any purpose. Photo: Matthew Carbone.
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They wish to be transferred years ago. Every staff member and teachers are very friendly and so kind. The communication between home and school is absolutely excellent, and very fast responses to every question answered. The support from teachers and staff is amazing.