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Flexible Furniture Gives Teachers and Students More Opportunities for Collaboration

  • March 25, 2024

Today, the redesigned media center is a world away from the “pink prison” of the past. Flexible furniture accommodates diverse activities. Collaboration spaces equipped with cutting-edge technology foster group projects and presentations. A dedicated tech center empowers students to troubleshoot their peers’ devices and acquire valuable technology skills.

Separate classroom spaces within the media center cater to various learning styles, featuring everything from a stadium seating in one area to movable tables and chairs, and can be used as a conference room ideal for focused discussions.

One of the most significant transformations lies not in the physical space but in the mindset shift. Media specialists, once hesitant to lose the library, are now embracing their new roles as facilitators and guides, creating engaging activities and supporting student-led initiatives.

DIG DEEPER: Tech-savvy librarians provide value to modern students.

The media center is now open before, during and after school, including during senior privilege and lunch periods, fostering a sense of community. A student-operated food and drink concession adds a touch of entrepreneurship and responsibility.

“It’s incredible to see students taking ownership of their learning space,” Wall says. “They understand it’s theirs, and that empowers them to use it responsibly and creatively.”

Furniture Meets Students’ Social, Emotional and Physical Needs

In schools across the country, Patti Clark has seen how the thoughtful selection of furniture can positively impact students. She tells the story of a school in Atlanta, where new seating included movable stools. The teacher would come around to each group, carrying her own stool with her, and talk with students eye to eye.

“The students told me the teacher was spending more one-on-one time with them,” says Clark. “I’m not sure if she actually was, but because she was sitting down on their level instead of looking down at them

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