MiEN Company Releases White Paper on How Flexible Furniture Creates Active Learning Environments

Districts and schools are increasingly adopting active learning practices in order to address businesses’ demand for employees capable of creative and collaborative work. But one commonly overlooked factor in this transition is classroom design. However, research shows that the physical space that supports active learning is quite different from one designed for lecture-focused teaching. To help educators, Dr. Christina Counts, the vice president of education at MiEN Company, and Dr. Kristen Brittingham, the chief learning officer for Modern Teacher, have co-authored a white paper titled “Active Learning Environments Support Student Engagement, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking.”

Active learning not only promotes student engagement and the development of critical thinking and collaboration but also creativity and communication all of which are skills that employers are seeking. The paper focuses on research regarding the role of active learning environments in the development of these critical skills.

“Classrooms need to become active learning environments supported by technology integration,” said Brittingham. “So, the physical makeup of the classroom needs to change in order to support active learning environments. Unfortunately, most classrooms look the same as they did 20-30 years ago. We need changes in classroom design that mirror the new emphasis on collaboration in education and in today’s workplace.”…Read More

MiEN Company Introduces New Furniture Product Offerings to Solve Learning Space Challenges

Educators are rethinking the layout of classrooms and other learning spaces in terms of optimizing use of those spaces for student wellbeing and study. MiEN Company, a global company serving the education industry with innovative furniture products and services that promote and support active and interactive learning environments, has introduced four new product offerings to help institutions take active learning spaces to a new level.

“These offerings are easily moved around, and many can be quickly stacked out of the way when not in use. This means users can configure them into arrangements that allow for social distancing as needed,” said Dr. Christina Counts, Vice President Strategy & Development for MiEN Company. “Of course, that’s not the only challenge that educators have to consider, and I can confidently say that these products can help learning environments adapt to changing pedagogical demands for years to come.”

The Always Ready Cafe & Hospitality (ARCH) Collection
The ARCH Collection of chairs, stools, tables and lateral files is designed for secondary, collegiate or corporate environments. The collection items are designed to be functional, practical to use, easy to move around and to stack. In addition, they are naturally durable so they can withstand high traffic use.…Read More

7 discoveries from an active learning classroom

There is a fair amount of research into the impact of classroom design on student learning. Spaces flooded with natural light that allow for a variety of learning methods and activities, and spaces that let students feel a sense of ownership over the classroom, demonstrably affect how well students learn.

Active learning applies a similar principle, including minimizing institutional barriers like teacher lecterns, fixed and stagnant furniture, and limited student exposure to real-world experiences. Through active learning, the teacher gradually releases control to the students, encouraging them to become independent learners.

Four years ago, I became an inaugural recipient of a Steelcase Education Active Learning Center Grant. The renovated classroom and colorful mobile chairs and desks provided by the grant have literally transformed my practice, my seventh-grade language arts students, and their families. Test scores, homework completion, and grades have soared and parents who had never visited their student’s classroom now volunteer regularly. My research in our active learning classroom (ALC) over the past three years led me to discover seven elements critical to student success.…Read More

4 considerations for your first makerspace

The benefits of hands-on, active learning are firmly established, yet a lot of difference exists between being able to touch something and being able to create something. The latter allows students to practice skills in demand in the modern economy.

The exhibitor floors at ed-tech conferences provide an inspiring snapshot for the rise of skills-based learning options and environments across the American educational landscape. Educators and schools are realizing they need to provide more experiential learning experiences for the next generation of makers. One way is through learning environments called makerspaces.

What is a Makerspace? …Read More

If you give a kindergartner a Chromebook…

Although even the youngest children are considered tech-savvy today, there exists a difference between a child who knows how to use a tablet to watch videos and a child who knows how to navigate a device for active learning.

The thought of giving 30 kindergarten students their own Chromebooks might be daunting. But for one classroom, the move yielded some surprising results for student engagement, learning progress, and for students with special needs.

“We had surprising outcomes from students with special needs,” said Jamie Morgan, an elementary school teacher in the Wichita Falls ISD in Texas. In her classroom, she had students with ADHD, ODD, autism, visual disabilities, intellectual delays, and gifted and talented students. “Chromebooks made it really, really easy to differentiate instruction–I can’t imagine doing the differentiation that needed to be done without having the Chromebooks,” she said.…Read More

In the marketplace: Funding for active learning, a helping hand for innovative programs, and an interactive book program

Tech-savvy educators know they must stay on top of the myriad changes and trends in education to learn how teaching and learning can best benefit from technology’s near-constant change.

Check below for the latest marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.

ClassLink, a provider of single sign-on and rostering solutions for education, announced a new relationship with Istation, an e-learning program. This relationship will provide millions of educators and students with secure OneClick access to Istation, enabling faster, easier access to one of education’s most trusted providers. Read more.…Read More

‘Technology-enabled active learning’ spurs achievement

Using a technology-rich environment to promote collaboration and independent learning, we’ve seen student engagement—and achievement—rise

Using ‘technology-enabled active learning,’ Bishop Moore Catholic High School has seen student engagement—and achievement—rise.

If Norman Rockwell were to a paint a 21st-century classroom, would his painting look anything like his 1956 piece “Teacher’s Birthday,” with the students sitting in tidy rows patiently waiting for their teacher to impart wisdom from the front of the room?

At Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Orlando, Fla., students are no longer looking to their teachers for all the answers. Instead, teachers are training their students to acquire knowledge on their own.

Understanding the young adults of the 21st century means understanding their frame of reference. Teenagers today have never been without technology. Indeed, our students have never lived without cell phones, personal computers, or the internet. Children today are as connected as we are as adults—in some cases, even more so!…Read More