Quieter classrooms: How classroom design promotes effective learning

Working in the education design space collectively for 26 years, we understand students and teachers need environments to support learning. Classrooms should be designed for listening and engagement; study spaces should be calm and quiet. And yet, these environments are typically noisy and full of unintentional distractions – and overlook design elements that facilitate focus.

Besides noise reduction, students require a harmonious balance among lighting, temperature, air quality, and intentional design to maximize their focus throughout their long days. Ninety-two percent of teachers believe classroom design has a strong impact on students’ learning, and carpet, color, and furnishings are just a few elements that can help improve education spaces.

Understanding the need to balance these components, we always approach education design by drafting inclusive spaces with adaptable features. It’s important that designs address today’s modern classroom demands and demonstrate how designers and architects can create a comforting, student-centered design. By integrating noise-absorbing elements for focused learning, supporting classroom productivity and creativity with color, and reconfiguring the classroom layout to inspire collaboration, students and teachers alike are better positioned to succeed.…Read More

What SEL teaches us about safety

According to a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) study, the number of children aged 3 to 17 diagnosed with anxiety increased by 29 percent between 2016 and 2020, while those diagnosed with depression increased by 27 percent.

The situation worsened with the pandemic. And now, stressed students are hurting others and themselves.

There’s a dire need for safety in schools and other educational institutions — it’s time for strategies that help create safe learning environments.…Read More

How plagiarism makes the literacy gap worse

Plagiarism is becoming ubiquitous in academia as an increase in AI-powered writing tools become more advanced and available to students. As a result, educators are faced with preventing, identifying, and stopping plagiarism even as plagiarism becomes increasingly harder to detect.

But why should educators even continue to tackle plagiarism? What are the documented and potentially long-lasting impacts of students plagiarizing their work?

According to a recent study, there was a marked increase globally in paraphrasing and text replacement during the pandemic in 2020 compared to 2019. The average similarity score, which is the score that comes from detecting what content was paraphrased versus what is original, increased from 35.1 percent to 49.6 percent. This is especially troubling considering the already negative effects the pandemic had on education. The National Assessment of Educational Progress reported that the pandemic erased over two decades of progress with drops in both mathematics and reading scores for students at record highs. …Read More

Building a Successful Certification Program at Your Institution

In a world where competition for jobs, pay increases, and academic success continues to increase, certifications offer hope because they are a credible, third-party assessment of one’s skill and knowledge for a given subject. According to a study conducted across the state of Florida, those who earn certifications while in school are more likely to have a higher GPA, are more likely to graduate, are more likely to enroll in a post-secondary program, and are less likely to drop out. Furthermore, once the candidate is in the workforce, certification improves a candidate’s marketability and earning power, with some professionals making up to 7% more than their non-certified colleagues.

Building a certification program from the ground up often involves significant legwork from educators and administrators. Get advice below on the best ways to build a successful certification program at your school.

Research Funding Options

One of the common issues faced by many educators is a lack of funding. Asking for additional budget to grow or increase resources in your classroom can be a frustrating process.…Read More

National Study Finds High Schoolers Keenly Aware of Current In-Demand Jobs, Impacting Education Choices After Graduation

MINNEAPOLIS (May 20, 2022)—Today’s high schoolers are keenly aware of the impact the pandemic had on the job market and are evaluating their options as they forge their path to a career, according to the latest Question The Quo Education Pulse survey. The most recent national study of 14-18-year-olds in the United States, fielded in January, found three-quarters have heard about worker shortages, and more than one-third are more likely to pursue an education or career in an in-demand field.

“The most stunning finding for me has been how insightful, intuitive and engaged this demographic is when it comes to understanding the career landscape, the impact of student debt and the options available to them in the current environment,” said Jeremy Wheaton, president and CEO of ECMC Group. “Today’s students have experienced the pandemic’s impact, and they want to forge their own path—a path that is shorter in duration, more affordable and connects directly to a career—especially a career in a field that needs workers.”

According to this survey, two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, half of high schoolers are no longer considering four-year college and less than half believe a four-year degree will make them successful. More than half are open to a path other than four-year college, and because of the pandemic, one-third say they’re more comfortable with following a shorter pathway. Despite that, 85% feel pressure to pursue a four-year degree.…Read More

3 keys to supporting students during a mental health crisis

A January 2022 study published in JAMA Pediatrics confirmed what many educators, administrators, and support staff already knew: School closures, disrupted learning, and a pandemic year have coalesced to create an alarming mental health crisis among teenagers.

The study found that up to 60 percent of students are experiencing “strong distress,” including anxiety and depression. The results echoed a recent American Psychological Association (APA) report, which found that more than 80 percent of teenagers experienced “more intense stress” during the pandemic.

In other words, as Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General, notes, “Mental health challenges in children, adolescents, and young adults are real and widespread. Even before the pandemic, an alarming number of young people struggled with feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide — and rates have increased over the past decade.”…Read More