Given the central role ICT now has in the school curriculum, it’s essential that education providers have well-designed classrooms in which to teach this subject. So, if you’re preparing to create a brand new ICT suite or you’re revamping one of these learning environments, it’s important to plan the project carefully to ensure you succeed in providing a practical and inspiring space.
Get the layout spot on
Traditionally, these suites often feature rows of desks with all students positioned facing the teacher. As well as making it hard for teachers to circulate around the rooms, this layout can prevent them from keeping a close eye on students’ screens. Another problem associated with this style of learning space is the fact that it can mean students lack sufficient desk space, which is especially problematic during theory work.
To help your students get the most from their lessons, you might want to move away from designs like this to create a more flexible space that’s uncluttered and well suited to individual computer work, theory lessons and group sessions. For example, the saw-tooth benching offered by classroom design specialists Innova Design Solutions provides students with spacious, angled desking to maximise the amount of room they have while also making it easier for teachers to manage lessons. Inspired by the way phone booths in Berlin airport accommodate suitcases, these furnishings take full advantage of the available space and provide students with more elbow room than they would have if they sat side by side. By ensuring students’ computer monitors are all facing the same way, this style of desking also makes classes easier to manage. Teachers can lead from the front at their teacher walls with all students facing them or they can position themselves at the back of the room in order to see pupils’ screens.
For further flexibility, it’s possible to combine perimeter saw-tooth benching with central workstations. This gives added flexibility for group work and theory lessons.
Make security a priority
Because of the high value of the equipment you will include in your ICT suite, it’s essential that you take the issue of security seriously. There are a range of design solutions that can help to minimise the risk of theft and vandalism. For example, you may want to include lockable computer cupboards in these rooms. It’s also possible to opt for bolt-down screens and, if you have enough space, it might even be worth creating a separate secure storage room to house high-value items when they’re not being used.
By protecting your technology, security features like these could save you stress and expense in the long-term.
Opt for high-quality, low-maintenance fixtures and fittings
Regardless of the layout you opt for and the security solutions you incorporate into your design, it pays off to make sure that the furnishings, fixtures and fittings you select are high-quality and low-maintenance. They should be made from robust materials and be easy to keep clean. For example, opting for seamless worksurfaces will help ensure you’re able to keep your classroom free of dirt and debris. By paying attention to the finer points of ICT suite design, you will be able to keep your new learning environment looking fresh and appealing for as long as possible.
Getting ICT suite design spot on might seem like a challenge, but there is help available. For example, you can enlist the assistance of expert designers to guide you through the process. It’s certainly well worth making the effort to get this right. An effective classroom design can have a hugely positive impact on students’ behaviour and performance.