Collaborative and Creative Learning Environments

I have been reading a lot lately about Stanford’s D.School on Fast Company’s Blog.  The posts I have been reading have gotten me thinking a lot about classroom environments and school building architecture in general.  Bottom line: it’s safe to say that students can optimize their thinking, learning, and sharing to the maximum in an environment that fosters collaborative and creative thinking; like the D.School at Stanford.  Research shows that their is a correlation in facilities and student achievement (Uline & Tschannen-Moran, 2008).  I hope that school administrators and other key stakeholders understand the importance to get rid of drab musty buildings and replace these outdated facilities with state of the art, collaborative, technology laden learning environments.

“Suck it up and try something that you haven’t done before, and absolutely be willing to fail”  – Scott Whitthoft (Co-director of the environments collaborative at the D.School Stanford)

Shaping Space: The d.school’s Environments Collaborative from Stanford d.school on Vimeo.

I remember my trip the the Google Offices in Boulder, CO for the Google Teacher Academy in 2009.  The work environment was like nothing I have ever seen before.  I walked away thinking about how stinking cool it would be to have a classroom designed like that!  Climbing walls, Rock Band, Big Bean Bags, Healthy brain food, reliable wireless networking, giant monitors, adjustable desk…oh to have fountains of money and no limitations for building!

Google Offices - Boulder, CO
Google Offices - Zurich

So start slathering on that IDEA PAINT and rethinking classroom, and building, design any way you can!

Other Resources To Inspire:

3 thoughts on “Collaborative and Creative Learning Environments

  1. Jennifer Gandarias Reply

    I know what you mean, Chris. I returned from Google and was depressed by the lifelessness of my elementary school. So I this year I tried to enliven my classroom with vibrant colors and exercise balls instead of chairs. Even these small changes have a difference. BUt I would still like to have the Google kitchen and rock wall in my workplace.

  2. Jennifer Gandarias Reply

    I know what you mean, Chris. I returned from Google and was depressed by the lifelessness of my elementary school. So I this year I tried to enliven my classroom with vibrant colors and exercise balls instead of chairs. Even these small changes have a difference. BUt I would still like to have the Google kitchen and rock wall in my workplace.

  3. Evan Williams Reply

    I think I would love a classroom with no desks. Just a bunch of rugs and the floor, maybe small tables they could get to by sitting on the floor. I may need to do some rethinking as I enter my 7th year this August…

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