Study: Experience classroom of the future

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Modern classroom engages students with comfort.

By Adriana Ruiz

aruiz168@student.alamo.edu

The classroom environment can affect the way students learn. Changing the traditional classroom structure may encourage class engagement and increased flexibility in teaching methods.

The “Classroom of the Future” in Room 524 of Moody Learning Center is a restructured version of the conventional classroom.

The room offers a nontraditional seating arrangement, a variety of seating options, rolling white boards, a rolling white board projector and laptop charging docks.

Usha Venkat, director of information technology, said students can choose the seat that works for them. Seating options include lounge chairs, bar stools or rolling chairs.

The chairs are arranged in groups, but teachers have the opportunity to rearrange the floor plan.

Venkat said the classroom reflects aspects similar to those of a work environment.

“It can blur the lines of a workplace setting and a classroom setting,” Venkat said.

Melinda Lopez, information system specialist at this college, said six faculty members are using the classroom for the semester.

Lopez said she thinks the classroom is a great idea.

“I love this new idea. I think it’s a great way to interact better with students,” Lopez said.

Ana DeHoyos O’Connor, early childhood studies professor, is using the room for two classes this semester.

O’Connor said she likes the room because it allows students to become engaged in the lecture while using different types of media. She said she breaks her class into groups and has them brainstorm ideas on the white boards.

“We can have two things going on at the same time. We can split the class into groups and everyone can be doing their own thing writing down ideas on the white board and then we all come together and share ideas,” O’Connor said.

Early childhood studies sophomore Valeria Ward said the classroom makes her feel at home.

“It’s comfortable and I get to relax,” Ward said. “I enjoy it overall; out of all the classrooms, it is the most comfortable.”

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