Flexible Learning Spaces: Spaces Designed to Enhance Imagination and Learning
Newly developed schools across the globe have adopted the layout of flexible learning spaces with a design focusing primarily on future-focused learning and teaching. The concept of flexible learning places goes beyond classrooms and applies to the library, the hallways and even the cafeteria. In flexible learning spaces, the environment in which you learn matters.
What Constitutes a Flexible Learning Space?
In an interview with New Zealand's Ministry of Education and Director of the Sydney Centre for Innovation and Learning, Mr Stephen Collis, it was identified there are three specific layers of a learning environment.
The physical layer consists of the confines, the furniture and other physical elements of the learning space. The virtual space consists of any form of media and information that flows through the learning space. Lastly, the cultural space involves the students, teachers, parents and everyone that shapes the behaviours and routines in the learning environment.
According to Collis, these three elements of a learning space can be used to create a more flexible learning environment. Educators can study each layer and see if there is anything that constrains the learning experience of students. What changes can be made to maximise the potential of the learning space?
Collis believes that flexible learning spaces that favour the needs of students must allow them to take breaks and re-focus, learn at their own pace or any permissible action that will give them more of what they need to learn. Having that kind of freedom and flexibility makes flexible learning spaces a space for everybody.
Furniture in Flexible Learning Spaces
In exploring the physical aspect of flexible learning spaces, comfortable furniture is a key consideration for both the students and teachers. Ergonomics, specifically, is an important factor in helping students focus for longer periods of time.
Flexible learning spaces must have furniture that can accommodate both group and individual learning requirements. At the same time, the furniture must be robust and durable enough to withstand everyday use, especially in a flexible learning space where chairs and tables are likely to be moved around. Adjustable furniture is also preferable to increase comfort, accessibility and inclusivity of the flexible learning space.
Ergonomic and Flexible Furniture from Office Line
For educational institutions that are looking to adopt the concept of flexible learning spaces, Office Line is a reliable source of furniture ideal for the classrooms of the future. As one of Australia's most trusted companies in educational furniture, we hand pick each product that goes into our catalogue in order to give you an excellent range of furniture sourced from only well-known and trusted brands in the industry.
From ergonomic school chairs to sleek and modern classroom whiteboards, each product is designed with the needs of the students in mind. Office Line is your one-stop shop for everything you need to build an accessible, inclusive and flexible learning space for the classroom of tomorrow. We offer reliable delivery and on-site installation services by request.
- Kendall Broun
- Tags: Classroom Design
The Importance of Understanding You, Our Client
As a trusted and long-term supplier of school furniture, the team at Office Line aim to consistently provide the best possible solutions for our clients. We are constantly looking for areas to improve by working closely and listening to the needs of our clients. We regularly meet with, and interview our existing customers to discuss such areas as product and delivery satisfaction, areas for improvement and any general issues they may encounter during the purchasing process. Our key goal is to streamline the supply of quality educational furniture whilst providing the best possible service.
Office Line not only listens to feedback provided but also provides solutions based on a thorough understanding of what the client wants. It is important for us to know what kind of issues our clients encounter when managing the supply and maintenance of educational furniture.
It is from this feedback we have come to understand our clients are often time poor, have set quality standards for furniture, face strict budgets and demand products to be available and delivered promptly once ordering has taken place.
The team at Office Line takes the time to develop good working relationships with each and every client, which is why we have become one of Australia’s preferred furniture suppliers. We offer a diverse range of high quality products to suit any budget, exceptional customer service, and can deliver in a timely manner. Our in-house team of consultants and designers go the extra mile to achieve customer satisfaction.
We deliver a sincere service and always take the necessary steps to achieve a customer’s deliverable. Recent examples include sourcing and delivering shrubs and plants for an office area fit out, despite being a furniture supplier rather than a nursery.
Innovative School Furniture Solutions in Australia
For the most discerning educational institutions in Australia, Office Line is committed to innovatively providing school furniture that meets specific requirements. View our range of chairs, tables and mobile tote trolleys that are ideal for the classrooms of today and of the future.
Get in touch with us today.
- Kendall Broun
- Tags: School Furniture
21st Century Libraries: Innovative Library Designs of Tomorrow
Libraries are no longer areas where students research subjects alone, they have become collaborative hubs, areas for self-directed learning and group activities.
Our expert in-house designer states transforming a traditional library space can be a quick and simple process. Replacing towering, static shelving with adaptable furniture and low mobile bookcases is recommended to keep the space open and inviting. Small rooms can be opened up to allow for group projects, with circulation desks and various sized seating. Even desktops can be turned into writeable whiteboard spaces to encourage collaboration and sharing that previous library spaces had discouraged. It is recommended to provide a space within the library for students to socialise and relax before and after school, and during their study breaks.
Libraries that consist of varying spaces can also accommodate movie and quiz nights, teacher/parent nights and co-curricular activities outside general school hours. Case studies have shown that libraries that include several collaborative teaching and student spaces, staff offices, professional development areas and student lounges with flexible furniture are conducive to better teacher/student interaction.
Teachers are looking to create more vibrant, active learning spaces rather than the traditional place of silence. Students can gather, work in small groups but still be open to a transparent space where learning can be seen without barriers. Libraries of tomorrow will become spaces to encourage exploration, creativity and collaboration between both students, teachers and parents alike.
Investing in quality lounge furniture, soft seating, sturdy library tables and comfortable study carrels should be every school library’s main priority. Office Line can assist you create a learning hub for your school and encourage teachers and students to collaborate, communicate, and share.
Office Line is Attending EduTECH 2018
With over three decades in the industry, Office Line continues to supply quality furniture for schools and offices. Our expertise stems from our deep familiarity with the educational sector, and our ability to tailor our services to adapt to its evolving needs. We strive to learn from our colleagues and fellow furniture suppliers, closely monitoring new developments in educational architecture and design trends.
This June, we will be exhibiting our line of educational furniture at the EduTECH and EduBuild 2018 conference. The annual event will take place on June 7-8 at the International Convention Centre in Sydney. We believe that it will be an excellent opportunity to collaborate with educational specialists, experts, and furniture manufacturers, as well as to exchange ideas and knowledge with them.
What are EduTECH and EduBuild?
EduTECH and EduBuild are separate but related events taking place as one conference. Combined, it will be the largest educational event in APAC, projected to attract over 10,000 attendees. There will be talks delivered by high-profile speakers, comprehensive masterclasses about various educational sector topics, and exhibits by leading furniture specialists across the region.
EduTECH 2018 is the premier educational event in the Southern Hemisphere. Over the years, it has attracted a host of educators, education businesses, and specialists across the Asia Pacific region. The event serves all levels of the educational cycle, including kindergarten, primary school, secondary school, and tertiary education. It will also cover topics such as National VET, Workplace Learning, Special Needs and Inclusion, Libraries, Edu-tech Startups, Educational Furniture and Equipment, Technology, Facilities, and Services.
EduBuild 2018 is the APAC region’s leading trade show for educational facilities, featuring a host of designers, construction specialists, and educational suppliers. The event focuses mainly on building holistic educational facilities and spaces to enhance students’ classroom learning experience. It will feature a series of senior-level congresses, an open exhibition which will feature new educational technology and a collaborative space for the public.
What’s on the Agenda at EduTECH and EduBuild 2018?
EduTECH and EduBuild provides attendees a chance to work together and exchange industry knowledge from their respective fields. There will be a series of free activities and seminars, as well as esteemed keynote speakers delivering congresses and masterclasses.
EduTECH consists of twelve congresses covering such topics as K-12 Schools ICT Management, School Business Management, Higher Education Leaders, and Tertiary Education Leaders IT. The masterclasses will be delivered by leading educational experts and include topics such as integrating digital technology in the classroom, school marketing and branding techniques, the Learning Power approach and integrating collaborative inquiry.
There will also be a free international exhibition open to the public in the middle of the event. There will be free seminars and workshops such as Makers Playground and robotics demonstrations. Attendees can also meet with numerous education and building suppliers.
Finally, there will be a gala dinner where attendees can network with a whole host of leading industry figures. The dinner venue features a magnificent view of Vivid Sydney’s light show.
We at Office Line are proud to be a part of this event, and we hope to see you there at Booth 1014.
Office Line supplies a wide range high-quality educational furniture. We have locations in Sydney and Perth. Contact us today.
- Kendall Broun
Flipped Classrooms: Is It the Future of Learning?
Researchers have been looking at possible ways to improve classroom learning and to help students learn more efficiently. One of the strategies that has recently emerged is the flipped classroom model — an inverted approach to the traditional lecture setting.
Studying at Home and Learning in School
In a common classroom setting, students listen to lectures inside the classroom and carry out most of the active learning at home. The flipped classroom model inverts this setup by devoting more time for collaborative schoolwork, experiential learning and other forms of active learning inside the classroom. Teachers prepare video lectures that students take home to learn at their own pace.
The flipped classroom model is relatively new, and only a few of the top universities in the world have adopted this strategy. Studies continue to examine the effects of the model in the students' conceptual grasp of lessons. One study found that the grades of weaker students improved 10% greater than weaker students in traditional classrooms.
Advantages of the Flipped Classroom Model
The main advantage of the flipped classroom model is that the majority of the time spent in the classroom is devoted to active learning. In a collaborative environment, teachers assist students while they work on individual and group schoolwork.
Having more time for active learning allows students to understand concepts and lessons with the help of peers and teachers. This setup enhances comprehension and reduces the likelihood of students getting left behind.
At home, students are able to study the video lectures at a pace with which they are comfortable. They will attend classes the following day prepared and equipped with questions related to the lesson and effectively follow the lecture.
Disadvantages of the Flipped Classroom Model
The flipped classroom model requires teachers to prepare pre-recorded lessons in high-video quality. Meanwhile, the students should have access to proper equipment to watch lectures at home.
This requirement puts students living in low-income areas at a disadvantage, as equipment can be costly. Some students may also feel that they can skip class when they have already "learned" the lesson at home.
School Furniture Conducive to Collaborative Learning
For those schools looking to devote more classroom time to active learning, it is important to have school furniture that fosters peer-to-peer learning.
Office Line offers classroom and library furniture for educational institutions Australia-wide. Our knowledge of various academic environments allows us to fulfil the specific requirements of our clients.
Our range of school furniture includes a variety of colours and functions that complement and enhance classroom interiors. We also have high regard for safety and comfort when selecting furniture for our catalogues. Our selection of school furniture is ideal for group learning and study breaks.
Since 1988, Office Line has provided educational furnishing solutions and a high level of personal and professional customer service. We offer convenient delivery and installation services. For all your educational furniture needs, we are your one-stop shop.
- Kendall Broun
- Tags: Flipped Classroom
The Award-Winning EN Floor Chair for Modern Facilities
Maintaining good posture is not only beneficial to health, but it also aids in sustaining focus and concentration in class. Educational institutions are placing more emphasis on chair ergonomics as part of the thrust to promote good posture among students.
Health and Posture Issues with Regular Chairs
Past research has revealed that the human body is not built for sitting in chairs. In fact, the widespread use of chairs only happened around 200 years ago; and in some countries, sitting on the floor is still the norm.
Most regular chairs come with a fixed chair width and depth. Manufacturers usually set the width and depth of the chair according to the height of an 'average' person, leaving people who are taller or shorter than their estimates at a disadvantage. Regular chairs also come with fixed backrests. This means that you cannot adjust the backrest to suit your specific needs which can lead to back complications or injuries.
Employees who sit in poorly designed chairs for prolonged periods of time suffer a host of negative effects, from distraction to discomfort in the workplace. Some of the dangers of sitting on a non-ergonomic chair include:
- Stiffness and numbness
- Impeded circulation
- Muscle fatigue
- Neck/back/hip pain
- Uneven pressure distribution
- Lack of focus at work
Office injuries due to poor posture occur gradually and often go unnoticed until employees experience significant pain and discomfort. This shows the importance of chairs to be built ergonomically. Ergonomic chairs reduce muscle and joint strain that can lead to serious wear and tear. More importantly, it reduces the risk of chronic lower back muscle strain and axial back pain.
Ensuring Back Support with Floor Chairs
Ergonomic floor chairs are one way to address the problems associated with sitting in regular chairs. This special type of chair allows people to sit naturally on the floor while receiving necessary back support, even when they lean back and relax.
Floor chairs are built to be flexible so you will not have to worry about tipping over when you lean against your seat. They also need to be durable and well-designed. Since they are in constant contact with the floor, floor chairs must be scratch-resistant and should not damage your flooring.
Fun and Comfortable for Learning Spaces
Versatile seating options such as floor chairs can be huge motivators for students. Floor chairs give them the autonomy and flexibility to control their environment, allowing them to stay more engaged and focused. This leads to better academic performance, as well as improved overall behaviour. Floor seating options can also make individual reading time a much more enjoyable prospect for students.
Additionally, floor chairs offer the opportunity for increased collaboration among students because of the open space. They can communicate more effectively during team works and classroom discussions as well as work in small groups or pairs.
Ideal for Maintaining the Perfect Meditation Posture
Maintaining good posture during meditation is vital because it helps you remain rooted in the present and fosters awareness. The ideal posture for meditation has three essential characteristics: straight, comfortable and stable. However, discomfort and pain can be major distractions when you're trying to meditate.
For that purpose, finding the best meditation chair is an important part of your practice. Floor chairs are low and incredibly comfortable, providing proper support to your bum and lower back. The chairs are cushioned to protect rear ends from the discomfort of a hard floor. They are also designed and shaped to support standard meditation positions, helping supplement your practice.
With floor chairs, you will be able to focus on your breathing, mantra and visualisation because there aren't any unnecessary aches in your body disrupting your concentration.
Award-Winning Floor Chair for Modern Facilities
Office Line proudly presents the EN Floor chair, one of the newest additions to the EN range of chairs in our catalogue. Ideal for modern school and office facilities, the EN Floor chair is constructed to a high specification that meets ergonomic requirements.
Made from polypropylene, the EN Floor chair is durable yet lightweight. Its composition is also fully recyclable, which is ideal for clients who are looking for sustainable furniture. The EN Floor chair comes in 16 colours, offering a wide variety that will match the interiors of your establishment.
The EN Floor chair was recognised by the GESS (Global Educational Supplies and Solutions) Education Awards and won in the Innovative Product — Floor Chair category.
The annual awarding ceremony highlights and celebrates high-quality and innovative contributions to the education sector, with the objective to raise the standards for educational products and services.
High-Quality Products from Trusted Brands
Since our launch in 1988, Office Line has been steadfast in its commitment to providing high-quality classroom and office furniture sourced from trusted brands in the industry.
Our catalogue includes the EN brand of chairs that we displayed at the National Future Schools Conference and Exhibition in March 2018. We were excited to introduce this range of classroom chairs as an innovative, ergonomic and eco-friendly option.
We have more creative and functional solutions for your school and office needs. Based in Perth, we extend our services to Western Australia and other areas in the country. We offer fast delivery for all orders and assist in setting up your furniture.
- Kendall Broun
- Tags: EN Floor Chair