5 Conversations for Learning Environments Professionals

Educators today face more challenges with less available time and resources. Have an enormous to-do list keeping you up at night? These conversations will help lower your stress.

Did you know you can use ESSER Funds to support Indoor/Outdoor Learning Spaces?
Contact a Learning Environments Specialist to learn how

Outdoor Learning (Inside)

Access to Nature and Natural Elements

It will take years to understand the full impact of the pandemic on K12 student development. What we do know today is that social connections, learning continuity and mental health have all been negatively impacted. Rebuilding these learning pillars is critical and fortunately we have some valuable tools available all around us.

Numerous studies show connections to nature and natural elements can help children and adults feel less lonely, improve their confidence and their self-esteem. Interaction with nature positively impacts mood and engagement, and it’s also known to increase focus and reduce feelings of stress. Outdoors spaces and natural elements in interior design have been used in corporate spaces to increase engagement and healthcare spaces to accelerate healing. Learning spaces have remained mostly untouched for the past century, only beginning to be reimagined in the past decade.

Outdoors Inside
Appreciating our roots in nature, connecting to the aesthetics of the nature and creating a natural ecosystem of regions in learning spaces can positively impact our future.

Incorporating natural elements and access to nature into learning environments can be done through intentional architecture, interior design materials and finishes and furniture choices. The US Department of Education and the California Department of Education (CDE) recognize improved mental health benefits from engaging with the natural world, and that’s one reason they’re funding improvements to facilities and teaching environments.

Outdoors Inside

Bringing the outdoors in can provide similar benefits to students inside learning environments. What if classrooms could feel more like natural environments, and help make happier, more connected, and kinder learners and educators? What if returning to our roots, through connection to nature and biophilic elements, could redefine what learning spaces could be? In reimagining the learning space, we begin with the notion of an ecosystem of ‘regions’ to create diversity and deliver the benefits we encounter in natural environments, like improved air quality. Explore with us the concept of designing an ecosystem of learning places to engage and delight students in The Classroom as Ecosystem - Back to Our Roots

ESSER Funds can be used to prevent, prepare for, or respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including its impact on the social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs of students; *providing mental health services and supports, *addressing the academic impact of lost instructional time among an LEA’s students, *implementing evidence-based activities to meet the comprehensive needs of students.

Imagine new agile learner-centered environments for your school which can:

  • Promote engagement and interaction among students
  • Create community through placemaking
  • Encourage student autonomy and personalization though choice and control
  • Offer spaces designed to create habitats and class culture
  • Focus on social/emotional development and mental health

Indoor/Outdoor Solutions

We offer many solutions for Inside and outside learning spaces with access to nature and natural elements.

> Adequate Fresh Air and Outdoor Access: Living walls, live plants, commercial grade Air Purifiers and active Garage Doors

> Ecosystem of Regions: Designed to help students

  • Explore Imagination, Get Questions Answered, Seek the Unknown, Gain New Perspectives, Test & Prototype
  • Build Community, Create Habitat & Culture, Delegate Reliantly
  • Seek Refuge, Calm Down, Daydream, Find Peace

> Biophilic design: Introduce the colors, patterns and tactile feelings of nature in finishes and materials

> Healthy Postures: Ergonomic furniture designed specifically for students in K12 learning spaces built to support autonomy and community

> Outside Learning Spaces: Outside learning spaces, furniture and tools, and School Garden design concepts.

Learn how you can use Esser Funds

Request a free consult from our learning environments specialists.