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SMART Technologies x KI: Tips for Start-of-the-Year Classroom Design

September 13, 2022
  • K-12 Education

In partnership with SMART Tech, we offer design insights for your K-12 classroom (and a chance to win $2,500!)

While most people consider January 1st as the start of a new year, teachers across the country look to this time of year as their fresh start. And what better way to kick off a new school year than with a classroom reset?

As you look to refresh and reengage your education spaces, consider how layout and design can impact students. Ultimately, the goal is to make your students feel comfortable while still promoting engaged learning.

To that end, we’ve partnered with SMART Technologies to share our tips for optimal classroom design.

Support the Flow of Ideas – and People!

The safety of a classroom is directly impacted by the layout and design of the overall space. In the same way, classroom design can impact the efficacy of instruction.

To make the greatest impact, classrooms should be designed with clear walking paths free of obstructions. Teachers should be able to move safely throughout the room as they observe and support students.

The design should allow students to easily enter and exit, including the ability to exit quickly in the case of an emergency.

Students should be able to access materials and different stations with ease. Flexible seating and worksurfaces enable educators to maintain safe pathways throughout the classroom, no matter what layout may be required for that day’s activities.

Consider Other Points of View

A lot of people are involved in the learning environment—including administrators, staff, students and parents—all with different perspectives. When designing your classroom, consider the views of everyone involved to ensure the space meets their different needs:

  • Students see the classroom at a different level than adults. They need to be able to see the instruction and have a clear opportunity to participate. Interactive, high-tech displays like SMART Boards can increase visibility and student engagement.
  • Teachers are constantly multitasking. They need to be able to see their students, the full classroom, the hallway and technology. Integrating SMART products into furniture ensures teachers can access their technology for lessons, timekeeping and communication, all while keeping an eye on their students.
  • School leaders often need to observe what’s going on in classrooms. They should be able to enter the room discreetly without interrupting instruction.
  • Maintenance staff have the important task of creating a welcoming space by keeping it clean. They need an easily maneuverable space to do their best job.
  • Everyone’s safety is a top priority. In the event of a threat in the school, classrooms should include an area that can’t be seen from the hallway and safe, easy-to-access exits.

Catering to all of these perspectives can be challenging, but you can test different layouts with our Classroom Planner. Using this interactive tool, you can explore perspectives digitally with customized measurements and camera angles.

Find Inspiration with Fellow Educators

Updating your classroom’s design can be a daunting task. But sometimes, all you need is a little inspiration to get started! Try taking a culture walk with fellow teachers to observe each other’s classrooms and hear their perspectives to assess the strengths and areas for improvement in your own space.

Things to consider on your culture walk:

  • What is the atmosphere of the classroom?
  • How does the classroom make students feel?
  • How are different perspectives addressed in the classroom?
  • What items make the space feel comfortable?


Create Your Best Space (perhaps with $2,500!)

The start of a new school year presents teachers with the perfect opportunity to hit reset. Updating classrooms is a powerful first step.

When designing your classroom, consider its flow and layout, as well as everyone’s point of view. Creating a functional, efficient and welcoming space will reap significant benefits for you and your students.

Classroom Makeover by Lumio.jpg
To help you do just that, Lumio is offering teachers a chance to win a classroom makeover! Enter to win a $2,500 Amazon gift certificate to purchase whatever you desire to outfit your classroom. (Hurry! The contest ends September 30th.)

For an in-depth look at additional classroom design tips, head over to the SMART Tech blog to read more.

by Marcus Batista  K-12 Education Specialist

Marcus has worked in the experiential design community and also has six years of experience as a K-12 teacher and operations leader. Based in the Los Angeles area, Marcus supports the KI team on the West Coast. He earned degrees in media studies and childhood education from CUNY Hunter College.


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