Current theory and practice drives change in design of modern educational buildings, with space playing an increasingly critical role in the flexibility and adaptability of a learning environment. Sessions should explore the ways in which pedagogical innovation and cutting-edge design impact and influence student outcomes, including the relationship between facilities and learning and how changes in pedagogy converge with design.
Sessions should guide administrators and planners through topics such as: master planning, working with a design team, writing educational specifications, addressing design guidelines, planning for technology, integrating sustainable design, identifying cost and funding options, communicating the importance of supporting education finance, evaluating life-cycle costs, producing procurement documents, evaluating project delivery options, monitoring progress, and evaluating completed projects.
Deferred infrastructure maintenance and outdated facilities combined with limited state support have demanded organizational restructuring, streamlining of processes, creative partnerships and new construction delivery models. Evidence-based, data-driven planning and design processes can create healthier, more productive learning environments. Sessions in this category should address how facilities make the best use of the space they have and with the greatest positive impact on learning. They should draw from real-world experiences, using technologies and practices that architects, planners, school facilities professionals can use or adapt at their own facilities or use in the planning process for future renovation/redevelopment or construction projects.
As more and more products are moving into the digital world, there are tremendous impacts on the physical environment. Spaces continue to evolve as technology allows for greater flexibility, and collaboration becomes more fundamental to meeting shared educational goals. Sessions should address how technology is affecting both design and pedagogy and how to integrate technology into the learning spaces. How can spaces be transformed for emerging technologies and new methods of learning and instruction?
Community partnerships become even more important as space is allocated not only for learning and administrative uses but also for community or business use. To garner more community support, many buildings are planned for mixed use or repurposed for the future needs of the locale. Integrating the need for career and technical education or early childhood education into cooperative learning spaces are vital to developing public/private partnerships that open doors to achieving a shared vision for the future.