Hot Tips (Power Distribution)
How to Increase Access to Power in the Classroom
Most students use mobile electronics to learn. With that, students are more often
finding themselves in difficult situations
where they’re watching their smart phone,
laptop and tablet batteries drain without an
accessible power outlet nearby. The trend
contributes to a rising epidemic of disengagement
and lack of focus in the classroom.
Installing power sources can be costly
and time consuming. Traditional construction
methods like trenching, coring and raising
floors can render classrooms unusable for
extended periods of time. Often the cost is
prohibitive. An alternative solution can be
found in ultra-thin power grids laid seamlessly
under carpet. This option is designed to
provide learning spaces with power where and
when students and instructors need it. Unlike
other techniques, it requires no upheaval of
existing structures and is a simpler and cost-efficient
power distribution system.
Steelcase Research has revealed that 70
percent of students are taking notes on laptops
instead of paper. In higher education, this number
is even larger, as 95 percent of institutions allow
mobile devices in classrooms. Not surprisingly,
20 percent of college students say it is difficult to
charge their devices on campus. While schools are
attempting to be “bring your own device friendly,”
their classrooms and other campus spaces lack the
easy connection to available electricity.
People need technology and technology
needs power. As we ask how we can better
meet student’s needs, we need to consider
the spaces they are using. Instead of making
students go to the power source, let’s bring the
power to them and create more efficient, less
distracting learning environment.
>> Through evidence-based design, technology
and innovative solutions, Steelcase Education is focused on helping schools create
the most effective, rewarding and inspiring
active learning environments.
This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of School Planning & Management.