Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Wed, Mar 14 2007

Redesign Your School

Target and the American Architectural Foundation are sponsoring an interesting contest that might interest students who have an eye toward design. The contest is Redesign Your School—A Contest of Scholarly Proportions. Future school campuses are going to be challenged to accommodate rapidly-changing media and other new technology while still maintaining a friendly ambience for classic learning.

Schools will also need to be more open architecturally so that they can be better integrated into communities. Parents and neighborhood residents will be more likely to care about a school if they get personally involved. How do we make school campuses more usable by the general community?

I've had the opportunity to visit different elementary schools in the past week or so while gathering material for an article. One of the things I've noticed is the way school offices, which are the first inside glimpse many of us get of a school, often do not present their best side for a visitor who may be in there for a short time. A first glance at one office was extremely off-putting. It was oddly arranged and piled high with materials. The principal's desk looked a bit like the aftermath of unexpected Santa Ana winds. But my impression changed when I learned that the principal at that school spends most of the day out with students and teachers and not sitting around tidying the desk. If we want to encourage our superintendents and principals to stay in the trenches and support their teachers and students, how do we give them the best space for this? And there's the issue of security at schools. How do we make schools open and community-friendly while still maintaining a reasonable level of safety for kids and personnel? These factors are being worked on by some of our brightest designers, but maybe we could all learn a lot from listening to those who know their school best—the students. I hope many kids will jump in and participate in this contest and that adults will really listen. Help me pass the word on this great project.

posted at: 10:47 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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