Technology kick starts new age education revolution
FROM the so-called "talk and chalk" days, technology has rapidly changed education.
Central to that shift is the way school buildings are designed and BSPN director Lachlan Meehan believes this transformation shows no signs of slowing down.
"Right now it's an accelerated evolution without a doubt. It's probably the most exciting time to be an architect in the education sector," he said.
Mr Meehan, who joined BSPN 19 years ago, said education was one of the pillars of his business and they have won a stack of awards with two of the recent standouts being the Centenary Library at Anglican Church Grammar School and the Centre for Learning & Innovation at Ormiston College.
He believed the use tablets and Wi-Fi in schools have been a game changer for education building design.
"Education is on the move. They can have all their text books in a tablet, they can sit under a tree in the garden, find a quiet spot in the corner of the library or with a small groups of friends," Mr Meehan said.
"Obviously the quality of the educators is still critical but by providing flexible, multi-nodal education opportunities, that incorporate technologies and current thinking, the opportunity to facilitate good outcomes is greatly enhanced."
Mr Meehan said the humanities subjects and maths have led the way in new design and there was an increasing focus on science facilities with the development of "Super Labs".
However, one of the most dramatic changes has been in libraries which have become more a centre of learning on a tertiary model with bookable rooms, student services and bring staff front of house rather than behind a counter.
Mr Meehan said building in the education sector needed to stand the test of time.
"They need to be flexible enough to adapt to the changing education environment," he said.
"What we are thinking is current and revolutionary at the moment but in another 20 years who know where they will be and a building needs top be able to adapt to suit those changes."