The virtual learning concept of Kurani Connected Rural Classroom

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Connected Rural Classroom reinvents the architecture of the learning space

A collaboration between design studio Kurani, the State of Alabama, Apple and nonprofit Ed Farm is reimagining learning spaces through virtual education with the Connected Rural Classroom

When the relevant authorities in the State of Alabama noticed that students in rural towns did not have the same academic opportunities as those in big cities, they decided to act. They joined forces with non-profit Ed Farm and learning space design expert Kurani, alongside leading partners such as Apple, and the idea of ​​a facility that welcomes virtual education was born; welcome to the connected rural class.

The founder of the design studio, Danish Kurani, played a key role in developing this proposal, which is particularly close to his heart: “I constantly ask: ‘What do people face, and can I design something that will make it easier for them?” “In America, if you grow up poor or in a small town, one of the things you struggle with is having the same opportunities as people who were born rich or in a big city. town. You’re just not exposed to as many people or opportunities that can help you. Growing up in a small southern town, I know this firsthand.

In developing his proposal, Kurani dug deep and engaged in intense research, drawing on his own experiences – the aim was to achieve a design that goes beyond mere aesthetics and has functionality at its heart. his heart.

“For people who use a space (and depend on it), it makes a big difference if you focus as a designer on achieving a particular style versus if you focus on creating solutions to their problems,” he said.

Therefore, technology is central to the concept of the connected rural class. “Technology in schools should help students – often it doesn’t. When schools have slow computers and Wi-Fi, students waste their days waiting for devices to load a webpage or app they need. And because most schools don’t have the latest hardware or software products, it’s next to impossible for students to progress far and become a master at anything,” says Kurani.

“It’s partly a question of funding. […] But poor technology in schools is also a design problem. The right setup at school can energize children. All of a sudden they have this amazing support that helps them do things, amazing things. Not only are each of our connected rural classrooms equipped to stream top teachers who can mentor and guide students, but students also benefit from professional equipment for creating creative content: iPads, tripods, ring lights, boxes light, microphones, photo and video editing. Software. It’s like a technological playground.

The Connected Rural Classroom uses smartly integrated technology to create a flexible environment that promotes learning. Instead of relying on in-person instruction, as the typical American classroom would, this concept moves away from rows of desks facing one way, with little room for adaptation. Here, the proposal revolves around hybrid spaces and tech pedagogy hubs.

Innovative materials and gadgets were important to create the right atmosphere and provide opportunities for learning and well-being. The color palette is chosen specifically to promote calm and creativity; carpeting and wallpaper use recycled materials, reducing carbon footprint; and the divider panels are made from durable medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Air-purifying filters, natural and artificial lighting, and carefully designed graphics have been specifically chosen to support productivity.

The team is currently building these classrooms across Alabama – but the goal is to take Connected Rural Classroom far beyond state lines. “Any school in America can have it,” Kurani says. “They just send me a message and I can bring it to them.” §

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