As parents, teachers and administrators create new learning routines in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Huffington Post turned to Kylie Roth, Knoll Vice President, Research, for her expertise on designing environments for learn from home routines. "In the spring, it felt like, if we can just get through the next few months then summer is coming," Roth tells Catherine Pearson, Reporter at Huffington Post, adding, "The reality is setting in for all of us now that this is really more of a long-term thing."
To adapt to a semi-permanent home learning routine, Roth shared her research-driven perspective. Read an excerpt of her recommendations below
Get their screen set-up right.
If you’ve ever stared down at a laptop for a few hours and suffered through the subsequent neck pain, then you know: screen placement is a major factor in overall comfort. Experts generally agree the screen should be just at eye level — and about 20 to 30 inches from a child’s face, Roth said.
Make sure their feet hit the floor.
“You want to start with a really good chair,” Roth said, adding that it should be comfortable. But she emphasized that the simplest thing to do is make sure that your kiddo’s feet connect with the floor. Think of how strange it feels when you’re in a high top stool at a bar or restaurant and there’s nowhere to really put your feet, Roth. said. You don’t want your child to feel similarly unmoored. “It helps them feel grounded and more ready to learn,” Roth said.
Give them a cubby.
“Most kids and teenagers generate disorganization,” Roth said. Which is why it’s so important to give them a space where they can keep their school stuff — their devices, books, workbooks, etc. It doesn’t have to be big at all. Maybe a section of an open bookcase or some kind of other little cubby, Roth said, just a dedicated little space where they can organize their school stuff in the same way they can with a cubby or locker at school.
Consider how and when they’ll move.
Flow and movement aren’t necessarily factors parents consider when setting up learning spaces, but experts say they’re important. It might be worth considering a sit-to-stand desk that allows your child to change postures throughout the day, Roth said, but it’s not necessary. Consider: Is there somewhere where they could comfortably stand and work or learn throughout the day, in addition to their seated spot? Movement is important to learning, which is why students aren’t stationary all day when they’re in the classroom.
Read the full interview on Huffington Post by clicking here.