By Nai Kanell
Director of Marketing
SpaceIQ

We talk a lot about dynamic workspaces and agile business environments. But there’s no better example than a school when it comes to a space in flux. Schools show space diversity not just in the type of space—classroom, cafeteria, computer lab—but in how it’s used. This diversity makes facilities management software for schools imperative.

Facility management software has broad applications throughout a school:

  • Classrooms with shifting desk arrangements
  • Multiple groups using the gymnasium at the same time
  • Rotating classes in the library

Space utilization software highlights the broad potential of a school’s diverse spaces, while maintaining order in how and when those areas are used.

Space management prevents class overlap, keeps teachers in control, and maximizes the potential space utilization. Using space in ways best-suited to lesson plans ensures schools remain dynamic learning environments.

Optimizing the agile classroom

Over the past 20 years, the classroom has gone from rows of front-facing, orderly desks to an environment with no standard layout. Flipped classrooms, small-group learning, activity-based education, and other teaching philosophies have turned the classroom on its head.

School facility management software is essential in keeping up with the constantly changing demands of the agile classroom. For educators to deploy teaching strategies, they need to know if their space can accommodate activities. Can you fit 32 desks in a complete circle? How many desk clumps fit comfortably in a classroom? What are the logistics of changing the room from one floor plan to another?

Agile classrooms contribute to engagement and learning. Supporting students means ensuring the classroom is comfortable and organized—no matter the teaching philosophy.

Making shared spaces truly shared

How schools use facility management software depends on the space in question. It’s often most necessary in multifaceted spaces.

By day, the cafeteria serves food. By night, it might host parent-teacher conferences, PTA meetings, or faculty gatherings. It’s the venue for science fairs, study groups, extracurricular clubs, and any other school-based activity requiring a large, versatile space—even general election voting for the public. Each event requires specific planning and accommodations, which is where school facility management software shines.

At the same time, a school’s space is finite. Often, a single area needs to accommodate multiple groups at once without infringing on the learning opportunities of each other. Planning for coexistence—not overlap—is important. How can Class A make use of the library computers while Class B works on a research project? Is it possible to accommodate volleyball and basketball practice in the same gymnasium, at the same time? Schools don’t have space (or time) to waste, which makes space planning software the smart, efficient solution.

Facilitating migration within the school building

Learning doesn’t stay in the classroom. It migrates from room to room, into libraries and computer labs, the theater and band rooms, and just about every space. Kids and teachers are always on the move. Planning movement from space to space requires software assistance—usually in the form of IWMS solutions for schools.

Two key variables drive successful lesson planning: smooth transitions between spaces and the proper accommodations for each activity. Facility management software solves both. Move management handles preparation and relocation, while space planning ensures areas are appropriately prepared for the lessons ahead. Teachers are shown the quickest route between destinations. And when they get there, the space is ready for learning. Space planning software takes the headache out of moving a group of kids and saves precious time.

Most importantly, space planning software prevents logjams, overlaps, and friction in a school where dozens of teachers and hundreds of kids are all on the move, heading to different areas at different times for different durations. Facility management software brings order to what would otherwise be chaos.

Maximizing every potential space

As mentioned, space in schools is finite and precious. Maximizing every square foot is important. It’s why the gymnasium is more than a place for sports and why classrooms frequently evolve around lesson plans.

Facility management and space planning software for schools maximizes the potential of every space. Are students benefiting from a well-formed learning environment? Do teachers have the resources and space to execute their lesson plans? Is there enough space for all activities? Recognizing the needs of students and teachers—and optimizing available space to meet it—doesn’t happen by chance. It takes careful planning, which is easier and more inclusive with the right digital platform.

Keeping schools agile and organized

Classroom floor plans change. Students constantly move from one room to another. Shared spaces are part of the everyday routine. Keeping track of spaces and how they’re used is a full-time, logistical job that’s hard to accomplish without a little help. Like workplaces, facility management software is the answer for schools. It’s the smart way to stay organized in an environment that presents the ultimate test of space planning.

Keep reading: How to select the best facilities management software