Bretford releases iLab learning space research

Bretford Manufacturing, Inc.®, in partnership with Hillbrook School and HERO, Inc., today revealed results from a two-year research project that investigated the impact of the physical environment on learning. Through the support of Bretford, the independent co-educational PK-8 day school in Los Gatos, Calif. replaced its aging computer lab with an experimental, custom learning space called the Idea Laboratory or iLab.

Key findings from this research include:

  • Behavior in the iLab is different than in the classroom: Students and teachers exhibited and noted more energy, engagement, movement, mobility and more interaction, both with others and the environment.
  • The iLab enables a wide variety of configurations that support both divergent thinking and convergent thinking.
  • The iLab is preferred over the traditional learning space by a wide margin.
  • The iLab has changed how teachers think about learning spaces.

“The energy in the iLab is greater than in my classroom — I believe it is because of the movement,” said Christina Pak, a seventh and eighth grade history teacher at Hillbrook School. “Kids need both structure and change. The iLab has helped me think more about how the physical learning environment can spark students’ interest and help them think beyond.”