Education Outside the Classroom: Will Coworking Spaces Be the Future?

Image by Marc Mueller,

Education has been the driving force behind every progress ever made, but what drives education forward? Is it affected by the changes constantly happening in the world of tech, psychology, and other sciences? Of course it is. We often see how tech advancements are implemented in schools and colleges. Still, there is one question lingering in the air: Is the traditional way of studying future-proof? Everything can be a subject of evolution, and the ever-growing trend of coworking spaces might just be the next evolutionary step for the classic classroom or library studying approach. In the business world, they’ve already become that, and nearly 70 percent of the workers working in communal offices found that their focus is improved since they started working in such spaces. Can this approach bring similar benefits to students?

Reimagining education

In a typical education process, a teacher gets a curriculum consisting of a set of lessons. He/she teaches lessons, asks questions and give exams. In the meantime, students are studying in libraries or at their homes. It’s the way things are. It’s the way things always were. So, why change them now? Well, it turns out that working in a more collaborative environment could pose a better educational experience, not only for students, but for the teachers as well.

Benefits of “co-studying”

So, what does this way of studying actually bring to the table? Some students will find it very pleasant to study in a dynamic environment, where their colleagues are pushing them to work harder and better. The lessons that are unclear to one student, can be easily understood by another, and the conversation about them can set new ideas in motion. Besides the interaction between students, coworking environments can help them experience hands-on training from professionals. This makes coworking spaces an interesting alternative to libraries – a large number of resources are at their disposal, with the added benefit of communication with each other and various experts. Check out these shared office space perks.

The implementation of coworking principle

As an idea, a coworking approach to studying seems pretty great, but how can this be implemented in a more traditional setting, such as a classroom? The biggest obstacle here is the educational system. But first, let’s tackle the smaller beast – a student’s view of the classroom. Challenging the traditional student/teacher barrier is definitely hard, but if students could form studying teams and tear down the walls stopping them from being open to this principle, they could experience a tangible progress.

Preparation for the future

In a 2013 Forbes article “Coworking: Is It Just a Fad or the Future of Business?”, the author concluded that traditional offices are becoming “obsolete”, and those coworking settings are definitely a future to look forward to. What does that mean for students today? A large majority will probably end up in such a workplace when they finish their education, and they will eventually have to get used to such collaborative systems. If that process begins now, they can learn to work in a team efficiently, see differences and disagreements outside of a negative light, and respect individual boundaries.

Finally, it’s very easy to equate shared office space with a purely physical partition of a workplace, but we are actually talking about a movement that is taking the world by storm, and if students don’t jump on the bandwagon now, they will find themselves at a disadvantage the moment they step into the work arena.

This article was contributed by guest author Chloe Taylor.