Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Schools Are Boring Because We Designed Them To Be Boring

Denizen Hotels will become a cultural epicentre at each of its destinations, cultivating community within its walls. Eclectic, social and humbly authentic, each property within the brand will be smart in design, cultural in character and sensitive in service delivery. Developed as an international intersection of business and pleasure, Denizen Hotels will redefine how guests stay and play. With innovative check-in technologies and in-room comfort controlled at the touch of a button, Denizen Hotels destinations will harness the best and brightest design and technology to provide a seamless guest experience for the modern traveler.

The above description is from an email I received from Hilton Hotels announcing their newest brand, Denizen. A denizen is an inhabitant, or someone who has been granted residence in a foreign country, or, more casually, someone who frequents a place, like a bar would have its local denizens.

What struck me in reading this hotel description was how schools should strive to accomplish the same end goals in their environments. Below is my re-write for a school. I am naming my school Right On! because that is what a school should feel like to the kids and parents that experience it.

Right On! School will become a cultural epicentre in each of its classrooms at every grade level, cultivating community within its walls and outdoor learning spaces. Eclectic, social, and humbly authentic, Right On! School will be smart in design of its learning practices and learning spaces, cultural in its learning focus, and sensitive in its service delivery to both students and parents. Developed as an international intersection of work and play, Right On! School will redefine how students learn, play, and build relationships that span the globe. Right On! School will define how parents and teachers learn, support, and guide children. With innovative technologies and in-room physical and emotional comfort controlled as determined by the needs of each individual learner, Right On School classrooms will harness the best and brightest design and technology to provide a relevant preparatory experience for the modern learner and his or her parents.

In the top right corner, the circled exclamation point, would be their logo because, even though children have to be in a contained place that we call school, it should and can and is most effective when it is exciting!

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