So recently an initiative called the Frog Classroom (twitter handle: @FrogClassroom15) tweeted to me what they were working on, and after watching a video about it (click here to open the video in an new tab), I've been interested in the good work they're doing.
They go to target schools and they pick a class that is in dire need of a makeover, and turn that classroom into a really cool classroom with laptops and a smart-board and air-conditioning. Even a punching bag was installed, which was a nice touch, in my opinion.
What I like about the project is that it empowers students to learn for themselves. It takes the teacher out of the picture, and even though I am myself a teacher, I always find students who are capable of finding things out on their own to be ahead of the pack and show a hunger for knowledge that is always welcome in any living person in the 21st century. Not to say that the teacher is unimportant, but because knowledge can be acquired so easily nowadays, students shouldn't wait to be spoonfed everything by their teachers anymore. Teachers are there to facilitate learning and guide the students in the right direction.
If students really utilise that room well, a lot of potential can be realised. It's a conducive learning environment, where comfort and ease of learning is emphasised, so it shouldn't be too hard for students to get used to it. Of course, it is still up to the teachers to show them the way and help them learn how to learn. Having this room will indeed help tremendously in that regard.
Some of the more predictable challenges that this initiative will face is the issue of sustainability (in regards to cost, especially), as well as how freely students shall be able to use the room. It is, after all, only one room for the entire school. I'm sure they're addressing (or at least trying to address) those concerns and more as we speak.
What is more important, however, is that such an initiative exists, and it would be in the best interest of the general public if they were to get behind the project and support them in any way they can. Besides that, other such initiatives should follow this example. If this movement inspires others to do something similar, if not better, than that'd be most beneficial, to the school-students, if nobody else.