Creative Learning Sys.

About Creative Learning Systems

Creative Learning Systems develops 21st century STEM and media labs for schools. We call them SmartLabs™. Every SmartLab program is custom designed to meet the needs of each unique school community. We work in close collaboration with each partner school to ensure the success of each SmartLab program – through design, implementation, professional development and world-class ongoing support. Since creating the first technology lab in a U.S. school in 1987, the company’s SmartLab learning systems have set the standard for integrating technology and academics. We are committed to innovation, pioneering STEM, digital media production and alternative energy exploration programs for schools.

While the technologies behind our learning solutions continue to evolve, our educational philosophy remains consistent. Every SmartLab is grounded in a set of guiding principles:

  • All learners require proficiency in STEM, not just our nation’s top math and science students. STEM learning resources must be adaptable to a wide range of abilities, learning styles and individual interests.
  • Project-based, student-centered learning is a powerful way to engage learners and develop higher-order thinking skills.
  • 21st century skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and communication, project and resource management, creativity and adaptability are necessary to succeed in a fast-paced, global economy. Blending these skills with academic content is a uniquely effective way to enhance student performance.
  • College and career readiness requires the ability to integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A multidisciplinary approach that also integrates social studies, communication skills and the arts provides a powerful framework to engage learners in STEM.
  • The application of technology to work flow is a critical and sustainable competency, whereas technology taught as a set of stand-alone skills offers only short-term value.
  • Evaluation of higher-order thinking requires authentic assessment. Presentation and working portfolios provide a meaningful basis for assessment while developing necessary communication.

Together with our many partner schools across the country, Creative Learning Systems challenges and engages today’s learners while preparing them to succeed in a global economy.

What is a SmartLab?

cls-smartlabSmartLabs are 21st century learning labs designed for the exploration of STEM, digital media arts and other academic topics through applied technology. SmartLabs are fully-integrated classroom systems that include hardware, software, scientific and media equipment, hands-on construction kits and flexible furniture systems. SmartLabs are full turnkey programs including curriculum, ePortfolio documentation and assessment systems, professional development and ongoing technical and professional support.

SmartLabs are flexible and adaptable learning systems individually designed for each school. SmartLabs can be designed to meet a wide range of budgets, class-sizes and scheduling options. Curriculum can be tailored to meet academic objectives such as STEM, alternative energy exploration, digital media arts, and college and career pathway exploration.

In a SmartLab, learners apply leading-edge technology to academically-focused, standards-based projects. A student-centered curriculum adapts to learners of different abilities and learning styles. The result? Challenged and engaged students learning real-world skills in an academic context.

What Makes the SmartLab Approach So Effective?

It’s a simple strategy. Put technology in the hands of students. Challenge them with engaging hands-on, minds-on projects that are flexible and open-ended. Support them with an academically-linked curriculum that guides learning while offering opportunities to explore topics of personal relevance. Provide support systems that authentically assess real learning and the development of 21st century skills.

cls-smartlab-girlSchools with SmartLabs report challenged and engaged students — of all abilities and interests. Learners perform better in core academic classes thanks to the applied learning that’s part of every SmartLab experience. Many schools report that students in the SmartLab program improve their test scores, present fewer discipline problems and are at reduced risk of dropping-out. Those are the kinds of results that matter.

We don’t simply talk about integrating technology in education. We provide a system to make it a reality…every school day.

What happens in a SmartLab?

Students progress through a series of curriculum-guided and self-directed project engagements. As they tackle these projects, they learn essential technology skills and systems, including:

  • Mechanics and Structures
  • Computer Graphics
  • Science and Data Acquisition
  • Publishing and Multimedia • Alternative and Renewable Energy
  • Robotics and Control Technology
  • Circuitry
  • Computer Simulation

Our approach to technology is unique, practical, and remarkably effective. Students do not simply learn technology skills in a vacuum. They learn to apply technology to everyday workflow. They use it in a multitude of ways as they design projects, test their ideas, and create ePortfolios to document their learning.

cls-smartlab-2-boysAn integrated approach to STEM education

SmartLabs approach STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) from a real-world perspective. Instead of placing each element in an artificial “silo”, we integrate these critical disciplines in a project-based context. We challenge learners to employ critical-thinking skills, to problem-solve, to collaborate and to communicate. And, in addition to STEM, we emphasize the role of language arts in the effective communication of ideas, the importance of social studies for context, and the relevance of the arts to creative expression.

SmartLabs are where it all comes together.

STEM for all students – Skills to Succeed in a Global Economy

All students need a solid foundation in STEM — not just our top math and science students. Now, more than ever, post-secondary and career readiness requires a new model of learning. Success in today’s world requires both core knowledge and 21st century skills — for everyone. The lines have blurred; both college and the workplace demand a solid foundation of academic content, technological competencies, information literacy, and collaboration and communication skills. They require adaptable learner/workers who can think critically and creatively, and who can who apply ever-changing technology to their everyday workflow.

In a SmartLab, we meet every learner where they are and take them as far as they are able to go. Every SmartLab includes multiple levels of curriculum and technology resources. Our flexible learning system adapts to individual learning styles. In a SmartLab, projects are open-ended and learners are empowered to bring personal relevance to every engagement.

Customized Solutions to Meet Your School’s Needs

cls-smartlab-from-aboveSince creating the first technology lab in a U.S. school in 1987, we’ve designed and built many hundreds of SmartLabs across the country. Every one is a unique learning solution designed to meet the specific needs of each school partner and their learning community.

SmartLabs have been designed for classes of 18-120 students including elementary, secondary and adult learners. SmartLabs can be scheduled as core or elective classes, or provide a technology resource center to support the whole school. Curriculum can be tailored to a broad survey of applied technology or to focus on specific topics like STEM, alternative energy exploration or digital media arts.

Interested in Learning More?

We invite you to talk with one of our educational design consultants, to schedule a visit a SmartLab in your area, and to learn more about how a SmartLab can help your school meet its academic mission. Together, we’ll launch your students on a path of discovery, engagement, learning…and success.

Video & Multimedia Solutions

A powerful, engaging way for your students to build communication and language skills!

For over twenty years, Creative Learning Systems has pioneered technology-based learning. Like all of our learning solutions, our fully-integrated multimedia and video production systems will engage and motivate your students, foster confidence and creativity, and further your school’s overall academic mission.

We offer complete, fully-integrated solutions utilizing the most advanced and functional technology available. We design them. We supply every system and component. We provide installation, curriculum and professional development. And we stand behind every system with our world-class technical support.

Like everything we create, our video and multimedia solutions are so much more than just collections of equipment. They are complete educational solutions where the emphasis is always where it belongs: on learning!

Mobile Video Console

cls-smartlab-video-consoleProfessional-grade video production equipment in a portable, easy-to-operate system. Learning comes alive with student-produced videos!

Record sporting events, assemblies, speakers and performances. Deliver video announcements and student news reports. Create video yearbook supplements. Even broadcast school events live, over the internet to parents and the school community!

The Mobile Video Console from Creative Learning Systems is a fully-integrated platform to support all of your school’s video production needs. Your students will be able to easily create professional effects such as transitions, fades, wipes and virtual backdrops. And, with its sturdy, mobile platform, it goes anywhere learning happens.

Like all of our learning solutions, it includes integrated curriculum, installation, professional development and technical support for life.

Download Mobile Video Console Information (pdf)

cls-smartlab-video-productiVideo Production Studio

Video production technology can be overwhelming, costly, and complicated. We know you want to provide your students with professional-standard equipment and capabilities. We also know you don’t want a room full of expensive equipment that’s too complicated for your students to operate or too costly for your school to maintain.

That’s where Creative Learning Systems comes in. We develop video production studios for schools – and only schools. Every solution is a custom, fully-integrated system designed specifically for your school.