What is the difference between a classroom and the coffee shop?

A few years ago, during a media interview for one of my books, my interviewer said something I still ponder often. Ranting about the level of distraction in his open office, he said, “That’s why I have a membership at the coworking space across the street — so I can focus.”

While I fully support the backlash against open offices, the comment struck me as odd. After all, coworking spaces also typically use an open office layout.

But I recently came across a series of studies examining the effect of sound on the brain that reveals why his strategy works.

Source: Why You Can Focus in a Coffee Shop but Not in Your Open Office

I’ve compared the open office to classroom because of their similarities. Neither are very good at helping people concentrate, so is there anything we can use from the coffee shop scenario to help our classroom?

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