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Classroom Makeover: Learning Spaces That Maximize Technology and Collaboration

I went to the session Classroom Makeover: Learning Spaces That Maximize Technology and Collaboration

Presenters: Frances Siracusa and Jennifer Williams

For this session, I was looking for new ideas to integrate/organize my classroom centered around technology. Frances and Jennifer gave a lot of good tips for organizing your classroom using Learning Space Design. It seemed difficult to try this later in the school year, but would be very helpful before the school year starts!

To follow the presenter on Twitter add her information:  jen_williams

She used nearpod for her presentation and it was really neat. helps to make your presentation interactive!

Check it out when you have a chance.  

Learning Space Design: (m) Thinking-Rich Space where knowledge is constructed.

To develop a “Learning Space” you need to think about the following question: How can we change our classrooms to be Thinking-Rich spaces?

  • Things to think about: physical environment, active senses, emotional responses
  • Environmental Variables: light, temperature, noise, surfaces, and visibility.


Think about your classroom as a Start up Company!

Authenticity, Personality, Agility, Passion.

Explore options to make it the best and most suitable for your students!


Where is the Heart?

Administrator Ron Clark frames his students portraits/artwork on all the walls, so he can take celebrate each of them as individuals! This was a really neat idea. She also recommended that if you have PD days in Atlanta, you should see Ron Clark. (


Things to find for your classroom: Wipeable materials (bean bags/chairs), Pods, see through shelves, community items, a quiet spot (facing the wall/think about the wall seating at a cafe), greenery (plants if you cannot see outside plants), various lights, colors (if you have favorites place them through the room using pops of color-NOT painting all walls), fun seating/tables.

You can use: dry erase markers on glass surfaces, plexi glass, Small Chalkboards (helps with strengthening fine motor because of resistance of chalk and board), and white boards (various sizes)..

5 Tips to help you get started with your classroom:

  • Tip #1: Involve students in the design process (asking them what they like the best, using bubbli, etc.) Room planner app or a drawing app to help with designing the new room.
  • Tip #2: Define Spaces (get rid of your teacher desks, classrooms should be student centered and not teacher centered)
  • Tip #3: Student Choice and Co-Construction of Knowledge
  • Tip #4: Flexible and Varied Seating: Movement Fuels the Brain (seating within your classroom, flexibility is great).
  • Tip#5: View All Spaces as Places for Learning (we are responsible for teaching the whole child, take learning outside, field trips within your classroom – scavenger hunt) Hallways are used for teaching as well (Oion Lennehan), Framed student’s work!! Your classroom should be “Museum” Ready!


Technology IDEAS to integrate in your classroom:

Periscope – Virtual Learning Spaces where a family can watch their child’s presentation live.

Thinklink (interactive images and videos – get a picture and have students pin their remarks on the the topic – science topic.)

Bookcreator (creates pages and makes it into a book- voice, picture, illustrations, words. It will publish it for you.)

Voxer (connect with other people by voice messages)

If you have any more questions please let me know!

It was really fun learning about the different spaces and I can share some of her favorite places to buy cheap/unique furniture for your classroom.

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