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Design an adaptive learning ecosystem. Years ago, educators at Fremont Middle School in Illinois provided students with engaging projects.

Design an adaptive learning ecosystem

Students sat on floors and gathered in hallways, vestibules and staircases, says Joan Shanahan, Fremont School District’s technology integration specialist. But not until the 2015-16 school year did teachers have designated areas where students could work on assignments comfortably or have access to digital technology. With the help of the state Capital Development Board, maintenance staff and a planning committee made up of school officials, Fremont Middle School transformed part of its building into 11 spaces so students could work in a variety of environments. The space was honored as a District Administration District of Distinction in 2016. Inside ‘Room 21C’: This Iowa Classroom’s Redesign Inspired Seven Other Districts. Put on your student glasses: the “shift” around the nation to personalized learning has begun.

Inside ‘Room 21C’: This Iowa Classroom’s Redesign Inspired Seven Other Districts

But that’s easier said than done. Creating STEM learning spaces. Redesigning the classroom to make learning a more interactive endeavor is something many districts are contemplating and some have started.

Creating STEM learning spaces

We started this process in 2013 when the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council challenged schools across the state to rethink the design of classrooms. Hoover High School, one of Des Moines Public Schools’ 10 high schools, applied for, and won, a $50,000 grant from the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council to redesign learning environments and reinvigorate the district’s STEM Academy. The district matched the grant, giving us $100,000 to create learning spaces that would be similar to the environments our students may encounter in college or in their future career.

We overhauled three rooms -- a “redesigned learning environment” or RLE, our Project Lead the Way classroom, and a math classroom. Although the three rooms serve different purposes, they all reinforce the use of collaboration and technology. 10+ Tips for Using Brain Based Methods to Redesign Your Classroom. “It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.” - Ann Landers As adults, we make choices daily.

10+ Tips for Using Brain Based Methods to Redesign Your Classroom

We choose where we eat, where we sit at the table, what we order, how much we eat, what we watch or don’t watch on television, what time we go to bed, and more. Smarter school spaces. Alexandria Public Schools leaders re-envisioned classrooms a few years ago when planning a new high school at their central Minnesota district.

Smarter school spaces

The educators were driven, in part, by students who refused to enroll in industry skills courses taught typically in classrooms tucked away in dark basements. District leaders also hoped to change the stereotype that students who work with their hands are not college bound, says Julie Critz, Alexandria’s superintendent. “A lot of quality learning goes on in shop class,” Critz says. Now, the room—branded the “Design Build Lab”—has become a hallmark of the $73 million Alexandria Area High School, which was funded through grants, community donations and a $65 million bond. The lab, located next to the cafeteria behind a glass wall, also instills some pride in the small town that has a strong manufacturing sector. The way schools across the country use space has changed. Inspired by cafes and toy stores. Perrysburg demonstrates new classroom concepts - Sentinel-Tribune: News. Posted: Monday, January 11, 2016 9:28 am Perrysburg demonstrates new classroom concepts By ALEX ASPACHER, Sentinel County Editor Sentinel-Tribune PERRYSBURG - A model classroom installed in the junior high library will allow teachers and students to experience new classroom concepts more than a year before they'll be incorporated into the district's new intermediate elementary school.

Perrysburg demonstrates new classroom concepts - Sentinel-Tribune: News

With students gone for winter break, custodial and maintenance staff spent a few days adding white walls decked out in dry erase boards, technology that makes it easier to collaborate, and furniture which can be easily moved around. Your current subscription does not provide access to this content. Please click the button below to manage your account. Standing Desks Keep Kids Better Tuned In. Classroom Design Standing Desks Keep Kids Better Tuned In By Dian Schaffhauser04/27/15 Children who stand at their desks instead of sitting stay on task better, according to a new research project by a team at Texas A&M University.

Standing Desks Keep Kids Better Tuned In

The preliminary results suggest that students improve their ability to stay on task by 12 percent. That's the equivalent of gaining an extra seven minutes per hour of instruction time. Standing desks are taller than the standard ones; in this research project the students had stools nearby so that they could choose to sit or stand at their discretion. The research looked at the results of an experiment in which 282 participants in grades 2-4 were observed in the fall and spring during one school year.

Engagement of the "treatment" classrooms was compared with the engagement of "control" classrooms. The latest study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Edutopia. Most educators have little choice about the (usually) over-crowded, (often) unappealing rooms they teach in -- but they intuitively know that the spaces children spend their time in can have an effect on how they learn.


I've gathered a collection of videos to explore the questions: How important is environment to learning? And what small changes can you make in seating, organization, lighting, and decor to build your own space into a better place to teach and learn? Video Playlist: Innovative Learning Spaces Watch the player below to see the whole playlist, or view it on YouTube. Flexible Learning Environments (04:02) Students and teachers at Eanes Independent School District in Austin, Texas, talk about the district's experiment with creating classrooms of the future to foster 21st-century skills at all grade levels.

More Resources on Learning Spaces Ready to roll up your sleeves and re-think your classroom space before the school year starts? Standing Desks Keep Kids Better Tuned In.