Designing the Learning Spaces We Need TODAY!

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Explore and create : Creation lab

Kristin Harrington  
Dr. Chris Johnson  
Tara Schneider  
Mel Varga  

While digital innovations are already taking place in schools, the intentional design of learning spaces is often overlooked. Engage with us for a hands-on session as we utilize the learning sciences to design instructional spaces, and leave with blueprints for the redesign in your own school or district!

Audience: Coaches, Principals/head teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Everything used will be web-based. You will need a device with a camera.
Topic: Innovative learning environments
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Digital Age Learning Environments
  • Model effective classroom management and collaborative learning strategies to maximize teacher and student use of digital tools and resources and access to technology-rich learning environments.
For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Inspire a culture of innovation and collaboration that allows the time and space to explore and experiment with digital tools.
For Educators:
  • Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

*Participants will be able to describe and incorporate brain-based research and strategies into their learning space designs.

*Participants will be able to incorporate the ISTE Standards for Students as a consideration in their learning space designs.

*Participants will demonstrate increased knowledge of the work of Dr. Robert Dillon, Dr. David D.Thornburg, and The Third Teacher book.


5-10 Minutes- Introduction of presenters on video conference platform, poll participants (Buzzfeed Style Quiz) about their current level of knowledge with creating flexible and collaborative learning spaces

10 Minutes- Presenters will share brain-based research, strategies, and innovative ideas for developing future-inspired learning spaces

30 Minutes- Participants will utilize breakout rooms to work collaboratively, designing learning spaces with criteria and constraints

10 Minutes- Participants will share their designs digitally, feedback will be provided, and additional ideas will be explored

Supporting research

The Space: A Guide For Educators Paperback by Rebecca Louise Hare, Dr. Robert Dillon

Campfires in Cyberspace: Primordial Metaphors for Learning in the 21st Century by David D. Thornburg, Ph.D.

The Third Teacher book by O'Donnell Wicklund and Peterson, Bruce Mau, David W. Orr

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Kristin Harrington, FDLRS Florida Discretionary Project
Dr. Chris Johnson, University of Arizona
Tara Schneider, Avon Central School District
ISTE Certified Educator
Mel Varga, The International School of Macao

Mel is the Technology Integration Coordinator at the International School of Macao (TIS). His role has him working directly with teachers to find ways to incorporate technology with their pedagogy. Specific areas of interest include STEAM Education, G-Suite, school-community collaboration and 360 photography. Mel is also a Google for Education Certified Trainer and Innovator.