Rethink computer labs and underutilized school spaces to better reflect a new generation of learners.

How are we modifying our current educational spaces to keep up with emerging technology and the need to innovate and collaborate?

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Photo of Britta Wilk McKenna

Process for Identifying and Converting Underused Learning Spaces into Beehives of Activity.

Step 1: Hold a contest or host a nomination process for "Tired Space Transformation" that works with your school calendar.

Step 2: Create a Google forms to have simple submission of a photograph of the current space and paragraph or two of what could be imagined in that space.

Step 3: Promote the contest (school newspaper, social media, backpacks, whatever works).

Step 4: Host a design charrette shortly after the deadline and invite a variety of students (all that submitted ideas), faculty, staff, parents and community partners to participate. (Can a local business or PTO sponsor this?)
1. Have each idea on a separate large pad and allow open comments for first hour.
2. Give everyone in attendance 3 Avery dots and have them vote on their top ideas.
3. Select top 3 ideas, based on top vote getters (most Avery dots).
4. Break participants into 3 teams and have them do a short brainstorming session on their topic with a trained facilitator.
5. Pizza break.
6. Have each team develop a rapid prototype of their idea (to scale) and begin to price out items (research).
7. Come together and each team pitches concept to the entire group (including decision-makers).

One idea (minimum) is selected to move forward for development.
The community may be invited in to the school over the summer to help transform the space (including a mini grant from PTO or foundation to provide curriculum development or needed inservice, depending on type of space).
Do a big reveal just before school starts and thank volunteers and contributors (ask PTO for help here).


P.S. If a school doesn't have space to transform, perhaps it can get nominations for reusing existing spaces after school for the community to use (gym, art room, computers etc.) to extend tax payers investment in their schools and benefit to the community.

Step 5:

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