[Week 4 Activity] Visit a Learning Space


The Making Space in the museum is set up in areas of interest - tools, textiles, arts and tinkering - so those visiting each space have the opportunity to naturally collaborate. Each space has tables that can be combined in different ways. The young children who visit us may not be aware of our efforts for collaboration, being that they are so young and are mostly still on individual learning journeys :slight_smile: but benefit from being in full view of the projects that are being worked on/explored. They are also inspired by the artwork and motivations on the surrounding walls, and the shelves of other visitors’ projects.
Although it is not possible in our setting because of the age of our visitors, I would love to have an area where most of the supplies are displayed and accessible. As it is now, some supplies are available, and others are brought out as needed for projects.


My own classroom has standard chairs and desks in it, but are set up in various sized groupings. For this learning space field trip I decided to walk around my school and look at other teacher’s learning spaces. This is a picture of one of our history teacher’s rooms. They have been working on changing up their spaces from lecture style to collaborative style, so two of our history teachers now have tables in the center with chairs on wheels, as well as independent working spaces along the edges and a few comfy chairs. I talked to the kids that were in the other classroom about how they liked these new spaces. They said they loved the chairs on wheels because it was much more quick to move around an work with each other. Plus, the chairs on wheels also swivel, so some of the kids liked the ability to move, swivel back and forth while working. I am now inspired to try to get different chairs for my classroom.


A good example is the European Future Classroom Lab.

They divide the learning space in different zones of learning as you can see in the picture below:



Hi everybody

The learning place I will review is our local Coderdojo. What we are learning on this course should be obligatory for dojo mentors to learn! You are constantly trying to improve learning regardless of what the theories say or the experts advise if they are not effective. I love the idea of small clusters and would love to try “the village green”. Unfortunately we gather in a school and due to layout, we cannot organise our space to be as functional as yours.

We are currently trying to have a break, we used to code for the 2 hours, but with a little outdoor break in the middle we see kids interact outside. They either play a game together or stand around in small groups and chat. This brings a playful, relaxed atmosphere.

In the pictures you can see a kid showing a scratch project to one of our mentors and parents and other coderdojo kids admiring it over her shoulders.

This is our Robotics room. Collaboration is great and necessary and the horseshoe layout is more fluid than a typical classroom one.

Our best experience spacewise is the staff room in the school, where we used to have the App Inventor (thank you MIT, keep inventing great stuff) group. As you can see it’s a large cluster of tables and the mentor can easily get to anyone.

We try to encourage kids to do:

Ask 3 then ask me

rule. This means they consult the help menu or Tips in Scratch, then they ask a peer and if no one knows, they can search for the answer online. Only after those three, ask the mentor. Not that it is forbidden, but this way they will learn more. We also teach that mistakes are opportunities to learn and we should remember what we learn from them and not let any bad feeling develop.

We modify it for Scratch as we do not have Internet access in the Scratch rooms, so it’s Ask 2 then ask me.

Thank you for the opportunity to learn from you all. Reading the answers of other participants is really great. Reall life examples to follow. Fantastic peer to peer learning. And so great to see you all in the unhangout. I feel more like a “real” participant, developing a bond with the group, something hard to achieve in an online learning environment.

Would love to be able to show some videos from your lab to the kids in club. I suppose I will find them on you YouTube channel.

Greetings to all from South East of Ireland :ireland:


Love their enthusiasm when they saw projects were remixed. I feel how excited they were. What an excellent learning experience. It’s a pleasure to see the passion to teach and learn. Thank you for sharing.
Oh and I’ve only seen the first slides how!


Honestly I thought it’s a lovely slides how, but just seeing participants and their project pictures. Sweet. I thought.
Then I saw all the things you did, so much thought and effort. How fantastic. Love how they used Google translate!

I did not exactly understand the precise role of comment team. But I think they were there to support and encourage.



Thank you for your positive feedback! I’m glad that you enjoyed viewing the projects. The comment teams were students in the other classes who were asked to comment on the projects after testing them out. I requested that they write more than ‘It’s nice.’ or ‘I liked it.’ They were asked to write constructive thoughtful comments. I took their photos because I wanted them to know how valuable they were to the project partners in both our school and in Japan. We depended on them for their feedback.


Today I participated in a workshop on ‘Finding academic resources’ in the library of the University of Amsterdam.

The 2-hour workshop was for free and it was easy to register online. The room in which the workshop took place was well hidden behind a door that said ‘staff only’ (but the confirmation e-mail we received, clearly told: “neglect that sign and just go in”)

The learning space was designed with 3 rows of tables, with 4 computers next to eachother on both sides of the tables (20 in total). A big projection screen was on the wall in front of the tables, so half of the audience would sit with their back to the screen (but these places stayed empty today). The comfortable chairs were on weels.

When people came in, at first they didn’t sit next to somebody, but left places in between (I think because of the setup, and the fact we didn’t know eachother).
The workshop leader (called ‘instructor’) presented herself, but we didn’t do a quick presentation round of the participants.

Since I am not a student/staff at that university, I was not familiar with their Library website and search options. I felt a little bit an outsider. The girl next to me, already left after 30 minutes (to attend a class), so I found myself without a direct neigbour for the rest of the workshop.

The workshop was built upon 7 exercises that each participant had to perform on her/his personal computer. To be able to discuss our experiences in the group, we all used the same search terms.


  • Besides some remarks, there was not much interaction between participants > no real peer-learning
  • We were all directed to our screens and to the big screen
  • There was enough space to walk around or ride around with our chairs, but we didn’t do it (too busy with our exercises). Only the instructor walked around

What would I change?

  • The exercices would have been possible to do in groups/pairs, and discuss/develop a search strategy together. I think that could have been a ‘deeper’ learning experience.

But: because of the limited time (2 hours) and informative content, the workshop followed this strict structure. And although time was short, I left the workshops with many (new) tips and trics to use in the future and to explore more on my own.


Since I manage a makerspace, I am lucky to be able to be a part of this almost daily. What I am always looking for is “How does the space look today?”. As in, what are people doing? What are they making? What does this tell me about ‘need’?

Today, it was 6 kids driving spheros, 4 kids building KEVA plank forts across the table from each other, 1 kid playing play-doh, a mom and 2 girls who wanted to learn all about 3d printing and see if they could make something. It was awesome, but I will likely not see that combination again, only because it will be a different awesome tomorrow and then something different the day after that. I guess what I would say is it is a fluid, ever-evolving organism that grows and thrives on the energy and passions of the participants. And I’m always looking for the right ways to feed that hunger and growth.


Oh wow. Maker’s pace. Nice. Always loved the idea. Hope to attend one some day with my own kids. Please do share a picture or two. Not everyone’s so lucky to manage one! :slight_smile:


It looks like you have a large space to work with and a mixture of table sizes and configurations for your activities. I like the rule of ask 2 or 3 and then me. It makes managing a large group of students easier to work with. Thanks for sharing your local Coderdojo in the South East of Ireland!


Cool version:

Very boring version:

These are two sets of photos. The first set is the K12 school where I work. Photos 1, 2, 3 and 4 show students in the last grade of elementary school crafting an art project. Thinking about the environment we clearly have two environments, one with computers (photos 1 and 2) where they are testing the circuits with the breadboard and the design of the scratch with the Arduino. This is a room built around the year 2000. The configuration, at the time, was thought to be multipurpose so there is a central space where the layout of the chairs can be changed giving space for the people to sit in various patterns. The other environment (photos3 and 4) is a science lab that has turned into a Maker space, with tools and hexagonal tables in this way the group can interact. This environment, however, has no computers. These two environments are separated so we can say that we have the Software in one place and the Hardware in another. The ideal situation would be to join the two spaces, thus having the flexibility to work ideas together from start to finish in one place.
The second set (5 and 6) are from the university where I also teach. The environment is totally unfavorable to work in large groups. Despite a large number of computers, its use is almost personal, disfavoring the partnership.

As the theme is Peers, I need to talk about Scratch and work together. The remixing process is a type of partnership, but in practice, there is a need for greater integration. In the current Scratch it is not possible for several people to work on the same project simultaneously. There are contouring solutions like exporting and importing or backpacking, but it is quite different from each working on one character and simultaneously working on another in the same project. The joint work could be even in a single character each working in a different aspect. Command like the old run “tictac.bas” is needed for many level games.

I hope that in the next version of Scratch this need is met. It would be very interesting if the same project was developed by children from several countries.


What a great activity! The detail that went into this project is evident in all of the features that were included in the re-creation of the walk. I’m sure that they will remember exactly what they contributed to the seawall. What age group were you working with?


I really enjoyed that! What a fun way to have the community collaborate on one specific project that grew with each use.


When I first started teaching 10 years ago my first teaching job was at my old elementary school. It was quite depressing to see how little the classrooms had changed since I attended. There are many places were the style of learning really hasn’t changed in decades, if not longer.


I like your wish of having tables break into smaller more mobile pieces of furniture. Sometimes I found that the floor was my best space to work since it allowed me to have the students move around very easily.


In my city Medellín Colombia the most interesting space to learn physics, chemistry, expose the river amazon and learn about multiple topics of science is a park called “Explora”, where children and adults share playful and learning spaces of make.


I work at an ILE (innovative learning environment). We are a new school - now open 3 years.
Currently we have 5 habitats. Each habitat is the equivalent of 4 ‘traditional’ classrooms, that’s 4 mentors (teachers) and approximately 100 students. We’ve a huge focus on collaboration and teaming, The habitats have different areas for collaborating in small groups, large groups and breakout spaces for working independently. I made a little video to show you some of things we’ve been working on over the past couple of years.

We have a dedicated desktop fabrication makerspace (the DATS Cave) which has the traditional tools and materials e.g. hot glue guns, cardboard, masking tape, scissors, string, fabric, needles and thread, sewing machines etc. We also have a variety of robots from spheros, LEGO mindstorms, Cubettos to mBots. We are starting in our journey 3D printers, laser cutting, CNC milling and vinyl cutting journey - yet we still LOVE good old cardboard and masking tape! The tables are on wheels to be maneuverable to adapt to be collaborative|supportive of sharing and building on each other’s ideas. Or flipped and stored away to create more floor space depending on the learning design. The only thing I’d change would be to add a sink (and make the space bigger in order to create multiple types of work spaces like our habitats!)

In each habitat we have a makerspace each stocked with hot glue guns, cardboard, masking tape, scissors, string, fabric, needles and thread, paint brushes, art tools, paint, paper etc. Robots can booked out from the DATS Cave and used within the habitat makerspaces. The makespaces are small with a huge table to encourage peer collaboration, lots of storage, a sink, a cooker, an oven, fridge etc. I’d change the size of the space by lower the storage space that divides it from the rest of the habitat, to be a counter that can be worked at and extend the lino flooring beyond that, adding in the wheeled tables that are in the DATS Cave.

As a school we are developing our understanding of deep learning. We focus our learning around a school wide concept. Concepts are timeless, abstract and broad, can be shown through a variety of examples, supports an integrated curriculum approach and helps learners to develop generalisations (insight/ enduring understanding). This year our concept is around “relationships,” which gives mentors and learners many possible ways to conceptualize, investigate, and gain deeper understanding of what that means. We have a learning model (see diagram below), school values (curiosity, growth mindset, collaboration, thinking, and joy) and capacities (dispositions).

It sound amazing (and it is!) however we are on the start of our journey and are working to keep improving daily even if only 1% at a time. My role is DATS Leader (design, arts, technology and science). My job description is to "inspire meaningful making and learning. I work with mentors and students across the school, supporting them to integrate DATS into their learning designs, either in their habitat or in the DATS Cave. We are still developing a shared belief around what creates deep learning and how we can integrate meaningful making with learning. I loved reading Mitchel Resnick’s book and am very excited to part of the learning creative learning community to help us develop our projects, passions, peers and play.


This year for the first time we used Scratch in the classroom. Children were thrilled to learn knew things. We combine space knowledge and geography (they learn about Europe)to create a quiz . Here is our picture during the creation.


Oh wow. Wish we could all have it the way you do. :slight_smile: