Future ready schools take great pride in the learning environments that they create for students. They understand that it is ludicrous to think that the second that students come into school they are ready to learn. They know that learning is sometimes best done in a setting other than sitting in rows at a desk. They model that learning can be mobile, differentiated, and engaging. Future ready schools are not the only ones who can do this. This post will outline some learning environments that are replicatable, and applicable to anybody.

Make Your Space Different
Some of the time, this requires money, but what if you had none. What can you change today to make your classroom look differently. Here are my recommendations:
  • Portals to digital curriculum
    • QR codes are the fastest, and easiest way to get from offline, to online. Have them everywhere
  • No More Rows
    • When I taught Kindergarten, I asked students what shape they wanted the tables that month. Some months it was rows, some it was circles, some we had them against the walls. Let students dictate this
  • Provide Options
    • Many small spaces, that are all different, gives students choice to differentiate their learning. In my room; I had 3 tents, a teepee, a loft, a bathtub, and two comfy chairs, on top of the tables and the rug. Many choices = right fit learning spaces.

Leveraging your Learning Management System
There is a reason that these tools are called learning management systems and not communication management systems. Far too many teachers do not leverage these spaces for learning to the best of their ability. Here are my recommendations:
  • Make assignments that are completely done in this space
    • Provide links, directions, assessments
  • Remove the stimuli that this is for "free time"
    • Extra links, for fun things should not be present
  • Support your classroom
    • Record you lessons, archive them here. Integrate this into your teaching (exit slips)
  • Must be used consistently
    • Making the change to using this for learning requires follow up. Showing it matters, makes it matter
Provide Curriculum Digitally
This is the number one way to get your curriculum mobile. Students today have more tools at their fingertips than ever before. Why not fill those tools with content. 
  • Google
    • Learning menus, interactive board displays, and check ins are very easy to create and implement
  • iBooks
    • This format is accessible on any devices so long as you have an ereader
  • PDF's
    • This is the most versatile file format. Utilize this by sourcing it to your students this way
Do it Yourself
I have written this multiple times, but here it goes again. Textbook companies have done little to nothing to update the process and tools they use to support their curriculum. Since the dawn of the iPad (2010) textbook companies have not decided to move away from a flash based creation backbone. This means in the last 5, alsost 6, years; they have changed nothing. This does not reflect a growth model and certainly does not provide the best tools to your students.

Start somewhere and start small. Here are the benefits you will find by making your own:
  • You care about how good it is!!
  • It is based on your students' interests
  • It is changeable
  • It can, and should, be mobile
  • It is interactive
  • It puts the "inf" in front "uses technology"