Rearranging My Classroom…a’la Apple Store

I teach high school English, so my room is typically set up in a horseshoe-type design to help facilitate discussions, since that is a main component of my curriculum.  I have tables, not desks, so it’s a little different from the typical classroom.  While this set-up worked well last year, I was a little concerned how this would work while using the iPads this school year.  It was truly one of the first things I thought about when I knew I would be getting them; what would be the best set-up while using the iPads?  I wanted something that would best support the student collaboration I envision when I introduce the iPads to my students and they are using them each day.

Having said this, I was on Twitter one day and found a blog post about the advantages of setting up a classroom like an Apple store.  And do you think I can find that blog post now?  Of course not!  But I swear I read it and having had just been at the Apple store in Legacy Village in Cleveland, I had a picture in my mind of how I wanted my room (wish I had the millions Apple spends on its stores to make them so pretty!).  There were stations located around the store at which six people could explore different Mac Books and iPads.  I went to an iPad workshop there in the summer, and having six people sitting around one table allowed for good discussion and collaboration, but it was not chaotic because of the small number of the group.  So, I decided to follow this concept in my own classroom.  I put two tables together in each group which allows for four to five students to sit together, work together and learn together.  It was not rocket science, but it was a welcomed change and the lay-out allows for me to walk easily between the desks so I can monitor and talk with the students as they work.  It may not seem like a huge deal, but I feel this format will help the students get the most from their experience with the iPads.  Now, if I could just find that original blog post that gave me the idea in the first place…

Thank you to L.H.-she found it for me:

One thought on “Rearranging My Classroom…a’la Apple Store

  1. I didn’t even think about the structure of our rooms. Oh boy…one more thing to think about! Great idea to cluster your tables together to promote collaboration. I am even thinking that you could make sure that at least one student in each group is an iPod touch or iPhone user to faciliate help (at least in the beginning). Great ideas, Charmayne.

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