Conversations Episode 91 Change the Language

In this week’s show,
Maria, Sheila, and Lisa spoke with
Trung Le
from CannonDesigns about how we can
change the language of schools and the design to better help our students.  Taking ideas from 
The Third Teacher
, we all were quite

Chat Log

11:26:12 Lisa
Parisi : Thank you for coming.

11:26:59 RJ
Stangherlin : Should I be hearing sound?

11:27:17 MariaK
: not yet – will be streaming soon

11:27:22 Lisa
Parisi : Rj

11:28:01 Lisa
Parisi : Hi RJ

11:28:08 Lisa
Parisi : Ustream is up

11:28:39 Scott Shelhart
(@kd9sr) : ustream sounds good

11:30:35 RJ
Stangherlin : Is this your show that airs several times a week, or are you the
host today. Sorry I am not knowledgeable.

11:31:02 PeggyG
: Hi everyone! Looking forward to today’s conversation

11:31:03 Lisa
Parisi : This show runs once a week. 
And I host with 3 others

11:31:09 Lisa
Parisi : We will do the intro soon.

11:31:12 PeggyG
: Hi RJ-Welcome

11:31:16 RJ
Stangherlin : Hi

11:31:43 PeggyG
: There are many EdTechTalk webcasts every week but this show is Conversations
and meets every Sunday

11:32:33 RJ
Stangherlin : Will you send me the ustream code after this session is over. I
missed the piece about floating the conversation in ustream?

11:32:47 Lisa
Parisi : Hello Amanda

11:32:52 Lisa
Parisi : Hello Alice

marragem : Morning everyone!

[email protected] : Hi Alice, Hi Amanda!

alicebarr : Good morning

11:33:06 PeggyG
: Welcome Trung! Saw you virtually at Educon in the panel

11:33:30 S Adams
: Morning/evening everyone!

11:33:42 PeggyG
: OK-Le it is!

11:33:43 RJ
Stangherlin : I blogged about you on the DEN Global blog, Le. Nice to meet you

11:34:02 PeggyG
: audio is great on the stream

[email protected] : Are you iced in up in NH?

11:34:48 S Adams
: I can see ice on the roads but so far we have power! πŸ™‚

11:34:57 MariaK
: @maureen – yes very icy, crunchy here!

11:34:57 RJ
Stangherlin : What does language mean in education?

11:35:21 Lisa
Parisi : CAn everyone hear?

alicebarr : Yes audio is great!

11:35:32 PeggyG
: yes

marragem : yes. very clear

11:35:37 Lisa
Parisi : Great

[email protected] : @Sheila I didn’t lose power, but heavy icing. Cannot get down
my hill-giving the plow guy till the end of the show before I call him

11:35:49 Lisa
Parisi : The Third Teacher

11:36:04 Lisa
Parisi :

11:36:22 S Adams
: Get the skates Maureen.

[email protected] : @Sheila- my car doesn’t have skates…

11:37:06 PeggyG
: Heard Heppell on the K12 Online conference a year ago or so

11:37:16 PeggyG

11:37:25 Lisa
Parisi : Thanks for the link, Peggy

11:37:28 S Adams
: Piece of cardboard – your own luge!

marragem : he visits Australia a fair bit

11:37:45 alicebarr
: SAw Stephen at BLC a few years ago. Really great.

11:37:59 RJ
Stangherlin : Adults, peers, and environment are the 3 teachers, with the 3rd
teacher as the environment.

alicebarr : IS environment physical or cultural or both?

11:38:37 PeggyG
: the 3rd teacher concepts is really interesting-need to learn more about it!

marragem : we would too in OZ

[email protected] : It seems that we’re stuck on the 1st teacher, learning from
peers is still “controversial” and the environment of the classroom
is just emerging

11:39:06 PeggyG
: why do so many people think that peer pressure is a negative thing?

11:39:16 RJ
Stangherlin : LIsa thinks we’re stuck on the 23rd teacher. We cannot even
select robust colors for our rooms. Green is the worst color for thinking.

11:39:56 PeggyG
: cover the walls until the fire marshall coomes and makes you take it all down!

[email protected] : We can paint whatever color we want- but we have to buy it
and do the painting ourselves πŸ™‚

11:40:25 RJ
Stangherlin : Is a cluttered environment too stimulating for an ADHD student?

11:40:31 Cathy E
: No painting for us – and wall coverage is limited

11:40:52 PeggyG
: Amanda I saw the pictures of your learning environments and was so
impressed!!! who wouldn’t want to teach and learn there??!!

[email protected] : If you actually think about design- hierarchy- where does
your eye naturally track- are you cluttering up your space or honoring kid work

11:40:54 RJ
Stangherlin : Will the streaming be archived? Code?

marragem : I actually don’t have many walls to paint. Too many windows

11:41:14 Lisa
Parisi : You can find the archive here on edtechtalk

11:41:15 PeggyG
: yes RJ-the stream will be posted on

11:41:16 Beth
Poss : No painting for us, but we do cover classroom walls with student work,

11:41:42 RJ
Stangherlin : Thanks, Peggy.

11:42:09 RJ
Stangherlin : Le says you can introduce diversity into the sameness.

marragem : I don’t have a teacher’s desk

11:42:19 Beth
Poss : I have worked with many students with Autism and sensory processing
disorders over the years and we often create sensory escapes with rooms for
them.  Kids do need to learn to
filter sensory information, but also need to have an escape from it.

11:42:26 RJ
Stangherlin : Should there even be a “front” of the class?

[email protected] : Can the kids rearrange their desks/tables?

marragem : that’s very early years, Lisa. yay!

11:42:49 PeggyG
: Sheila you should stream the pics from Amanda’s classroom πŸ™‚ very inspiring

11:42:50 Lisa
Parisi : I think that, yes, sometimes, there needs to be a front

11:43:10 S Adams
: Peggy – link?

marragem : my room’s 8mx6m – so small

11:43:26 Beth
Poss : the front of our classrooms are often being dictated by the installation
of Promethean boards

11:43:34 PeggyG
: Amanda can you come up with the link quickly?

11:43:38 Lisa
Parisi : YEs, Beth.  We have our
smartboard there.

11:43:40 PeggyG
: I saw them via Facebook

11:43:41 RJ
Stangherlin : Are we limited by the things around us? Do shape and size confine
or lead to innovation by forcing creativity inside confines?

11:43:50 Lisa
Parisi : But I often find myself giving instruction frm the back of the room

marragem : i ahve a space at the front – hate it but that’s where the screen
for the data projector is

11:44:19 Beth
Poss : teachers need to be able to use different spaces in the rooms for
different teaching/learning experiences

11:44:19 RJ
Stangherlin : I never heard the expression “teaching wall” before.

marragem : love Maria’s room – it’s sooo big!!

11:44:32 PeggyG

11:45:08 PeggyG
: I think word walls are very powerful tools for kids when they help to create

[email protected] : Some IWB, like eno are more portable- and height adjustable.
I doubt that we will ever have any- but been to their demos.

marragem : they helped create the one in our learning neighbourhood

11:45:54 PeggyG
: excellent Sheila! seeing them now

[email protected] : When I taught K I always had to make sure that I set things
up so avoid “runways”. Make it easier to walk, than run

11:46:29 PeggyG
: good point Maureen πŸ™‚

marragem : thanks, Peggy. Not entirely hapy with it but the couch &
beanbags are very popular

11:46:54 RJ
Stangherlin : Rows of seats facing the front wall is the worst thing we have
done in education in the past 100 years, acc. to Le.

11:46:57 PeggyG
: they are very inviting learning spaces! and so bright and colorful!

[email protected] : @marragem- the powers that be don’t want us to have couch,
etc… lice police

marragem : I’ve tried to have pockets in my small space

11:47:49 RJ
Stangherlin : Kindergarden have pockets of activity and creativity but we take
that away from older students.

[email protected] : Came from the German…. His name begins withh F….

11:48:07 PeggyG
: what a great point! why don’t we provide these creative learning spaces for
older kids? they do at ISB in Bangkok πŸ™‚

marragem : see- there’s that space at the front that I hate but need it for
when groups are in front of the datat projector plus kids like to work on the

11:48:59 Beth
Poss : I think MS/HS would love learning pockets/learning centers to rotatee
through instead of always having lectures or independent/non group work

marragem : I’m foing to have some trees outside that window once the building
work is finished

11:49:18 PeggyG
: I agree Beth!

11:49:25 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) : Our new MS has a promethean board in each room.  Many teachers unhappy they are being
forced to use them

marragem : I’ll take one of those boards, Scott

11:50:06 PeggyG
: Amanda-it’s clear that your learning spaces facilitate independent learning
and choice

11:50:32 RJ
Stangherlin : Curriculum, pedagogy, and space. Room not a silo of discipline.

11:50:32 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) : Lots of folks would! 

marragem : thanks, Peggy. That’s what I try for

11:50:49 PeggyG
: great quote RJ

11:51:23 RJ
Stangherlin : A k-garden classroom avoids collision and lets everything mix.
The environment allows intersection of subjects and activities.

11:51:49 PeggyG
: playtime is learning time!

11:51:57 RJ
Stangherlin : I agree w/Lisa, and I believe that states’ standardized test
dictate the learning environment.

11:52:22 Lisa
Parisi : Allanah has those tables too but there is a little cubby for each kids

marragem : love the tables – can move them around to suit the activity

11:52:58 RJ
Stangherlin : In the top 10 nations, US is 10 according to the most recent

marragem : we have tidy trays off to the side – actually allow me to create
some dividers

11:53:25 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) : I like the idea of tables instead of desks in rows, but
many teachers I have talked with are concerned about classroom management being
an issue.

marragem : there afraid to trust the learner, Scott. So many teachers are

marragem : they’re, I mean. It’s nearly 3am

11:54:24 MariaK
: here’s a peak at my classroom through the eyes of wes fryer –

11:54:29 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) : I agree.  The
best way to keep control is to give it away.

11:54:35 RJ
Stangherlin : Does the fear of room flexibility go back to the teacher as sage
on the stage? Is this a control issue.

11:54:47 PeggyG
: @Scott-ifyou value collaborative learning you need to be able to have
flexibile learning spaces and not desks in rows–teachers need to manage their
classrooms, not the furniture (off the soapbox now)

11:55:36 PeggyG
: how often have you seen classrooms set up to make it easy for the custodians
to clean it? πŸ™

marragem : we call it a learning neoghbourhood

11:55:53 Lisa
Parisi : Invent a new language with the kids

marragem : negpotiated, inquiry-based learning. yay!

11:56:16 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) : I agree Peggy, but how do we help these teachers get out of
their comfort zone and try something new?

alicebarr : Why is there such a disconnect between business that want
creativity and the agenda for public schools?

11:56:24 PeggyG
: having the kids help you map activities is a great idea

11:56:32 Lisa
Parisi : Good question, Alice

11:56:49 RJ
Stangherlin : What is the language of the classroom, and how do we get unstuck
so we can see the possibilities, asks Lisa. So instead of saying
“classroom,” Le says asks the kids what we do in this space. What do
we do in this space in the AM. What do we need (discovery-iteration for most
functional thing) to do this activity? Can you divide into zones for
activities? Zones become customized. (Le)

marragem : no

11:57:24 RJ
Stangherlin : How you describe your spaces for how you live and learn is the
language we need.

11:57:45 RJ
Stangherlin : Map out what you need for what you do. Then you get to a
different environment.

11:57:51 PeggyG
: typing in the chat window is painfully slow for me today–I may lose my
connection πŸ™

11:58:05 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) : Alice, the current batch of teacher candidates are learning
the new models…. but they have to worry about getting hired and keeping a
job.  Only a small percentage are
willing/able to challenge the current model.

11:58:19 RJ
Stangherlin : Hallway is dead space. Most of the time it is empty. (Le)

marragem : a lot of public schools in Queensland have those glassed off areas

alicebarr : @Scott: I have not seen the new models being taught in university,
in fact it continues the old model. But I agree, the current crop of gradiautes
will have a very tough time getting hired becasue they are caught in the middle

11:59:34 PeggyG
: really like the terms learning studio and learning neighborhood

11:59:43 RJ
Stangherlin : Found the color font. Ta Da.

12:00:36 PeggyG
: thanks for posting that link Amanda from Wes Fryer! Excellent description!

marragem : Peggy -mine chose neighbourhood because I do allow them to go
outside & they consider the world is their classroom

12:01:04 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) : Much depends on building admin.  Some are trying to change the world; others are trying to
survive until retirement.  New
teachers MUST find a good fit in order to become change agents.

12:01:36 PeggyG
: I like neighborhood too because it broadens the way we view the
“learning space” shouldn’t just be a facility

marragem : I had to fight for the tables I have, Scott. Brought in the couch
& beanbags myself

[email protected] : At our school we may have different ages using the same
spaces- which makes changing the shared space more difficult. Or different
specials coming in to use some of the space, ie French teachers come in to preK
and K.

12:01:56 PeggyG
: excellent point Scott!!!

12:01:58 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) : Alice, my college is a small, private, liberal arts
school.  Maybe we are ahead of the

12:02:09 RJ
Stangherlin : Our high school has built a new wing and has renovated. New wing
is great, but rehabed rooms are same old…

alicebarr : @Scott you are right.

12:03:02 S Adams
: Welcome Radio V.

alicebarr : @Scott Yea for your college! How great for your teacher candidates!

12:03:18 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) : I think beanbags / bathtubs / couches are not allowed in
our school… due to possible lice issues

alicebarr : @Scott I would bet you are ahead of the curve. That’s great!

12:03:42 RJ
Stangherlin : The key is identifying needs. Classroom shouldn’t be static.

[email protected] : This may be a silly ?, but we have kids with life threatening
allergies- who need their own space in the classroom. What do you do for those

12:03:52 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) :

12:04:08 Lisa Parisi
: Why can’t they have a space Maureen?

12:04:17 RJ
Stangherlin : If you look to the environment and ask what can be changed to
make it better suited to purpose, that becomes part of environment.

[email protected] : @Lisa If they cannot go into spaces that you set up for
different purposes- it excludes them

12:04:50 PeggyG
: great point Maria! we should change those things we can and have control over
rather than just accepting status quo

alicebarr : @Scott I like the Teacher as Leader.

12:05:17 Lisa
Parisi : The class needs to be aware. 
What are the allergies that everyone needs to be aware of ?

12:05:44 Cathy E
: Maria, What about your online space?

12:05:58 RJ
Stangherlin : I’m remembering Chris Lehmann’s opening mantra at EduCon 2.3.
Look back and look ahead. Looking ahead to tomorrow, I ask myself what can the
students change, how can they repurpose space, reinvent their environment.

12:06:06 Cathy E
: Do you have a class webpage? or do you your blog for everything?

12:06:09 marragem
: Maria’s room is 3 times the size of mine

[email protected] : @lisa we have a few kids with typical nut allergies, but some
others who I have separate desks, etc.. for and these need to be cleaned
before/after use. They cannot touch things outside their environment

12:07:01 Lisa
Parisi : We had a total nut free environment a few years ago.  No kids had nuts even for lunch so it
wasn’t an issue for our classroom.

marragem : my kids play the piano of the ipad

12:07:33 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) :  a 1000 lb
bulliten board! lol

12:07:42 RJ
Stangherlin : I do not have a teacher’s desk in my room, and haven’t for years.
I find it a barrier between me/kids.

[email protected] : @lisa we have several classrooms like that- but our kids move
all around the campus- 6 dif buildings

marragem : a loft would be cool. Our ceilings aren’t high enough

12:08:10 PeggyG
: fire marshalls made us remove the lofts in our school πŸ™

12:08:36 Cathy E
: @ Peggy your fire marshallsl must be related to mine

marragem : gee, where are you going to fit me, Maria?

[email protected] : I had a desk to pile stuff on when I taught K, but it wasn’t
used for anything else.

12:08:56 PeggyG
: I think they’re all related Cathy E πŸ™‚

alicebarr : What if all the kids had office space

12:09:32 william
Vegazo -> puentesalmundo: si escucho

12:09:44 MariaK
: I will always have room for you Amanda – 5 more months!!!

12:09:52 Cathy E
: my desk is in a closet –

12:10:02 PeggyG
: @Alice-they do! it’s called a desk πŸ™‚

alicebarr : πŸ™‚

12:10:59 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) : As we become more paperless, desks become less of a

12:11:05 RJ
Stangherlin : Years ago, I had a nearly windowless classroom with a dark
midnight blue wall. I was not allowed to paint it or have it changed, so I
invited Phoebe Floral to redesign the wall after school. They did it 5 times
throughout the year, keeping to the seasons. That choice brought the outside
world inside, and the kids loved it! Next year the wall was painted white and I
was told Phoebe couldn’t come in to design. I guess that’s a mindset for

marragem : 18 wks today, Maria!!

12:11:43 Lisa
Parisi : Nice try RJ

12:11:58 RJ
Stangherlin : Could you share the link?

12:12:17 PeggyG

12:12:21 Sheila

[email protected] : is it

12:14:05 PeggyG
: that’s a great story RJ! we did a similar thing with all of our hallways and
one of our parents created the murals. Everyone loved having a different theme
for each hallway

marragem : wish I still had my own room – had ocean views

12:14:31 PeggyG
: each hall was a different biome

12:14:50 RJ
Stangherlin : Believe it or not, it was the teachers who complained that I was
making learning a contest. The kids loved the room and the teachers hated it.
Go figure.

12:15:35 PeggyG
: and why do you think the teachers didn’t like it RJ? probably too much work

[email protected] : @peggy, RJ It probably felt competitive to them

12:16:29 PeggyG
: those points are so important–it’s about the kids!

12:16:51 PeggyG
: I agree Maureen! threatened and didn’t want to have to “compete”
with him

12:16:52 RJ
Stangherlin : Kids need to move to learn, yet kids sit all day on chairs, no
movement. “Do no harm.” No harsh chemicals and beware of the
invisible stuff. (Le)

[email protected] : So, as we are thinking about redesign, should also be
thinking about sustainability

marragem : we teachers try to – but admin doesn’t always listen. We have a
building project going on. Teachers were consulted but guess what – the
architects said no

[email protected] : Our kids made it a rule- no idling (winter frigid temps are
an exception)

12:17:56 PeggyG
: @marragem-that happened to us a lot when we were building our new
school–many things proposed by teachers and students were nixed by architects
and cost

12:18:14 RJ
Stangherlin : They said (and this was years ago in middle school) that they
couldn’t afford to do the same thing and it wasn’t fair if I did the redesign.
Truth was at that time I really couldn’t afford it but I couldn’t stand the
awful environment and neither could the kids. So I changed it into something
inviting and fun.

12:18:41 PeggyG
: good for you RJ!! you made a difference!!!

12:19:30 RJ
Stangherlin : Thanks, Peggy.

marragem : Peggy – the powers that be in Cath Ed are just as bad too. I was
part of a group that they consulted with re contemporary learning spaces but
when push comes to shove, they won’t let schools adopt what we were proposing

12:19:41 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) : one of the schools I sub at forbids bare feet, stocking
feet, or open-toed shoes…. for “safety and hygene” reasons

12:20:07 PeggyG
: so sad Amanda!

[email protected] : In science class we have the rule- no open toed shoes, etc-
and it is a real safety reason. But our kids run between buildings almost every
class- they’d need another 5 min passing time to put shoes on and off

marragem : I let kids take shoes off – against workplace health &
safety…& I’m on the WHS panel!

12:21:28 PeggyG
: both Montessori and Reggio Emilia provide very creative learning environments

12:22:21 PeggyG
: I didn’t get to see the stream for Zoe and Rodd–lost their connection πŸ™

[email protected] : What- no emergent layer?

12:22:39 PeggyG
: at least I got to see the slideshare for it

12:22:58 RJ
Stangherlin : It’s such a shame that the things that kids like most (high
school) are things that violate school policy. I streched the rules a bit in a
very small study hall and the group of us became almost like a family. We both
hated when the semester ended.

12:23:11 PeggyG

marragem : thanks for that link, Peggy. I missed most of the sessions last

12:24:11 PeggyG
: it was an incredible weekend, even as a virtual participant

marragem : My mum had to be hospitalised over the weekend, so I missed all of

12:25:21 Lisa
Parisi : Is she okay Amanda?

12:25:58 PeggyG
: hopefully they will be able to post all of the livestream videos soon–I keep
checking back πŸ™‚ I know it’s a huge undertaking!

12:26:17 RJ
Stangherlin : I just checked today and they are not posted yet.

marragem : she’s home but being monitored. Her BP was thru the roof and she was
off ablance. Still concern of a stroke

12:26:43 Lisa
Parisi : So sorry to hear that.

12:26:51 Lisa
Parisi : Glad she is home

12:26:54 PeggyG
: clever! change the hallway label and then fire marshalls will treat it

12:27:13 RJ Stangherlin
: @marragem: hopefully not a stroke.

12:27:14 MariaK
: @marragem – sorry to hear about your mum.

12:27:19 PeggyG
: very sorry to hear about your mum Amanda!!

marragem : thanks, Lisa. She’s fiercely independent but when your BP is over
200, it’s a worry

12:28:15 PeggyG
: 50 minute periods and rigid schedules are one of the most problemmatic things
about schools!

12:28:46 RJ
Stangherlin : The most beautifully designed space in our new wing is, not
surprisingly, our art suite. The art teacher had a hand in the design and
honestly I could stay there all day. Wish I had a room like his.

[email protected] : I still send kids out to run when they need it…. even my
big kids.

12:29:03 PeggyG
: yes Maria! and everyone doesn’t need the same thing!!!

12:29:08 Lisa
Parisi : Makes sense for her to be part of the design

12:29:25 Lisa
Parisi : OUr library was overhauled and the librarian wasn’t consulted

12:29:26 Cathy E
: I think it will get better once teachers have all their resources online – in
the cloud.  They will use their
iPads or similar device, instead of reaching for that book on the shelf.

12:29:27 RJ
Stangherlin : Actually, not a room but a series of spaces, and that truly does
describe the area.

12:29:41 Lisa
Parisi : I am getting there Cathy.

12:29:55 Lisa
Parisi : Dream Big and Be Brave

12:30:06 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) : One-size-fits all does not works with clothing, automotive
parts, tools, or education.

12:30:08 RJ
Stangherlin : 1:1 CFF helped PA get there. We’re close in our district, but we
didn’t jump in the first year.

12:30:47 PeggyG
: it’s so easy to use/make excuses to keep from taking responsibility for
making changes and taking risks that we KNOW are important for kids

12:31:28 PeggyG
: I love that website!!! can’t wait to spend more time on it!

12:31:54 Cathy E
: Great conversation!

12:32:07 RJ
Stangherlin : So sorry to leave. Thank you all for allowing me into this
wonderful conversation. Thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

12:32:22 RJ
Stangherlin : Name on twitter/facebook?

12:32:38 PeggyG

12:32:49 PeggyG
: I just liked it too!! πŸ™‚

12:33:12 RJ
Stangherlin : I can’t click or copy the links.

12:33:16 PeggyG

12:33:20 RJ
Stangherlin : Which Trung Le?

12:33:43 Lisa
Parisi :

12:33:44 Scott
Shelhart (@kd9sr) : Nice show. Thank you.

12:33:45 PeggyG
: links should be clickable in the chat

12:33:50 RJ
Stangherlin : Again, thank so much.

12:33:58 Lisa
Parisi : Thank you so much all for coming.

12:34:04 Sheila
: The linkw will be available with the podcast later.

12:34:13 PeggyG
: sometimes it helps to popup and float the chat window to use links

12:34:19 Sheila
: I can click on the links.

12:34:21 RJ
Stangherlin : Not. Must be my system.

marragem : great show, everyone!

12:34:36 PeggyG
: probably java something RJ…

12:34:41 Lisa
Parisi : Bye all

12:34:43 Cathy E
: @Lisa – Before and After Pic

12:34:54 RJ Stangherlin
: Bye.

12:34:54 PeggyG
: thank you Le!! fantastic, inspiring conversatioin!

12:35:15 PeggyG
: So glad you could join us RJ-come back next week πŸ™‚

marragem : great show, everyone

marragem : bye. I’m off to bed!

12:35:28 PeggyG
: night Amanda!

12:38:57 Sheila : Thanks so much all

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