You are here

Literature Review

Literature Review

Space Resources


Learning Commons. Learning Commons Defined. 2015. (Accessed October 5, 2018)

This site illustrates the components of a learning commons environment. Included are photos of learning commons in different places around the world

Alliance for Excellent Education. Six Keys to a Classroom Makeover. 2014. (Accessed October 1, 2018)

This site illustrates a number of keys to classroom redesign, the research behind designing a brain-friendly learning environment, and cost-effective ways to transform student learning spaces.

Eric Sheninger and Thomas Murray. Learning Transformed. 2017. (Accessed October 1, 2018)

This book outlines eight keys to designing tomorrow’s schools today. It reminds us that today’s learning spaces do not reflect the world of work that our students will enter. The book gives practical insights and ideas to implement changes that make learning environments learner-centered and personalized and that also utilize the power of technology.

Clayton Christensen Institute. Blended Learning Universe. 2018. (Accessed October 27, 2017)

The Blended Learning Universe is the go-to resource for all things blended learning, including an interactive directory of schools across the world that have gone blended. This link shows you how to rethink your learning space to enhance the student experience.

Alliance for Excellent Education. Redesigning Learning Spaces: Creating Brain-Friendly, Blended Learning Environments. 2014. (Accessed October 1, 2018)

This Google Hangout explores how classroom spaces can be transformed into brain-friendly digital learning environments. As founders of, Erin Klein, Benjamin Gilpin, and A. J. Juliani discusses how the learning environment, including physical spaces, plays a key role in how students learn and how creating a digital environment in such a space can transform the learning process as a whole.

Thomas Murray. Beyond Ditching the Desks, 9 Creative Ways to Avoid the "Cemetery Effect" 2015. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

Many of today's classrooms have 21st-century tools in 20th-century learning environments. How can classrooms move away from the "cemetery effect" where desks are in rows with all students facing forward?

Albemarle School District; All4Ed. Webinar: Learning Spaces Design: Creating Spaces That Work for Kids. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

How can schools and classrooms transform from an industrial-era model yielding teacher-centric classrooms with desks in rows and students facing forward, to learning spaces that are student-centered, personalized, and leverage the power of technology? Join Superintendent of the Year, Pamela Moran, as she shares her district’s experience in transforming learning spaces and how these changes have impacted teaching, student learning, and district culture.

Dwight Carter. Webinar: What’s in Your Space?: The Impact of Space on Student Learning. 2016. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

For two decades, educators have been told to incorporate skills for the global economy, adapt to diverse learning styles, and employ technology. This requires changing thinking and physical spaces. How can or should these spaces change to keep pace with and reflect twenty-first-century teaching models?

The Learning Accelerator. Practices At Work: Use of Space. 2016 (Accessed October 28, 2018)

Review actionable strategies from five different schools about how to use space to personalize learning by matching the physical set-up to specific learning tasks and student needs. Includes videos, audio interviews, artifacts, and even classroom diagrams free for you to use.

The Learning Accelerator. How do I set up a station rotation model in my classroom? 2018. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

After completing this guide: Educators will understand why a “one size fits all” approach to education does not support all learners and how stations can be a great first step to personalizing for students. Educators will explore various approaches to space, culture, and routines when implementing a station rotation model. Educators will be able to implement a basic station rotation in a traditional structure by utilizing key strategies, tools, and research.

Thomas Murray. 8 Ways to Redesign on a Minimal Budget. 2018. (Accessed November 6, 2018)

How can we create spaces that better work for kids without breaking the bank? Check out this blog for eight great tips to do just that. Educators will know that their spaces have been designed successfully when the design positively contributes to the learning process and helps create an authentic, dynamic experience for all.

ISTE. Designing Inclusive Spaces. 2018. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

This list of resources supports the ISTE Webinar on Designing Inclusive Learning Spaces presented on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. It includes websites, blogs, webinars and more.

ISTE. Hacking Your Space on a Limited Budget. 2018. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

This site gives you a digital tote bag of resources for redesigning learning spaces.

Edutopia. The A-Z 0f Flexible Classrooms. 2018. (Accessed November 6, 2018)

This site looks at the research, raw materials, and funding options for flexible spaces, and then asks over 20 teachers how they managed the transformation.

ISTE. Invite Students to Co-Design Their Learning Environment. 2018. (Accessed November 6, 2018)

Beyond aesthetics or appearance, how you design classroom space can impact learning and make a classroom more, or less, inclusive. When the final ingredient - learners- is added to all of their varying needs, interests, and backgrounds, the learning environment expands beyond the physical and even the cognitive.

Cast, Inc. UDL Design Guide. 2018. (Accessed November 6, 2018)

This guide was developed to provide a crosswalk among the UDL Learning Spaces Idea Kit and the UDL Guidelines, including some suggested considerations within the design of learning environments.

David Jakes. David Jakes Designs. 2018. (Accessed November 6, 2018)

David Jakes has worked with a variety of school districts and other organizations that are redesigning learning environments. He helps participants develop a new lens for the importance of space. This site visits those districts and outlines the process used for each one.

Heidi Hayes Jacobs. Ending Old-School Nostalgia in Learning Spaces. 2017. (Accessed November 6, 2018)

This article gives new ideas about classroom setup and architecture and their impact on student engagement. A driving instructional question is this: What type of learning space, whether physical or virtual, will best serve our students for a specific goal or experience.

Toggle. Innovation Labs. 2018. (Accessed November 7, 2018)

Pico Rivera, California’s El Rancho Unified School District, is dedicated to positioning itself on the leading edge of educational innovation by not only bringing the latest technology to its classrooms but also re-imagining how classrooms should be structured.

Time Resources


Alliance for Excellent Education. Blended Teaching and Technology: Simple Strategies for Improved Student Learning. 2018. (Accessed October 1, 2018)

This new guidebook offers school district leaders a collection of strategies aligned to the Future Ready Schools® framework for implementing an instructional approach supported by blended learning.

Alliance for Excellent Education. Linked Learning: Using Learning Time Creatively to Prepare Students for College. 2014. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

This report highlights the efforts of high schools implementing multiple Linked Learning pathways in the Los Angeles, Oakland, Porterville, and Sacramento Unified School Districts. Each of these pathways has reconfigured the use of time in order to provide students with a more effective learning experience.

Alliance for Excellent Education. Leading with a Vision: How Different, Creative, and Effective Uses of Time Support Initiatives to Provide New and Better Student Learning Experiences. 2014. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

Many schools across the country are rethinking the use of time within and beyond the school day. Released September 23, 2014, this report suggests that the addition of time or different uses of time should begin with a strong vision on behalf of schools and districts to provide new and innovative models of education to increase student engagement and improve college and career readiness.

Alliance for Excellent Education. Breaking Down Learning Barriers Through the Better Use of Time. 2014. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

This webinar will explore what states and districts are doing related to time and competency-based learning, including an update on West Virginia’s efforts to re-imagine time through their ground-breaking strategic planning effort to personalize learning for all of their students. Panelists will also address questions submitted by viewers from across the country.

Carnegie Foundation. The Carnegie Unit: A Century-Old Standard in a Changing Education Landscape Carnegie Foundation. 2015. (Accessed November 1, 2018)

The result of a two-year study, the report examines the history of the influential, century-old Carnegie Unit and its impact on education reform in K-12 and higher education. 

Center for Teaching Quality. Rethinking Teacher Time. 2018. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

A team of 15 CTQ Kentucky teacher leaders and 1 administrator took on the challenge of rethinking teacher time to optimize professional learning, which resulted in an infographic and a series of blog posts.

The Learning Accelerator. Practices At Work: Schedule/Time. 2017. (Accessed October 30, 2018)

Access nine specific teaching strategies from five different schools demonstrating how to use time more flexible, using non-traditional schedules to allow students to work individually at their own pace, collaboratively with peers, or in small groups with focused direct instruction. 

Place Resources


Clayton Christensen Institute, Silicon Schools Fund. Khan Academy Online Course: Delivering High-Quality Blended Learning. 2018. (Accessed October 27, 2017)

A five-part set of modules on Khan Academy, this site provides guidance on how to deliver high quality blended learning, including an introduction of definitions and models, creating the ideal student experience, teaching in a blended learning environment, redesigning a school toward blended learning, and making aligned decisions in a blended environment.

Michael B. Horn; Heather Staker. Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools. 2015. (Accessed October 1, 2018)

  A practical field guide on navigating the transition to blended learning and a more student-centered education system.

P21, Cable Impacts Foundation, SETDA. The Roadmap for 21st Century Learning Environments. 2015. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

A collaborative project from P21, Cable Impacts Foundation, and SETDA, this flexible planning tool helps district leaders chart a strategic path for transforming schools to meet the demands of today's students and their futures. The Roadmap is designed to assist at the planning, building, and transforming phase of creating a 21st-century learning environment district-wide.

Eric Sheninger. UnCommon Learning: Creating Schools That Work for Kids. 2017. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

Integrate digital media and new applications with purpose and build a culture of learning with pleasure! Let students use real-world tools to do real-world work and develop skills society demands. UnCommon Learning shows you how to transform a learning culture through sustainable and innovative initiatives.

Getting Smart. Blended Learning Implementation Guide 3.0. 2015. (Accessed November 5, 2018)

The Blended Learning Implementation Guide 3.0 offers recommendations for developing and implementing an effective plan to adopt a blended learning model that focuses on accelerating student learning for college and career readiness. This guide walks school leaders through a four-part process for blended learning implementation that begins with creating conditions for success and planning before moving into implementation and continuous improvement.

CoSN. Digital Equity Action Toolkit. 2018. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

Students without home access to high-quality broadband connectivity are at a disadvantage, unable to realize the full power of digital learning. To address this key challenge, CoSN launched the Digital Equity Action Agenda Initiative. This effort highlights how some school districts are building meaningful community partnerships and creating tools to help district leaders get started in achieving digital equity. 

Digital Promise. Changing a Rural Community’s Expectations Through 24/7 Learning. 2014. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

At Piedmont City School District, in rural northeast Alabama, technology is viewed as a tool for raising expectations in a town hit by hard times. Once bustling town home to the thriving textile industry, two major employers have left in recent years and many local businesses shut their doors during the economic downturn. To restore hope in the community, the district is working to provide an education that prepares students for a modern global economy, rather than the one that departed the town over the past 15 years.

Alliance for Excellent Education. A Guidebook for Success: Strategies for Implementing Personalized Learning in Rural Schools 2017. (Accessed November 2, 2018)

This guidebook highlights the role of personalized learning in meeting the academic and real-world needs of students in rural parts of the country. It identifies the unique challenges rural districts face with changing economic needs, attracting and retaining high-quality teachers as well as budget constraints and points out the ways in which a personalized learning approach can help remove these barriers to preparing students for success. It also shares the story of district leaders in rural areas like Missouri’s Fordland R-III School District who capitalized on their small size, strong community engagement, and the ability for rapid system change, to deliberately move toward personalizing learning for all students.

Ira Socol, Pam Moran, Chad Ratliff. Timeless Learning. 2018. (Accessed November 1, 2018)

This book highlights the rapidly shifting landscape of public education and the importance of rethinking what it means to learn. Schools do not transform themselves. It takes the personal transformation of school administrators, teachers, and staff to create meaningful journeys for every student.

Houston Independent School District. Power Up. 2018. (Accessed November 2, 2018) 

The challenge: To close the digital divide and transform traditional instruction approaches into successful blended and personalized learning experiences, available anytime and anywhere, in a major urban school district with large numbers of low-income students and English language learners. This PDF chart lays out solutions, outcomes, and returns on investment for this challenge.

Battelle for Kids. Portrait of a Graduate. 2018. (Accessed November 5, 2018)

As part of the strategic planning process, Virginia Beach Public Schools identified a set of attributes that they believe are critical for ensuring students are future ready. The profile is intended to inspire, motivate, and guide the work of students, teachers, and schools.