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#ILAchat: Designing Literacy Learning Spaces

Samantha Stinchcomb
 | Oct 10, 2017

ILA-chat-hostsIn a 21st-century classroom, it is important that a space exists for students to explore literacy experiences. Literacy learning relies on an environment that encourages exploration of text through reading, writing, listening, and sharing. To help children reach their full potential, educators must provide a welcoming atmosphere that is as supportive to literacy development as it is aesthetically enticing.

This month’s #ILAchat, to take place on Oct. 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET, will focused on ways to provide students with a literacy-rich learning environment. Cohosts Manuel Herrera and Rebecca Hare will help guide the Twitter chat and will share their own insights.

Manuel Herrera is an educator, consultant, and certified doodler. He is currently the 1:1 coordinator and design space facilitator for a St. Louis suburban school district and is also an adjunct professor for Webster University, where he teaches Digital Video for Educators and Designing Ed Tech Facilities. He has presented at conferences across the country such as South by Southwest Education, International Society for Technology in Education Conference & Expo, Texas Computer Education Association Convention & Exposition, and the Future of Education Technology Conference. In 2016, Herrera was named the Midwest Education Technology Conference Spotlight Educator. Follow Herrera on Twitter and Instagram or visit his blog at

Rebecca Hare is an art and photography teacher at the Clayton School District in St. Louis, Missouri. She has a BFA in industrial design from The European Design Institute in Milan, Italy, and a MAT in art from Fontbonne University in St. Louis. She had been working in Italy for 10 years as a design consultant and creative director, creating spaces and designing a wide variety of products for global companies, before she became fascinated with education. Hare’s master’s thesis was focused on design thinking, evaluating, and enhancing creativity through the study of design and art. She has collaborated with numerous schools to design learning spaces that enhance student learning, increase productivity, and create a more comfortable learning atmosphere. She has used these experiences to coauthor a book about learning spaces, The Space, A Guide for Educators.

Follow us on Twitter at @ILAToday and use the hashtag #ILAchat to join the conversation and learn new and exciting ways to provide students with a comfortable, encouraging literary learning environment. We hope you’ll share pictures of your learning spaces with us!

Samantha Stinchcomb is an intern at the International Literacy Association.

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