It was interesting to see a number of librarians presenting. Libraries are changing quickly, with lots of things disappearing such as reference materials, dvds (online) and banks of computers (byod). This is giving them space to add cool stuff such as maker spaces, cafes, funky furniture and meeting spaces. In many schools they are driving the change in learning spaces.
Changing of learning spaces must have an explicit link with other teaching changes, such as pedagogy and timetabling. Real change comes when all changes are considered concurrently. If you change the learning spaces without making other changes nothing will really happen. Engagement was regularly used by the presenters as outcomes of (or reasons for) the change. On the other hand changing learning spaces can be a driver for change in pedagogy.
Changing learning spaces can freak out both students and staff. So you have to help them along on the journey of change and provide them with reasons. This can be an issue in schools who have changed their learning spaces when you get new staff who aren't used to new spaces.
None of presenters felt they had it right yet and it was a clear that learning spaces will continually change as learners and teachers change.
There is such a range of different furniture that is being used in learning spaces. I'm interested in investigating standing chairs to address the issues (health and disengagement) of students passively sitting.
When you have a range of furniture and learning spaces, students/teachers will choice the space to match the learning activities they are doing.
There is a lot to learn from how the corporate world is using space and furniture that schools can use and adapt.
There are enormous opportunities outside the classroom, from using the outdoors and using local existing spaces and facilities outside the school, including virtual spaces.
The most important message from many of the presenters was "less is more". If you are changing your learning spaces, don't over crowd the space. Clear out the space and return a minimum of furniture. You don't need a chair and table per student (especially in primary schools).
Finally, don't let accountants do the ordering and be prepared to try out the space to see how students use it before making all of your decisions about layout and furniture.