BY BILL FERRIS
Who doesn’t love moving furniture? The answer, of course, is pretty much everybody. Changing up the floor plan for your classroom involves moving desks, rugs and shelves around until you achieve feng shui (or you just say “good enough” and give up), or killing a few trees as you sketch up then toss out flawed, not-to-scale maps of possible layouts.
You could use mind-mapping resources such as Gliffy to create your new floor plan digitally, but why not use a purpose-built application to do the work for you? Classroom Architect from 4teachers.org lets you drag and drop your desks, tables, chairs, TVs, and whatever else you have in your classroom without breaking a sweat.
First off, Classroom Architect allows you to set your classroom dimensions, so you won’t have any unpleasant surprises, like finding out your map for 13 desks across your room won’t work in real life. You can drag student and teacher desks, kidney tables, projectors, and other pre-made objects into your floor plan with ease. Draw and text tools let you create other objects as necessary, so if you’re stressing out that Classroom Architect doesn’t have an icon for your life-sized human skeletal display, you can craw one yourself if you really want to.
When you’ve got a design you like, you can save your map to your computer, or print it out so you can bring your vision to life. Classroom Architect is a simple application, but the one thing it does it does well. Give it a try and see what sort of classroom layout you can create.