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Austin HS teacher creates ‘classroom of the future’ with cast-off furniture

2014 February 6
by HISD Communications

A glimpse inside Carlos Aguilar's classroom at Austin HS

Changes often require adaptation, but budgetary constraints can sometimes limit the options available. That’s why one clever Austin High School media technology teacher took advantage of a little-known district resource to reorganize his classroom for free.

Carlos Aguilar visited HISD’s own Furniture Services warehouse at 228 McCarty (Bldg. 29), tagged some old comfy chairs and a sofa, and had them delivered to his campus, where he used them in combination with his existing classroom furniture to create a cozy coffee-house-style seating area.

“I did it to coincide with PowerUp,” explained Aguilar. “My students were already doing their work electronically on our classroom desktop computers and their personal smart phones, iPads, and tablets using Edmodo. My goal now is to have every student doing their assignments on their new personal laptops while sitting comfortably.”

Aguilar says that his students particularly enjoy the flexibility his classroom gives them. “Each day, I have the furniture arranged nicely,” he said. “But every class period, the students move it around to suit their comfort level and settle in to do their work.”

The new classroom structure has also had an unexpected side benefit. “Recently, I was off-campus doing some professional development,” said Aguilar, “and I noticed on Edmodo that my students were submitting their assignments online while I was away.”

Special note to employees: For more information about how to obtain gently used furnishings for your school, office, or classroom, please see this related story or contact Sharday Cisneros in Furniture Services at 713-676-9230.

Had a breakthrough in your classroom? Tell us about it! Just send an email to info@houstonisd.org briefly describing your situation, and we could feature it here.

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