Remake your Class


How might we empower teachers to embrace prototyping?

How can experimentation help teachers design a learning environment that enhances classroom goals?



A 3-part documentary series with Edutopia (George Lucas Education Foundation) to show how designers and community volunteers helped a San Francisco public school teacher transform his crowded classroom into a space that fosters collaboration, creativity, and active student learning. This series and subsequent SXSWedu workshop, articles, and social media campaign has inspired over 200,000 educators. In 2014, the prototype classroom informed the design direction of Roosevelt Middle School’s school-wide interior refresh.


This collaboration was primarily between TheThirdTeacher+ and Edutopia, but brought in collaborators from the, SparkTruck, Brightworks, and IDEO. In one week, we redesigned a classroom on a shoestring budget, with a bevy of talented volunteers, and one insightful (and brave!) educator. Along the way, we embedded workshop opportunities for students and educators to learn about the design mindsets behind this “hack.”

In March 2013, we held a workshop called "Hack Class: Shape your Ecology, Empower Learning" at SXSWedu with our friends at Edutopia.  We explored the question, "How can we empower teachers to become designers of their learning experiences and environments?" We unpacked and reclaimed the concept of "hacking" as a tool for prototyping change and held a hands-on workshop to explore these ideas in action. Our presentation highlighted the "hacked classroom" at Roosevelt Middle School and our ongoing work with The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Watch the series:

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  • Received over 250,000 views across YouTube and Pinterest

  • Accepted to present a top-rated workshop at SXSWedu

  • Media hits across NPR affiliates and top education blog

  • Related articles received top traffic scores on Edutopia’s site for 2013




Hear my reflections on the project, team, & my role here.


Hack your class, shape your ecology, Workshop at SXSWedu in Austin, TX

Remake Your Class: 6 Steps to Get Started, By Melanie Kahl, Edutopia: George Lucas Education Foundation

8 Tips and Tricks to Redesign Your Classroom By David Bill Edutopia: George Lucas Education Foundation

Tiny Transformations: Six Remake Your Class Details to Celebrate By Melanie Kahl, TTT+ Blog

Behind the Scenes: Favorite Memories of Remake Your Class,  By Melanie Kahl, TTT+ Blog

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Sketching out the strategies for the front of room layout and "DJ Dashboard" teaching station.

Sketching out the strategies for the front of room layout and "DJ Dashboard" teaching station.

Part of the Dream Team:  Scott Witthoft ,  Scott Doorley , Melanie Kahl, Christian Long,  David Bill ,  Jenna Wittenberg, Jason Chua

Part of the Dream Team: Scott Witthoft, Scott Doorley, Melanie Kahl, Christian Long, David BillJenna Wittenberg, Jason Chua

A glimpse into the Instagram campaign after the series aired on Edutopia

A glimpse into the Instagram campaign after the series aired on Edutopia

Created in collaboration with Edutopia with special thanks to Lora Fukada and Zachary Fink (and the entire production and media team) and TheThirdTeacher+ with partners Christian Long and Emi Day (SXSWedu support). The entire team of volunteers, students, and hack collaborators are listed here. Their talent, flexibility, and good humor were central to this project. Even several years later, collaborations and friendships continue to blossom from this great team.