Based on a lot of what we have read here and research of our own, we have developed two Classroom 2.0 pilots that we are running this year at Lenape High School in Medford, NJ.
The first classroom (see attached photos) is a modular classroom. We chose one of the most challenging rooms on purpose so we could make this "duplicateable". This particular room is one of our smallest and has an entire wall of windows making it very hard to use that side.
What it looks like:
As you can see from the photos, the room is modular. We took everything we could out of the room and purchased a rolling teacher podium desk. We also purchased 32 desks and 32 chairs for the students (they are not attached as our typical desks are). This allows for the teacher to have several "desk arrangements" which he is going to post on the wall so he can tell the kids what arrangement will be used for the day. In the photo you see the "cooperative learning" arrangement where the desks are arranged in groups of 4 around each of the 8 mounted student computers.
The room has 10 computers. 8 of them are mounted on the walls to save space, allow for desk movement into other groups, and stop the need to move them for summer cleaning. The monitors are 22" monitors which have significantly come down in price. We purchased extension usb cables for the keyboards and mice so everyone in the groups could “take charge” of the computer based on the task for the day. We build our own computers from purchased parts for about $420 each which saves us about $200 over a premade computer and gives us greater flexibility with components. 1 of the 10 computers is also mounted on the wall but it serves as the teacher’s computer. It runs the two data projectors in “clone” mode, has the SchoolVue Software on it which allows the teacher to “take over” the other computers in the room. It also has a document camera attached to it and four Interwrite SchoolPads. Which are wireless electronic whiteboards. Interwrite has the ability to show four separate whiteboards on a screen at one time. One of the data projectors can also project from one of the student computers. This computer will also have the Interwrite software on it and four more Interwrite SchoolPads connected so that each of the 8 groups can show their work when the lesson calls for it. The main projector also will have a DVD/VCR connected to it and, since this particular Classroom 2.0 is a Math room, it will have the ability to project our TI-Navigator and Ti-Presenter calculator system. One other set of devices that will be used in the room are a pack of 32 Qwizdom clickers. The last computer in the room is a laptop that will be mainly located on the rolling desk which can VNC into the teacher computer on the wall and control everything that is going on. We have several services that the teacher plans to make use of:
• eBoards – Simple teacher webpages that look like a corkboard - www.eboards.com
• Quia.com – Online test, quiz and review serice.
• Turnitin.com – Plagiarism prevention software
• BrainPOP.com – Short introductory videos
• Discovery Education Streaming (United Streaming) – 80,000 concept level video clips, virtual labs, etc.
• Outlook Web Access – We are giving each student their own exchange account for September.
• Genesis Gradebook – Our SIS’s online gradebook that allows for parent and student access to grades.
How we came up with it:
Principal of the School – necessary for leadership, total buy-in, red tape cutting, and sustainability. Mr. Cattani at Lenape High School is a principal known for thinking outside the box.
Director of Technology (me) – funding, access to latest equipment, and design
Professional Development Chairperson (me) – Nothing works unless there is training! This type of endeavor will require ongoing training and multiple courses.
Motivated, Skilled and “Digital Native” Teacher – Mr. Tamburello is one of our District Teachers of the year and one of our instructors for Research for Better Teaching (RBT). He is also a Past District Technology Teacher of the Year.
1. The principal, teacher and director of technology met to brainstorm and kick around ideas of what we thought the perfect Classroom 2.0 would look like and why.
2. Departmental supervisors were asked to choose two teachers from their departments who: were know for thinking outside the box, could be potential turn-key trainers, used RBT methods, were excellent instructors, and who often used technology in class.
3. The teachers all met with the principal and director of technology to discuss the concept and brainstorm ideas of what the perfect classroom would be like if money was no object. The only stipulations were that our current classrooms had to be used and the equipment had to exist and not be fictional. A discussion followed where we spoke about the brainstormed list and cut out things that were not reasonable due to cost or other factors.
4. After that meeting the teachers were asked to take the notes we created and meet with other teachers in their departments to arrive at the perfect Classroom 2.0 for their subject.
5. Afterwards, the principal and director of technology met individually with the supervisor of each subject area and their two teachers to discuss their proposals.
6. Meanwhile, the principal met with a representative sample of students from the school to seek their input. The process was the same as the teachers: brainstorm, discuss, plan and present plans.
7. After hearing the plans of both teachers and students, the principal and director of technology chose two plans to pilot and made very small adjustments. (The other room is a history room and will be discussed on another post)
The plan from here:
• Showcase the rooms to other teachers, other administrators, community leaders, parents, and other students.
• Get input from everyone especially the teachers and students using the room
• Collect data on the room by doing “walkbys” and comparing it to a “regular” math class on items like student participation, attentiveness, etc.
• If it is a viable plan, tweak it if necessary and choose 2 - 6 more rooms to pilot.
• Create a course through the district’s Academy for Academic Excellence that teachers who want a Classroom 2.0 must pass in order to get the room.
• Interact with the world and see what they think and what they are doing ! Please help!