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Friday, September 26, 2008

The New Design for the Classroom that ROCKS MY WORLD!!!



Today, Finn McKenty a strategist for Kaleidescope, a product design company, and Greener Grass, gave me a quick view of some concepts for future classroom design.


I felt my whole world turn over.


I've been telling my students that one day we'll laugh about how we had computers on our desks b/c they will become integrated into everything - walls, desks, and we just won't need the PC anymore, but I didn't really UNDERSTAND what I was saying.


Now, maybe, I do.


Take a look at this board.







Just a whiteboard???? NO!!!!


Now, look at this picture:





What you see are individual, microsoft surface enabled BOARDS in the upright position and individual, Microsoft Surface enabled DESKS in the background.


Boards are desks, desks are boards.  Upright, they separate the room and allow for group and individual projects.  Laying flat, they are desks for more traditional environments.  And, they roll.





Some schools have janitors that put dots on the floor to tell teachers where they have permission to "put" their desks.  They might as well get over it, because our classrooms, if configured with such configurable, movable, computing / surface devices which are multi wall / table will be OURS for the teaching.


How much are these?


Not for sale yet.


Do they have potential?


Absolutely.  Absolutely. Absolutely.


I would love these and am now thinking -- if Microsoft Surface is truly configured as it needs to be, could a screen be split into multiple screens for editing and working on the same surface - individual or group spaces.


Oh my goodness - I WOULD LOVE A ROOM LIKE THAT.  And I teach technology.  I am that teacher who takes my kids to the auditorium to sit on the floor, the lunch room to sit at flat tables (w/out monitors in the way) -- moves monitors and keyboards onto the floor to have table tops for special projects or brainstorming sessions.


Sometimes my room has 40-50 kids in it (when doing elementary projects where my older kids are teaching digital citizenship.)


I say, GIVE ME MY ROOM BACK.  I'd use these devices in a heart beat if they were available and I had the budget.  Of course, the one thing we DON'T see are those pesky power cords and cables that are such a beast to deal with and to truly make these possible, that sort of thing would have to be discussed and planned for!



Just showed them to my principal and curriculum director and looking at things like this definitely cause a complete shift of the brain.  But I like it, I really do.  These things have potential.



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