Anywhere, anytime…

April 13, 2008

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Where are you now? Oh, I see you. On the couch reading. Feet up. Using your laptop with a small snack by your side. Lights low. Music going, telly in the background. Did I just see you get up to get a drink?

With Information and Communication Technology (ICT) becoming more prominent in classrooms since I was in school (and most parents of our students these days) the physical layout has had to change somewhat to accommodate computers. In my experience I have seen a variety of ways that teachers and administrators have decided to arrange the technology in the classroom.
When I returned to teaching in 2000, computers were neatly positioned at the side of the classroom and students would sit facing the wall to do their work independently as part of rotations.

Then as a school we moved to positioning the computers at each table cluster. There was normally 4 table clusters in a room. This meant the students would have a computer at their table without having to leave. They often worked in pairs or in groups.

In my last classroom in this school I was lucky enough to be part of the pilot for laptops in a classroom. We had four laptops in my room and they no longer needed to be neatly set up against a wall or positioned at a table. They were free to roam around for learning to take place anytime anywhere! And boy did it!

I would have to say that when we moved from computers fixed to walls to becoming mobile units that could be used anywhere in the room to anywhere in the yard, then this was the time learning took off in my classroom. My Grade 5 students would pick up a laptop just like they would pick up a pen or a book. If they needed to research, look up a word, publish or even create a music piece the laptop j0397502.gifjoined them wherever they were.

So that’s where the computers are!

Entry Filed under: ICT,learning,pedagogy,spaces. Posted in  ICT ,learning ,pedagogy ,spaces Tags: , , , , .



7 Comments Add your own

  •    murcha  |  April 13th, 2008 at 8:59 am     

    I wonder where your computers will be, this time next year! It never ceases to amaze me to think back where my classes and I were this time, last year. If you would have told me I would be doing what we are now, I would never have believed you. As we use the emerging technologies, it continues to evolve and change. However, our computers are as they always have been in our lab, but will this change? I wonder

  •    Sheryl A. McCoy  |  April 13th, 2008 at 9:15 am     

    Oh so true! The configuration of the room definitely must change. I always hated the desk and chair thing since I was a child. I think comfy chairs with firm backs to hold kids’ spinal chords comfortably straight should be used. I also think dropdown cables with arm rests to hold laptops notebooks, etc could be designed to take of the neck strain keyboarding.
    Soon we may just be able to move our arms, legs and eyes to interact with the computer;D
    Thanks for reminding me of my 1st grade dream: full wall TV with computers and study at home with my mom;D

  •    helenotway  |  April 13th, 2008 at 11:35 am     

    I think that labs are a great way for teaching new skills to a large group, although having lived the laptop experience I would find it so hard to go back now.

  •    Barb  |  April 13th, 2008 at 11:35 am     

    I was working in a class the other day where every student has their own laptop. The teacher commented that they treat them like toys. The students are so familiar with them. They have changed every little thing they can. (More than I can do or maybe it’s that I don’t see a need to or have time to do). I hope they will be like your students and that the learning will take off.

  •    schoolspirit  |  April 15th, 2008 at 9:11 pm     

    Um… where did you go and who did you have to kill to get funding for laptops for your classrooms? We’re all still working on five or six year old machines at best down here.

    Fair dinkum, when all six of my machines finally work, I will dance around the room!

  •    helenotway  |  April 16th, 2008 at 10:39 pm     

    Oh we should all be dreamers Sheryl. Maybe then things may change.

    Barb, when we moved to laptops it really was just a progression from desk tops. They were shared tools just like the desk tops but mobile and so they treated them wiith the same care as the other machines.

    Hey Schoolspirit, no murders comitted! Our school was quite forward thinking and realised the potential of laptops. ICT was high on our agenda so they were factored into the budget. Grade 3 – 6 now have them.

  •    schoolspirit  |  April 19th, 2008 at 9:23 am     

    Really? Well done. We had to apply for a grant to set up a computer room in one side of the library. Your budget must be nice and bulky! :)

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A blog by Helen Otway

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I began this blog in 2007 as a teacher. Since then I have become a principal and have continued to use this space as my reflective blog. You can also find me on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/pub/helen-otway/3a/37a/539 and Twitter @helenotway
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