April 13, 2008
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 joined them wherever they were.
So that’s where the computers are!