This post is the second in a series of three posts focusing on the characteristics of a perfect classroom
What are the characteristics of my dream classroom?
My initial response, motivated teachable students, is not an acceptable answer to this question because: one, it is a responsibility of the teacher to engage and hook the students to become motivated to learn each new topic; and two, if in a perfect world, I was given a classroom full of driven learners, I still have to create a positive learning environment and foster each student’s individual potential. In the first post, recall, the learning environment described needed to be versatile to adapt to the different 21st century skills necessary to be an employee in today’s economy.
Of course, I still remember the day my school gave me a Doc Cam. I was so excited. The Doc Cam had an immediate positive impact on my teaching practices and enhanced the student experience. I was already effectively using my projector and the Doc Cam became another tool in my tool kit. This setup comes with its challenges, however, and these problems will have to be addressed if I am to call my answer, a dream classroom.
The projector with a document camera or a computer is an effective combination of devices for teachers, but it is nowhere near the most effective. The combination positions the teacher in one spot in the room, limiting her ability to move about the classroom and support students. It is also physically positioned in one spot of the classroom and could not be moved for differentiated activities, losing its effectiveness when not used for whole class instruction. Moreover, the classroom lights must be dimmed or turned off for most projectors and we know that darkness is not encouraging engagement. The same can be said for white boards. They are stationary objects in the classroom and limit the teacher’s ability to transform the learning environment.
Furthermore, with a projector, all of these devices require wires and extra devices to utilize correctly. For example, the projector requires a computer to be plugged into it. In 21st century classrooms, teachers also need sound. Thus, speakers and wires are now mandatory ingredients alongside the computer and projector. My dream classroom avoids all that. Maximizing the utilization of space and the ability to transform the space is vital to my dreams about a perfect classroom.
To support this vision, a classroom needs a mobile front display. I learned this truth the hard way through the use of a Doc Cam/Projector set-up and only realized the necessity for a mobile front of the room display when I first saw the Prowise All-In-One.
It is a plug and play interactive flat panel, meaning it has just one power cord that you plug into the wall and everything is ready for use. This 10 points of touch, 4K touchscreen, ranging in size, from 55 to 84 inches, are attached to All-in-One tilt lifts with built-in 2.1 integrated sound systems, full PCs running Windows 10, and a Blu-Ray players. With this mobile panel, we have eliminated all of the issues of the projector and we have the versatility to transform the learning environment to create activities for 21st century learning.
In conclusion, part two of this three part series focuses on the front of classroom display. The newest hardware from Prowise is a crucial upgrade that solves the issues of using a projector, smart board, white board, etc. And it must be in my dream classroom. The idea that my front of classroom display moves so seamlessly about the classroom can revolutionize how teachers execute their lessons. The classroom is not just about the front of classroom display, but for most teachers, it is the tool they use every day and most often. It is why I devoted an entire post to them. The students have other tools they may use every day and part three of this series will look at those tools students will need in my dream classroom to be most successful.