Mr. Arnold’s Dream Classroom (Part 3)

This post is the third in a series of three posts focusing on the characteristics of a perfect classroom

What are the characteristics of my dream classroom?

We have reached the conclusion of this mini-series on my vision for a more perfect classroom.  Before I dive into this last component, I must reflect that my answer to this question of a perfect classroom will continue to evolve and adapt.  It develops based on the needs and skills of our workforce and the technology and resources available to the educators.  For instance, my answer iterated and evolved the moment I saw Prowise’s new technology that turns the projector into old-dated technology like the VCR.  At the current time, I am a firm believer in schools that have 1-1 technology.

Of course, every school went out purchasing devices over the last decade to achieve 1-1 technology for every one of its students.  Schools, however, ran into a road block that one Director of Technology for a large school district lamented on just the over day in a meeting with me: “Everyone wants to talk about the hardware, but we continue to forget about the infrastructure necessary for these devices to be used most effectively as learning tools”.  In layman’s terms, he just said the Wi-Fi was awful.  Further, more infrastructure needed to be installed to create user accounts, manage passwords, block certain websites, monitor activity on the network, trouble shoot, repair and the list just goes on.  The details behind the scenes are vital to a classroom’s success.  The dream classroom would thus have a wonderful technology team behind it, supporting my every move in the classroom seamlessly to maximize student learning time.

Some of the most frustrating times as a teacher are when technology fails us in the moment.  At times, we rely so heavily on technology that when issues arise, they can derail an entire lesson or an entire school day.  A few years back, I was teaching first period when the electricity to the school went out due to issues at the power plant.  We tried to overcome, but by the end of first period, the school sent all the students home when they found out the issue would last most of the day.  The school attempted to keep the teachers and turn it into a workday, but a couple of issues snagged their idea and forced them to send everyone home.  The fact the power was out meant our laptops would only last until the life of the battery, but it also meant no wireless internet.  With no internet, teachers could not access the curriculum or gradebooks so it was moot to keep us all there.  Teachers should not have to overcome technology issues when trying to teach a lesson on Newton’s laws or Pythagoras’ theorem.

Two vital characteristics to my dream classroom revolve around infrastructure, the wireless internet, and hardware, the one to one computers or chrome books.  Since I have started working professional, I have been given a computer at every organization on the first day of work.  They expect me to know how to use it immediately.  I was fortunate enough to learn enough about computers at home and in college to be successful because my public school education simply did not incorporate enough technology into the classroom.  Further, with one to one technology, the classroom must have a strong reliable internet connection.  The internet is a tremendous resource for our students to access and they need it to maximize their potential.

My vision stops here because teachers and districts have their own methods, resources and tools on the internet and I am not here to say one is any better than the other.  My dream classroom centers on dependable hardware and infrastructure, day in and day out over the course of the school year.  For instance, in my dream classroom, I would utilize on-line testing and other methods of collecting instant feedback on my students’ understanding of the material.  I would leverage videos and websites to differentiate instruction.  There are many different platforms out there that can all be used effectively for these types of activities in the classroom; classrooms just need to have the equipment ready on-demand for that variety of uses.

I feel fortunate to have started work at ELB Education because I see ELB Education as a breath of fresh air in the market.  ELB Education has a new approach that does not push any software onto the users, allowing the users to select what is best for them.  The versatility of their solutions is what I value most.  I have been impressed to see all their solutions that meld the powerful new technology and the resources the schools already have at their disposal.  In addition, all products come with great warranties, with training consultants and with support specialists to assist schools every step of the way.  ELB Education’s new approach addresses the demand for new technology in the classroom and also addresses the need to train teachers how to effectively leverage the technology in the classroom.

ELB Education is an all-in-one stop and shop for schools’ education technology needs.  If you are trying to create your dream classroom, you will want to incorporate technology and I’d recommend starting at ELB Global.  We are here to support classrooms with all their technology needs.

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