As I somewhat overtly stated in the last post, I now reside as an Ed Tech at Westlake HS. While I am still acclimating to the size of the campus and getting to know the staff and students, I did have a chance to drop in on a few classrooms piloting a mobile-friendly seating solution. Interested in gleaning initial findings from both the teachers and the students, I gathered a bit of anecdotal and pictorial data. The complete article can be found on the Eanes WHS WIFI blog but I will share a few of the highlights here.
While a few students reported that the desktop real estate was a “little small for their liking” when adding iPad, notebook, and textbook to the mix, the vast majority focused on ease of increased collaboration, limited distraction, and improved self-regulation.
“(The desks) helps me think.”
These informal findings support much of the benefits detailed in the research studies compiled by Herman Miller on rethinking the classroom (full article here) which includes community learning, limited distraction, increased ability to stay focused, and student involvement.
“Classroom design influences levels of interaction and engagement. Engagement and active learning improve retention.” (Herman Miller)
Imagine if every student in a high school had the opportunity to learn and engage in such a learning studio environment…
“With new technology comes a new way of thinking.” (KXAN)
And how would this look in an elementary setting? Two teachers at Bridge Point Elementary (Eanes ISD) are piloting mobile-friendly “classrooms of the future” as well. See the video tour and full article here.
“We are testing out different areas of learning for the kids, which include chairs on casters, hokki stools — which allow a lot of movement throughout the room — and soft-seating options so the kids will ultimately be able to choose their best learning environment,” said Julie Cimino, a Bridge Point Elementary School third-grade teacher.
More on these learning spaces and places at Bridge Point Elementary can be found on the Bobcat blog.
Truly not every classroom or district has the funds to pilot classrooms of this nature, but creating a clutter free classroom redesign that combines aesthetics with functional collaborative spaces is attainable (Pinterest, Target, and IKEA are always a good place to start). In fact, check how this mom created a home school classroom with IKEA. Also, stay tuned for my Office Remodel/Innovative Professional Development Spaces post featuring IKEA and Craigslist finds dabbled with a few custom augmented bulletin boards.
Thus, I couldn’t let the blog go without a Thinglink… could I? Clutter-Free Classroom did a most excellent job of showcasing her classroom and highlighting its features using Thinglink!
Thinglink…Let me count the ways I can use you in my classroom… wow… almost 200? Check out 187 ways to use Thinglink in Education.
FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!
TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.