C9: Next Step Classroom

An arising debate in the education field is the effectiveness of the classroom towards efficient student learning.  Questions such as “Is the classroom worth my child’s time?” or “Does the classroom educate my child or harm their desire to learn?” flow around the communication channels on a weekly basis.  Educators, administrators, parents, guardians, students, and community members all have similar questions.  There is nothing wrong with asking these questions, but it is the post response that needs the most attention.  As technology keeps rapidly changing, it is our privilege as teachers to change the classroom parallel to technology and parallel to students personalities.  Teachers need to bridge older teaching strategies to the more innovative and current teaching strategies necessary for the most effective education for our students.  A statement in the book Web 2.0 new tools, new schools phrases it the best: “Most schools continue to educate kids in the way they always have, most teachers continue to teach in the ways they always have, and most administrators remain in their offices focusing on the things they focus on.  There is a gap between what is and what should be.”(180)  Students have been changing over the generations and require different learning styles and techniques than the previous generations.  Technology has and continues to change over time and needs to be implemented into the classroom to help educate students about 21st century skills.  As an educator, take the time to develop the classroom into a 21st century elite learning center.  Encourage your fellow teachers to do the same, and may we work together to create a dynamic education that will be on the forefront of society.   

Areas of your classroom to keep in mind (let your students help create this throughout the year):

  • Set-up and design (create a “beyond the classroom” area, maybe even a “home” feeling)
  • Environment (welcoming and inspiring for learning)
  • Technologically advanced in some area (there are not enough funds for you to have all areas of technology, so choose several to fit your curriculum and courses, and for the rest share with fellow teachers)
  • Atmosphere (make sure to allow for collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity)
  • The Game Course (students relate to games, if your course is set-up like a game, they will most likely strive even harder to be the best and apply themselves to the course training and work)
  • Instructional flow and management (evaluate student comprehension and application) 
  • Your taste (you should enjoy the classroom you work in)

Areas of technology to take a look into implementing in your classroom/school:

  • Podcasts/Vodcasts
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Media tools (video/audio recorders, cameras)
  • Twitter
  • Linked-in
  • Facebook (there are schools that have figured out great ways to use Facebook effectively and safely, talk to your advisory committee and school administrators before even entering this area)
  • iPads/iPod touch
  • Laptops
  • Smartboards/Mimeos (and other similar tools)
  • Online survey tools (such as surveypirate, twtpoll, or more)
  • Education direction software (tailored to discover students education needs)
  • Wii (be creative)
  • Skype (educate your students outside of the classroom without leaving the school)
  • Numerous software tools for your content

There are more tools and resources out there for creating the best classroom for student success.  Research some on your own, check out www.tfeinc.com and other similar sites that have ideas and tools for implementing technology in the classroom to meet the students learning needs.  Most importantly, take time to create a classroom for today, directed to help current and future students learn at their highest potential.    

  1. I really like the list of technologies that you have listed, that will be a good list to have in the future when considering technologies to implement and add to the classroom. Interesting that you added the Wii to that list but as a video gamer I could see how it could be used, good idea!!

    1. Yes, you provided a great listing here. So how many can you check off as being comfortable with? I like this comment “Your taste (you should enjoy the classroom you work in)”

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