We took away the ‘front of the classroom’.
The classes are shifting from being teacher-centered to student-centered. The role of the teacher is changing from being a ‘sage on the stage’ to the ‘guide on the side’. Students sit in groups of four. The chairs swivel so that students may more easily look each other in the eye while speaking. Individual white boards help introverted students participate in class and also serve as barriers during assessment time. If we truly want students to become more open to growth and more loving, then we believe that the majority of a student’s day at our school (instruction time) should be in an environment such that students engage with the relationships they have in one another. So far, the results have been good.
We have one projector and two tv screens that create a digital triangle around the room. Therefore, students can see what the teacher is projecting no matter where they are sitting. The teachers can mirror their iPad screens onto all of the screens. However, using a combination of Extron and Crestron technology, the teachers can even use combinations of computers, laptops, and iPads to display three different images - one on each screen. Another advantage of the teacher using the iPad in this way is the fact that it makes it really easy for the teacher to be mobile in the classroom.
When constinuents tour these rooms, a common comment is: “Where’s the teacher”? It’s not always obvious where the teacher is when walking into the room. Moreover, when entering an Active Learning Classroom, it’s rarely a catostrophic distraction like in traditional classrooms. Often times, students and teachers are so engaged in the learning that visitors are simply not as interesting!
This project will help us further fulfill our vision and mission as a school.