Inspired Classrooms

Has your school struggled to decide how to use various purchased/donated equipment effectively in the classroom? A typical scenario is that schools started with one computer in each classroom and then decided to add a lab so that the whole class could do something at the same time.

Now some schools are deciding that a one-to-one laptop program is the way to go. They are having some exciting success with changing the type of teaching and learning that happens in a classroom. Teaching becomes more student-centered and students are able to work at school and at home with incredibly rich resources.

But what if your school cannot afford to do a one-to-one laptop project? One-to-one projects have a huge cost. The only cost is not just the computers, but the tech support, training and the ongoing management challenges.

Is there a middle ground?

Darren Wilson from the Irving Independent School District thinks so, and has some fantastic recommendations for creating Inspired Classrooms. His ideas include room arrangement, technical questions, teaching practice, assessment, and so much more. He describes practical ways to use a blog in the classroom. This web site has a collection of 5 videos which will lead to more information.

One second-grade teacher gives these blogging rules:

  1. Never use your name or another students name in our class blog. There could be a stranger who reads our blog and we don't want them to know your name.
  2. When commenting as a group, use your group name. Any time you comment as a group, everyone has to agree on the response.
  3. When commenting as an individual, use your initials. The kids in our class will know who you are, but strangers will not.
  4. Any time you comment, make sure to use kind words. It's o.k. to disagree with someone else as long as you do it politely.
  5. Remember, because our blog is on the Internet, you can comment from class, from the computer lab, from home, or from any other computer connected to the internet. All comments go to Mrs. Wilson first for moderation, so they won't always show up immediately.

The site offers lots of ideas that will benefit you when you create an Inspired Classroom. Here's one image of a classroom arrangement.

If you're pressed for time, check out the Inspired Classroom – Short Version

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