Let’s take a quick look at the technology adapted teacher operating in the future (the near future!)
It’s Monday morning, another day and another fun week in the tech supported classroom.
Mrs. Apple (Psst! That’s you!) walks into her classroom, quickly turns on her laptop and reviews the daily news program and podcasts that the students will soon be watching. She then proceeds to check out the schools web community where there are some announcements and where her students have been busy overnight finishing their online activities.
She answers a few of their questions about an upcoming project and addresses a few concerns from a parent about their son’s math marks. T he parent is traveling on business in the southern US but has been keeping an eye on her son’s progress in the schools password protected virtual community.
A journal, a science quiz and a French crossword were assigned for homework. Mrs. Apple reviews marks and comments on the activities quickly and efficiently without shuffling a page. She smiles as she notices that the students’ Space Glossary has grown to over 100 words. The morning news program will feature the return of the Space Shuttle so this may extract some additional space words. She reviews the latest entries and approves them to be posted on the website.
As the school day begins a student that loves working with technology enters early to set up the classroom projector, digital whiteboard and electronic tablet. He tests the equipment and the student response systems to make sure they will be ready for the days work. Meanwhile, the teacher loads several digital lessons, Power Points and websites that she will be using throughout the school day.
The students enter and participate in the schools opening exercises which are played over the schools multimedia system. The national anthem’s words run across the bottom of the screen as pictures of their country’s landscape and images for its history appear on the classroom monitor. Following the anthem a recorded inspirational message is given on the screen by a popular figure in order to give the students a positive start to the day and lessons that they will remember throughout their lives.
Class begins with a ten minute synopsis of world and national events delivered in a format that is appropriate for students. After a short discussion and activities related to the current events the students prepare to find out more about their world from people their own age. The class links up via video link with their digital pen pals on the other side of the world and a student moderated discussion begins that allows both classes to ask questions and gain a human perspective about their pen pals country which help them on their upcoming projects.
Once the online conference is complete, each student writes a formal letter to their pen pal and sends it via their school email. A few students attach their animated short movie which they created in computer class, while others send their video skits which they preformed in drama class and uploaded to their personal hard drives.
As it nears noon hours the excitement begins to mount as students prepare their questions for today’s special virtual guest; a real astronaut. Several other classes across the continent link into a video conference with the astronaut to hear about the training he underwent and the Science he performed while in space. Once they are inspired and informed by their newest hero they continue to work on their space websites which they have been developing over the past few weeks.
A few keen student web designers decide to put their skills to the test and enter a youth web design contest that is sponsored by a multinational technology company. The students get so engrossed in the project that they spend their lunch hour and weekends attempting to win the big prize.
After lunch, the teacher has the students answer questions using their electronic student response systems in order to gain instant information about the student understanding or lack thereof of the previous day’s lesson. After a quick scan of the quiz results the instructor uploads a few pages from the previous day’s lesson in order to give the students the necessary clarification they need.
Now that the teacher is confident that the class has a good grasp of yesterday’s lesson, he introduces the new topic using video, interactive software, the electronic whiteboard activities and constantly monitors their understanding using the student response systems. Once the lesson is complete students complete their assignments and a couple of students review the lesson again using a visual software program.
At the end of the day the class decides to add to Wikipedia. They have been updating information about the history of their town. One student has brought in an old history book belonging to her grandmother which will help the class find new information for their entry.
This is how the day and year continues in this technology supported classroom. Interactive lessons, professional online presentations, conferences, hands on activities and digital assessments are all used in an interesting, efficient and effective format. The only question left is…are you heading towards this type of classroom?