The New Design for the Classroom that ROCKS MY WORLD!!!

Today, Finn McKenty a strategist for Kaleidescope, a product design company, and Greener Grass, gave me a quick view of some concepts for future classroom design.

I felt my whole world turn over.

I've been telling my students that one day we'll laugh about how we had computers on our desks b/c they will become integrated into everything – walls, desks, and we just won't need the PC anymore, but I didn't really UNDERSTAND what I was saying.

Now, maybe, I do.

Take a look at this board.

Just a whiteboard???? NO!!!!

Now, look at this picture:

What you see are individual, microsoft surface enabled BOARDS in the upright position and individual, Microsoft Surface enabled DESKS in the background.

Boards are desks, desks are boards.  Upright, they separate the room and allow for group and individual projects.  Laying flat, they are desks for more traditional environments.  And, they roll.

Some schools have janitors that put dots on the floor to tell teachers where they have permission to “put” their desks.  They might as well get over it, because our classrooms, if configured with such configurable, movable, computing / surface devices which are multi wall / table will be OURS for the teaching.

How much are these?

Not for sale yet.

Do they have potential?

Absolutely.  Absolutely. Absolutely.

I would love these and am now thinking — if Microsoft Surface is truly configured as it needs to be, could a screen be split into multiple screens for editing and working on the same surface – individual or group spaces.

Oh my goodness – I WOULD LOVE A ROOM LIKE THAT.  And I teach technology.  I am that teacher who takes my kids to the auditorium to sit on the floor, the lunch room to sit at flat tables (w/out monitors in the way) — moves monitors and keyboards onto the floor to have table tops for special projects or brainstorming sessions.

Sometimes my room has 40-50 kids in it (when doing elementary projects where my older kids are teaching digital citizenship.)

I say, GIVE ME MY ROOM BACK.  I'd use these devices in a heart beat if they were available and I had the budget.  Of course, the one thing we DON'T see are those pesky power cords and cables that are such a beast to deal with and to truly make these possible, that sort of thing would have to be discussed and planned for!

Just showed them to my principal and curriculum director and looking at things like this definitely cause a complete shift of the brain.  But I like it, I really do.  These things have potential.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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virtualtechteacher September 26, 2008 - 8:52 pm

Wow, not only the ability to split, but then rotate the splits for different perspectives and working from all sides… And of course, with the new bluetooth style wireless energy transmission, at some point you won’t need the pesky wires… WOW, WOW, WOW.

KSG September 27, 2008 - 3:04 am

That’s pretty fantastic. I imagine you’d get in a lot more trouble for carving your name into one of these, though.

EstieC September 28, 2008 - 2:03 pm

Wow! This is incredible! I utilize cooperative groups in my classes…imagine the possibilities! No wires, no mess, and the ability to customize all types of collaboration…I think I am in love…

Anonymous October 1, 2008 - 4:25 am

Vicki I am so there with you on Surface, I’ve been watching the progress since the day the Microsoft Website went up.
Small districts might have issues affording the technology as it first hits the market. Looking forward to the Surface boards, and Center tables and the collaboration that can be done in the classroom with Surface.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere