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Keeping Active Learning Spaces Active

on Monday, 29 September 2014.
can you break through

This is my son’s first year in High School (yes, I just admitted that). Last week I attended the “curriculum night,” which is a full evening of meeting his teachers by studying his schedule and trying to traverse the very full of parents hallways of the high school before the bell rings and you are late to the ten minute course overview. The night offered so many distracting flashbacks that I actually cut out of 5th period, went to the diner and never went back. Just don’t tell my son.


One difference, however, between his high school experience and mine is that every one of his classrooms has interactive board technology in it. I was thrilled to see the district understand the importance of using technology to enhance learning through collaboration, stimulation, activity and creativity. Allowing students to coordinate activities with the teachers is a powerful tool. Taking a closer look I realized something was strange about the set up. In three of the five rooms I sat in, there was either a desk or a lab table IN FRONT OF the board. Making it quite difficult for students to walk up to the board and use it.

Are students really benefiting from the technology in the classroom, are they able to truly interact with content, if there are physical barriers within the active learning space? Is it truly an active learning environment when the traditional classroom has not been transformed from rows of students facing the teacher’s desk in the front of the classroom? The school claims that they have installed technology in every classroom as a result of grants they were awarded. Keeping in mind that these grants were issued following successful research indicating technology rich educational...

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