Teaching with Technology

Practical ideas for Web 2.0 in the Primary Classroom

21st Century Classroom – the beginning.

August 18, 2009 by mrkp · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

Today was a big day. After a very stressful couple of months breaking my neck to get the kids through SATs I finally got into my new classroom.

For those that don’t follow my Twitter feed (@mrkp) we have recieved a grant to create a ‘transformational learning space’ in our school. The theory is that in a couple of years we will be moving to a new all singing all dancing new build school, as such over the next two years my role is to try and develop a new pedagogy for such spaces. This really does present lots of exciting new opportunities. The basic layout is as follows :
- one large classroom linked through double doors to the year six classroom
- a large double stock cupboard that can be used as a mini breakout space
- a larger breakout space with interactive whiteboard and projector
- a large decked outdoor area with canopy and outdoor plasma screen
- a plasma display wall
- two 77″ smartboards aide by side to run multiple windows
- a tablet pc to wirelessly control everthing
- a switch system so that children’s umpcs can be projected onto the different whiteboards
- 1 to one access to umpcs for each child.

Needless to say I was very excited to take on such a project. The possibilities of changing the way in which I interact with the children and the way that they interact with their learning are endless. My head has been constantly buzzing with ideas.

Today however the reality of what I’ve taken on finally hit home. I walked into the classroom to find that it was completely bare. This shouldn’t have suprised me as it was a community space previously next to my old room. What was a little worrying though was that there was no sign of any of the kit! I’m sure that it will get sorted out soon enough but there’s only a week and a half before term starts!

Not only that but I hadn’t realised just how much stuff you need in a room, bookshelves, drawers etc etc

I think that I’ve made some progress today but it does look like a bombsite. I’ll blog more about the experience as things go along. Hopefully next time the post will be more to do with practical ideas once again but everything has to have a beginning!

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • OllieBray

    Hope all the equipment comes soon! Look slike a great opertiunity. Would love to come and visit when you have things up and running? OB

  • mrkp

    I’d love you to come down and have a look at what we’re trying to do. Just give me a few weeks to get things up and rocking!

  • Daniel Gauld

    Things are really beginning to take place in your classroom Steve. It’s such a bright and airy space.

    The main thing that hit home today is the shift in conversation when we were discussing the kind of learning that’s going to occur in that space. What was significant for me was the move away from the ‘boundaries’ of the ‘traditional’ classroom. In that children, teachers and pedagogy are still very much hemmed in by the four walls. What is great about our new space is the way we are looking beyond it already. I think that is one of the main opportunities offered by the technology – the notion that you might not need to be driven by the position of a whiteboard – learning can and does occur anywhere.

  • Daniel Gauld

    I’m going to post a few comments all connected with learning outside the immediate classroom – hope these are useful Steve:

    One secondary school organised regular ‘enterprise days’ where Key Stage 3 pupils took part in a range of activities, such as making kites or producing a newspaper. This gave them opportunities to work together towards shared aims and to develop skills such as leadership, teamwork and effective communication.

    Bit Cheesy!
    The range of possible activities may be limited by the size and nature of the site; even so most school grounds can offer some or all of the following possibilities:

    play areas — for problem-solving/team-building games and activities
    habitats such as playing fields, hedges, meadows and ponds — for field study and science
    school garden or growing areas — for science, sustainability and food education
    whole site — for orienteering, outdoor literacy (e.g. storytelling) and practical numeracy activities, visual and performing arts (e.g. murals, sculptures, mosaics, music and drama)
    paved areas — for D&T outdoor experiments
    wooded areas — for Forest School activities
    playing fields — overnight camping experiences
    playground equipment and climbing/traversing walls — for adventurous activities.

    s part of their work in geography and science, the pupils in one school pursued a series of investigations independently outside the classroom into questions which they had set themselves. These first-hand experiences of places could not have been provided within the classroom. The school had evidence which indicated that such activities had helped the pupils to attain above average standards in both subjects.

    http://www.lotc.org.uk/Out-and-about-guidance/What-is-in-the-guidance
    http://www.lotc.org.uk/getmedia/42c7c3e7-7455-43cc-a513-d6aef9654846/1.0-Learning-Outside-the-Classroom-manifesto.aspx

  • Daniel Gauld

    Thinking about your Dance Music Unit of learning – Helen suggests that you get involved with the Young Enterprise Scheme – Its been a High School initiative but it would enable children to get certification etc.

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