The Connected Educator: Quote # 3

We have talked about the “reculturing” of our beliefs about the purposes and appearances of the ideal classroom many times throughout this program, and this is something that I continue to think about and incorporate into my own thinking. I do not remember which class at the moment, probably many of them, where we had a conversation about our views of what a classroom looks like. Unfortunately, many of us stated the “obvious”: Some type of writing board in the front of the classroom, small desks aligned in rows that all face the board, and a computer on the teacher’s private (much larger) desk. This image alone illustrates how the “traditional classroom” has not changed along with the new technologies that are now open to us.

While teaching upstate, I did not have the luxury of having a smartboard, let alone enough copies of A House on Mango Street, but I did attempt to make my classroom unique. Every couple weeks, I would move the desks into a different formation: facing front, large circle, grouped, etc. I also asked for an ELMO to use in my classroom. At Cortland, I was taught to step outside the traditional classroom ways, but I know that it is difficult with the lack of resources available to some as well as the comfort that we all have with the traditional classroom approach. This is something that widely concerns me and that I will continue to work on.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “The Connected Educator: Quote # 3

  1. Jennifer Rodriguez

    Unfortunately, it takes a lot to change. I say this from experience. When you are taught something for so long it becomes human nature. You bring up a good point as to our discussion on what a classroom should look like. It took me back to my sketch pad design. I had incorporated new technologies into the design, but the desks remained in rows. It just went to show me that there are still some things I need to consider. Thanks for the insight!

    PS. What is an ELMO?

    • I completely understand, Jen.
      An ELMO is a projector that you can hook up to the computer or use to magnify texts, pictures, etc. We didn’t have Smartboards in the school, so these were the next best thing.

  2. Another great quote choice. I remember reading this part and thinking about how teachers should be opened to taking a step by from teaching and a step towards learning, (from their students). It does sound like quite a challenge, but because my students will only learn through doing and teaching, I will push myself to make the change and commitment towards “reculturing” my teaching.

  3. roblyons

    Keeping desks lined up in rows is not the worst crime a teacher can commit in 2012! :0)

    I have difficulty visioning what these re-cultured classrooms look like.
    i don’t know what kind of furniture kids should sit it, where my desk goes, how many computers should be in the room, what color the walls should be and whether I should use fluorescent lighting or incandescent bulbs. That is probably secondary to determining how you want to teach, and how your kids want to learn. Maybe classrooms need to be a little more agile, being ale to transform from rows to groups, from fluorescent to natural lighting, and from tech infused to powered down, based on how the kids are learning at a given moment.

    I am constantly thinking about how to change the way I do things but I often can only fathom ways to keep “things fresh” (if that makes sense..) I used to think that using more tech in class projects made them better projects, reinforcing 21st Century skills. Then I looked at them more closely and realized that many were shallow, less than average quality junk hiding behind pretty graphics and cheesy Powerpoint transitions. Still searching for the answer to this…

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