Intelligent Classroom

A former technology director in our area used the term “intelligent classroom” to describe a classroom that was rich with technology tools. With the influx of interactive whiteboards, iPods, and yearly cycle of replacement computers, the term was used to ask what such a classroom would look like.

So there are some tremendously thoughtful people reading this.

Specific content areas aside, what technologies should every classroom be equipped with?

What about outside of the classroom? After all, the School 2.0 diagram portrays our schools as very much outside the bricks and mortar of our current model.

I’ll post the results from the responses in another post. Don’t be shy, consider it a wishlist

(cross posted at my Classroom 2.0 page)

15 comments / Add your comment below

  1. The hardware you mention is awesome, but I also wish for less filters at school. Many websites I want my students to use are blocked. We can’t use Google images or video because the students might find some inappropriate material. We can’t use YouTube for the same reason. MySpace, FaceBook, and Bebo are blocked even though there is some good information on those sites, not to mention we NEED to be teaching our students how to use those sites appropriately.

    An intelligent classroom also has a teacher that is supported by his/her administration – one that applauds thinking outside the box. That teacher would be offered professional training to be able to guide students to engaged learning.

    Hardware is great, but we need more than that.

  2. I agree with Sherry, technology is important, but we need to start addressing policies that are stifling the innovative use of these technologies in education. Lets start changing the attitudes of policy makers to make them realise that we should be educating students on appropriate use rather than banning access.


  3. I agree with Sue and Sherry regarding the administration supporting teachers and also having an understanding themselves of what an intelligent classroom looks like. We all battle the filter issue and it is a headache we do need to teach students how to be responsible online citizens and you can’t do that if you can’t get to where they live.
    As far as what an intelligent classroom might look like I would add DVD players, digital cameras, video cameras, microphones, speakers, document cameras, airliner slates to use with smartboards, amplification systems for teachers, cable television, projectors in every room or TV’s capable of connecting to a computer for access to display content. Access to skype on school computers for collaborative conversations with classrooms around the globe, access to royalty free images, audio, and video to use in projects such as podcasts for redistribution. Just a few on my list of what a classroom rich with technology would have.

  4. I couldn’t agree with you all more. I had a conversation about this with a small contingent of administrators in this district yesterday. They desire the talk at the administrative level. Here’s to hoping it happens and opens some eyes.

    As for the hardware/software/unfiltering/unblocking… It’s the chicken before the egg conundrum isn’t it? Educators don’t know what they don’t know, same for the administrators as well as all of us. I think the conversation around the “intelligent classroom” was to show the possiblities as well as to show the greater community the need to build a stronger infrastructure.

    I know it’s not all about the technology, but sometimes it is. Especially when we are trying to show others what is possible.

  5. Might I add another question…

    What is the minimum student to computer ratio you can live with in the Intelligent Classroom?

    Just being realistic as most are not ready for 1:1. Of course there are already mobile devices to consider… šŸ™‚

  6. Nice, Robin! I was on such a tear about policy that I was not thinking of some of the things you added.

    You know, I am fortunate in my classroom. I may not have the 1:1 laptops, but I am in a room that they have added 25 computers. They do believe that English teachers will want to have final drafts typed. (I think I will use a little more than the word processor!) So I am all about everyone having their own computer. Minimum would be 2:1 for me though.

  7. I would agree with you Sherry 2:1. In my district all teachers have laptops, elem classrooms 5 desktops per room secondary have 1 laptop cart per team plus two sign out labs available. Sign out labs are great but the access of laptops in your room make a huge difference rather than having to make sure you thought ahead to have the lab signed out.

  8. My answers are at my blog, Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, shown in the trackback above.

    I wonder sometimes if we wouldn’t do well to have several large screens in a classroom so small groups can meet, collaborate, create presentations or other content, and then watch it to critique it, as a group.

    And, a really good, solid, will-resist-some-abuse pencil sharpener is nice to have, too.

  9. As far as hardware goes, in an ideal world, every classroom would be equipped with a 1:1 wireless laptop computer program. Students could access online resources whenever and whereever it is appropriate. The computers become a learning resource, as transparent as the pencil. (I said this is an ideal world.) The classroom also needs a ceiling-mounted data projector and sound system for the presentation of multimedia on the Interactive Whiteboard. You’d also need access to a few digital cameras and a digital video camera. That’s the hardware. Equally important – MORE important – is staff development. Teachers need sufficient in-service to know not only how to use the equipment but how to use it effectively for high quality learning. Pedagogy has to drive every classroom implementation effort, or else you’ll end up with unused or improperly used computers.

  10. Sherry, there is a discussion going on at Classroom 2.0 about sites that “resave” YouTube videos so you can use them–ideas included and others.

    I posted the following on Classroom 2.0 “Sounds like my district, since November I have had to ask for 300+ blogs and other sites to be unblocked by the CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) district representative. The district, like many districts, decided on a “throw the baby out with the bathwater” approach and to block My Space and Facebook, they decided to block everything.

    If you district has adopted this mega-blocking approach you might try a more assertive approach. Do you research and decide why you want your students to blog. Find a blogging application that is very safe, Blogmeister or Edublogs might work. Then write a letter to the tech higher ups and state your points, giving logical reasons and tell them how you are going to keep your kids safe. If they still say no at least you gave it your best shot. Maybe you’ll be the one to change their minds.”

    ALL: In a perfect world every kid would have a computer but there are marvelous things you can do with a few computers.

    Hardware to add: We’ve had great results with the Wacom Drawing Pads and the Lego Mindstorm Robotics Tecnologies.

    Don’t for get grants–we got tons of our stuff writing grants—here the latest project funded with a 4000.00 grant,

    ‘Nuff rambling, N.

  11. Wow! You’ve all given me a lot here. If you haven’t read the others, I encourage you to revisit the blog to read their comments. (of course if you are reading this you must already be doing that!)

    My list gets longer and is now being broken up into categories. I’d also like to direct you to what Bud Hunt recently posted about how It IS About the Tools, Sometimes.

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