I made the Top 3 Ed Tech stories of 2013 in Canada, shared with the other MindShare Learning Video Contest winners. We were right behind a great guy, the Minister of Ed from Alberta and Cmdr Hadfield who just returned from the stars, literally. I am blessed!
It is very cool that my idea from long ago has invaded not only North America, but is now jumping the pond to the UK and the EU.
A long time ago, I had an idea about multiple Interactive White Boards in the classroom where STUDENTS use them to collaborate on novel and challenging problems. SMART TECH helped me create my room. It will be the very first classroom in the world with multiple boards. It became the template for the SMART Collaborative Classroom (SCC).
Two days ago, a news film crew documented the first SCC in the UK and the EU. The school is Plessey Park Farm. Gareth Hancox, the teacher, and David Whyley from Whytek Consulting designed and use this fantastic learning environment. These kinds or rooms are a quickly growing movement that will allow students to work together differently as opposed to doing the same old things with digital tech. There are 50 such rooms in North America and new ones in the EU, including on in the Netherlands with Smart Exemplary Teacher, Boris.
Just minutes after the new crew left for the above report, I taught these students in the UK from Canada, a lesson about “What is Alive and What is Not.” It is an open ended question that allows creativity, merging of all the subjects, where students work together to debate and create.
These boards are all over the world but are largely used as TPR’s: traditional pedagogy replicator. They are a waste of time and money if that is the end of the story.
The digitization of education runs the very real risk of isolating us from the humans that are right in front of us. The Smartboard may be the pivotal tech that brings individuals together to work on difficult questions that requires digitization and simultaneously read each others body language. Will the Smart Collaborative Classrooms keep us from the Matrix education?