What’s your Dream Class?

If you could run a dream classroom programme… what would it look like? Imagine an unlimited budget and the freedom to follow your own pedagogical path! This was a provoking thought I’ve come across lately and I thought I’d share a glimpse into what I think would make a great 2013 with my students!

1.  1-1 iPads

Student with an ipad

The first crucial cornerstone of my dream classroom would be an ipad in every pairs of hands. With a 1-1 ratio there would be no waiting, rotations, logging in and out and all the problems that sharing technology. I’d choose an ipad for the following reasons;
  – the targeted learning apps for each student,
  – the camera, voice recording features,
  – the mobility and flexibility of use,
  – the icloud range of apps,
  – a shared community of devices, linked with apple TV.

‘Typical!’ you say. Give them all an ipad and they’ll learn? No – but with their own device ready to go when they need it my students would be able to truly run with the learning pedagogy I would utilise in numbers 2-3!

2.  Student Centred Learning

This is where the pedagogy kicks in. I always strive to have every student learning at their ‘ultimate next step’ and there are a variety of ways I could do this (and we are always discovering new methods every year).
 – a student driven curriculum that involved them in the planning process. I’d like to have every student owning a google doc of their curriculum criteria, for example, where they could add evidence of their achievement throughout the year.

 – learning sites, interactives, apps, and activities that are targeted and customised to teach the student in their style, at their pace and at their level. An example of this is a site called Math Whizz which guides a student to their ‘maths age’ and works them through a wide range of maths categories at their own pace. When they succeed they move on and when they need help it provides it for them!

3. Reflective Tools!

There are loads of reflective tools that capture the learning journey for each individual. This could involve audio, video and written reflections on their digital blogs and eportfolio. I’d use the apps like Evernote, Showme, Notability and lots more to scaffold students into sharing, looking back and planning their next steps.

I’d also use Edublogs as our eportfolio platform. A main eportfolio space for journaling and posting learning progress on this ipad app would make a student’s ipad their first port of call for capturing, creating, sharing, commenting and reflecting – all just a glimpse of the  potential for eportfolios.

4.  Cloud Based Learning

When a student has a device to call on they can both upload and download their learning to their own online storage spaces. For creating and sharing docs I would have every student using the Google Suite of apps, combined and managed through Google Dashboard – a teacher tool that collates and manages student accounts  and files in a collective space.

5.  Flexible Learning Spaces

I like to create learning areas where students have the freedom to sit, lie, crouch, stand and lean i a way that helps them learn. If they are focussed, thinking and learning then I’m happy. My ideal class would have a range of furniture and spaces to suite everyone at every time and for every task. I’ve used tents, a bottle bivy, couches and the regular tables and chairs of different heights. I would use these again and more! (image from Furnware.com, case study of Whangaparoa School, NZ)

So! These are a few of more ideas – what have I missed out? I bet you have some dreams of your own…

Dream Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by Melody Campbell
Ipad image:  Attribution Some rights reserved By flickingerbrad

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