Alexandria Online

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Where is the Front of the Class?

Blackboards, whiteboards, SMARTboards, projectors: they are all at the front of the classroom. "Eyes up here!" or "eyes on the board please!" have been cried out by teachers through the ages. The classic schoolroom has always been oriented toward the front, where the teacher stands or sits.

When every student has a laptop, the old schoolroom gets an abrupt reorientation. The work is right before the student. There is no more front.

We still install projectors and interactive boards on one of the walls of our classrooms, but the idea of "front" has changed. And teachers seem much more excited about an Apple TV attached to the projector than any kind of interactive technology.

Any laptop in the room can use Airplay to project wirelessly to an Apple TV, whereas with interactive boards, one person - usually the teacher - occupies the "front" of the room and manipulates the information there.