Becoming a 1:1 teacher this year has truly revolutionized my teaching. I think I’ve been a good teacher, of course, always giving my best effort, but using iPads daily has opened my eyes to the possibilities with communication and differentiation. Some of these things, however, could have been achieved without iPads, but it simply never occurred to me to do them. However, there were some classroom strategies that I already had incorporated, like collaboration.
The inspiration for this post came from, yet, another Twitter conversation tonight. The question posed was, “How has your classroom environment changed due to technology?” Many people began saying that they purchased new furniture and that they began using tables, but I seemed to be one of the few stating that my classroom really hadn’t changed that much.
Don’t change your classroom because of technology. Change your classroom because you want it to be better.
In my opinion, you do not need to wait for technology to start collaborating, and you shouldn’t have to change the furniture or tools in your room to do so. Collaborative learning is a mentality, and the layout of your room should reflect that mentality and that culture. Collaboration paves the way for differentiation and critical thinking, and those will be the indicators of a transition to a collaborative classroom. It also allows you to pose harder questions, as students have their peers to help support them. Technology is simply a conduit through which collaboration can be streamlined and simplified.
If you haven’t already started this, start now. Your kids will appreciate it, and you will be surprised at what they can do when they work together.