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What's Missing for Classrooms with SCALE-UP or TEAL

Written by Cory Cannon | Find me on: LinkedIn


How does wePresent simplify technology in the SCALE-UP or TEAL classroom? As the saying goes, “Begin with the end in mind,” and so we do, but just as we’re excited with the vision of how students and teachers COULD collaborate and exchange ideas through their devices, we realize the “end” and the “beginning” are connected only with wobbly and complicated “middle” processes. Educators “get” the vision, but carrying it out has been discovered to be more complicated than desired. Until now. Let me preface the solution with a scenario:

One such nearly-solved classroom “solution” is in the concept of the SCALE-UP project. It begins brilliantly: the common student starts with collaborating and researching topics for their designated topics to be deeply involved with the material they are studying. With the recent developments triggered by the SCALE-UP project, active learning spaces have been redesigned in order to accommodate a classroom intended for 100 students or morehttp://www.educause.edu/research-and-publications/books/learning-spaces/chapter-39-university-central-florida-collaboration-and-multimedia-classrooms.) Room designs were carefully researched for years; they’ve tried numerous table geometries before settling on specific table sizes with regard to the number of students attending. These spaces were carefully designed to facilitate interactions between teams of students who work on short, interesting tasks.

More than 50 colleges and universities across the US (http://www.classroom.umn.edu/projects/ALCOverview.html) adapted the SCALE-UP approach to their own institutions where the basic idea remains the same. They get the students working together to examine something interesting. That frees the instructor to roam about the room, asking questions and stirring up debates. These students are broken down into teams where it is carefully structured that they are given opportunities to interact. Each team is given a laptop and internet access. Essentially these are hands-on activities, interesting questions and problems, or simulations. Some are lectures but is mostly to provide interesting facts about the topic. Creating the motivation to see the “bigger picture” The interactions between teachers and student proves to be the active-working ingredient.

The improvement between the students’ ability to solve problems created by better attitudes and their conceptual understanding increased may prove to be reasons of how we know this type of facilitation works.

Well, ok. It works, BUT. We’ve got the end, and we’ve got the beginning, BUT the middle is missing some pieces— on how it’s actually carried out. Here are the problems to anticipate:
You’ll need to either strap cord to the floor or from floor to ceiling in the middle of the room for everyone to be able to plug in.
You’ll need switchers and scalers (other AV equipment [a.k.a. more cost]) to marry the connections.
The educator not only “can move freely about the room,” but he or she would HAVE to, as the scenario lacks a way to use one groups efforts as a visual example to the others— relying only on auditory listening for learning (and we all know how that goes). The group being spoken about would probably tune in (who wouldn’t want to now what’s being said about them), and the other groups would only tune in if the teacher “made them.” (I won’t belabor the benefits of showing and telling versus just telling, but let’s assume we know this is as a fact anyway.)

“Ok, Heather. We’ve already put time and money into our technology for the classroom, so where are you going with this—and I don’t really need to hear a woulda-coulda-shoulda,” you may say. I understand. If the paperwork is already in process and budgets already allocated, I get it, but there is still hope:

Don’t be the person who gets home after a trip to the grocery store after a long day and realizes after hanging the car keys that the milk was still forgotten. The glorious moment we’re all working for in the collaboration is a functional, effective, and PRACTICAL. To perfectly fit in the old cliche, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Rather than zig zag connections and wires and limiting the show AND tell of the collaborative opportunity, imagine this instead (preceding paragraphs rewritten):

More than 50 colleges and universities across the US (have adapted the SCALE-UP approach to their own institutions where the basic idea remains the same. They get the students working together to examine something interesting. That frees the instructor to roam about the room, asking questions and stirring up debates, and he/she can project what any of the groups is working on for all to see and discuss— involving both ear AND eye. These students are broken down into teams where it is carefully structured that they are given opportunities to interact. Each team is given a laptop and internet access. Essentially these are hands-on activities, interesting questions and problems, or simulations. Some are lectures but is mostly to provide interesting facts about the topic. Creating the motivation to see the “bigger picture” The interactions between teachers and student proves to be the active-working ingredient, which is fostered further with visual examples of the discussion, regardless of the source group.

The improvement between the students’ ability to solve problems created by better attitudes and their conceptual understanding increased may prove to be reasons of how we know this type of facilitation works.

The wePresent wireless gateway component opens up more possibilities than the SCALE-UP or TEAL approach alone. The incorporation of such a wireless presentation gateway also lessens the cost of the technical outfitting for classrooms by eliminating the needs for cable bundles, switchers, and scalers otherwise needed to achieve this setting. In the end, it not only subtracts from the material setup and project cost, it allows a truer collaborative environment with both audio and visuals over wifi.
So, congratulations on being a priceless agent in bringing collaboration and new learning to your institution, and whenever the timing IS right for your institution, wePresent does offer education discounts, and we appreciate and reward referrals.

Still have questions? Contact us at info@… (you know where), or contact your preferred online reseller or integrator right away. We’re already being used in K-12 and in higher education facilities from coast to coast. We’re here to help you deliver the competitive edge to your students too.

 

Eliminating wires in classrooms and expanding collaboration with audio AND visual, meet the wePresent wireless gateway. Eliminating wires in classrooms and permitting truer collaboration with both audio AND visual to multiple displays, meet the wePresent wireless gateway.

 

Topics: Meeting Room Tips , Smart Classrooms , BYOD

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