Our Classroom 2.0 - The Lenape Regional High School Version

Based on a lot of what we have read here and research of our own, we have developed two Classroom 2.0 pilots that we are running this year at Lenape High School in Medford, NJ.

The first classroom (see attached photos) is a modular classroom. We chose one of the most challenging rooms on purpose so we could make this "duplicateable". This particular room is one of our smallest and has an entire wall of windows making it very hard to use that side.

What it looks like:
As you can see from the photos, the room is modular. We took everything we could out of the room and purchased a rolling teacher podium desk. We also purchased 32 desks and 32 chairs for the students (they are not attached as our typical desks are). This allows for the teacher to have several "desk arrangements" which he is going to post on the wall so he can tell the kids what arrangement will be used for the day. In the photo you see the "cooperative learning" arrangement where the desks are arranged in groups of 4 around each of the 8 mounted student computers.
The room has 10 computers. 8 of them are mounted on the walls to save space, allow for desk movement into other groups, and stop the need to move them for summer cleaning. The monitors are 22" monitors which have significantly come down in price. We purchased extension usb cables for the keyboards and mice so everyone in the groups could “take charge” of the computer based on the task for the day. We build our own computers from purchased parts for about $420 each which saves us about $200 over a premade computer and gives us greater flexibility with components. 1 of the 10 computers is also mounted on the wall but it serves as the teacher’s computer. It runs the two data projectors in “clone” mode, has the SchoolVue Software on it which allows the teacher to “take over” the other computers in the room. It also has a document camera attached to it and four Interwrite SchoolPads. Which are wireless electronic whiteboards. Interwrite has the ability to show four separate whiteboards on a screen at one time. One of the data projectors can also project from one of the student computers. This computer will also have the Interwrite software on it and four more Interwrite SchoolPads connected so that each of the 8 groups can show their work when the lesson calls for it. The main projector also will have a DVD/VCR connected to it and, since this particular Classroom 2.0 is a Math room, it will have the ability to project our TI-Navigator and Ti-Presenter calculator system. One other set of devices that will be used in the room are a pack of 32 Qwizdom clickers. The last computer in the room is a laptop that will be mainly located on the rolling desk which can VNC into the teacher computer on the wall and control everything that is going on. We have several services that the teacher plans to make use of:
• eBoards – Simple teacher webpages that look like a corkboard - www.eboards.com & http://kpatterson.lrhsd.org (mine)
• Quia.com – Online test, quiz and review serice.
• Turnitin.com – Plagiarism prevention software
• BrainPOP.com – Short introductory videos
• Discovery Education Streaming (United Streaming) – 80,000 concept level video clips, virtual labs, etc.
• Outlook Web Access – We are giving each student their own exchange account for September.
• Genesis Gradebook – Our SIS’s online gradebook that allows for parent and student access to grades.

How we came up with it:
Key Players:
Principal of the School – necessary for leadership, total buy-in, red tape cutting, and sustainability. Mr. Cattani at Lenape High School is a principal known for thinking outside the box.
Director of Technology (me) – funding, access to latest equipment, and design
Professional Development Chairperson (me) – Nothing works unless there is training! This type of endeavor will require ongoing training and multiple courses.
Motivated, Skilled and “Digital Native” Teacher – Mr. Tamburello is one of our District Teachers of the year and one of our instructors for Research for Better Teaching (RBT). He is also a Past District Technology Teacher of the Year.
Development:
1. The principal, teacher and director of technology met to brainstorm and kick around ideas of what we thought the perfect Classroom 2.0 would look like and why.
2. Departmental supervisors were asked to choose two teachers from their departments who: were know for thinking outside the box, could be potential turn-key trainers, used RBT methods, were excellent instructors, and who often used technology in class.
3. The teachers all met with the principal and director of technology to discuss the concept and brainstorm ideas of what the perfect classroom would be like if money was no object. The only stipulations were that our current classrooms had to be used and the equipment had to exist and not be fictional. A discussion followed where we spoke about the brainstormed list and cut out things that were not reasonable due to cost or other factors.
4. After that meeting the teachers were asked to take the notes we created and meet with other teachers in their departments to arrive at the perfect Classroom 2.0 for their subject.
5. Afterwards, the principal and director of technology met individually with the supervisor of each subject area and their two teachers to discuss their proposals.
6. Meanwhile, the principal met with a representative sample of students from the school to seek their input. The process was the same as the teachers: brainstorm, discuss, plan and present plans.
7. After hearing the plans of both teachers and students, the principal and director of technology chose two plans to pilot and made very small adjustments. (The other room is a history room and will be discussed on another post)

The plan from here:
• Showcase the rooms to other teachers, other administrators, community leaders, parents, and other students.
• Get input from everyone especially the teachers and students using the room
• Collect data on the room by doing “walkbys” and comparing it to a “regular” math class on items like student participation, attentiveness, etc.
• If it is a viable plan, tweak it if necessary and choose 2 - 6 more rooms to pilot.
• Create a course through the district’s Academy for Academic Excellence that teachers who want a Classroom 2.0 must pass in order to get the room.
• Interact with the world and see what they think and what they are doing ! Please help!

Tags: Classroom 2.0, clickers, high school, interactive white boards, math

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I am one of the teachers who will be teaching in our 2.0 Classroom at Lenape. Throughout the year I look forward to posting the progress that we are seeing with teaching and learning in the classroom. In the mean time I just wanted to add a quick note about the design and construction of this classrom. As you may be able to see in the pictures quite a bit of electrical work needed to be done to accomodate all of the technology in the room. Our district electirician used a modular conduit system that worked wonderfully. One other quick note-we custom ordered whiteboards that were low glare so they could not only be used as traditional boards, but to display projected images with as little glare as possible. The perspective from any student in the room is clear.
I am the LAL Supervisor at Clearview and I am very interested in how you proceed in the future. Would it be possible to visit Lenape?
I have to check with Mr. Tamburello and Mr. Cattani but we were hoping people would come and see it and give us some feedback! It might be better to wait until later in the fall when he is settled in. Is Clearview considering doing something like this?
This room sure looks interesting! I like the multiple uses that are available, but am not so sure about the retro-style furniture!!! I guess it's a kind of cool juxtaposition!

How do you plan to deal with audio? I can't see any speakers in the photos...

Is there anywhere adjoining this room where the kids can go to create videos or audio?

Also, what network infrastructure is there? I assume you have wi-fi if you intend on using iTouches.

Do you have any Mac computers for syncing iPods?

This looks like such an amazing project. I can't wait to see and hear how it all pans out!

Great work!
Thanks for commenting Deon!

We will have an amplified Bose or Calaphone speaker on the wall on the other side of the room (The other side of the room has a larger whiteboard and no student computers across it.) It also has a VCR/DVD player, document camera, etc. It will allow for audio for the VCR/DVD and the teacher computer. We will allow the students to have headphones for their computers (8 computers running sound at the same time is nuts!) We will have a 3.5 mm hub at each station so they can hook up to 5 headphones to each computer. Later if we think we need them we can mount a bar speaker under the monitors.

If the teacher needs a computer lab for the students to create video or audio, there are four of them in our media center there. The teacher would sign up for time in that room. They will be able to make Windows Movie Maker projects and Photo Story 3 projects on the 8 computers. We are mostly a non-Mac district so we don't do a lot of iLife/Garageband stuff. We did install an Xserve to allow for the creation of our own wikis though. It is pretty cool.

We aren't going to be doing the 1:1 iPods project in this room this year but the teacher is going to VNC with his iPhone into the "master computer" to run presentations and stuff (He'll have a laptop to do that too). He may let the students use their own iPod. We just put a dedicated wireless router in that room too. For our iPod carts we are doing for another project, we do have Mac Books for them to synch the iPods. Each of the computers is connect to a switch in the room with a homerun to the IDF. All of the wiring is neatly placed in that raceway moulding which our electrician, Gerry Clauss, did an excellent job of installing. I have asked him to comment on here as well when he gets some time.
Sounds well planned!

I'd go with speakers, though, as kids wearing headphones become anti-social. It doesn't encourage discussion.

I'm not a fan of PC labs - prefer mobile learning (laptops, as well as hand-helds), but you've got to work with what you've got!

I also don't see the point of a DVD player - laptop/PC fulfils that function. Also, I haven't felt the need to use a VCR for a long time, but if you've got some good ones, I guess you've got to cater for that. Are you able to access Youtube? It's a pretty good substitute for VCRs!

Will you be posting progress updates in this Ning, or somewhere else? It's an interesting project!
I went to the Alan November presentation today. It has extremely insightful and thought provoking. I haven't left the computer since I put my kids to bed. To say the least, he hooked me!
I can't wait for the whole district to see him in January!
Quick project update - everything seems to be going well. We had some initial problems with the Vision software that allows the instructor to "take over" and demo on the 8 computers in the room. We switched to another product and it seems to be working better. Many parents were impressed at Back to School Night according to Mr. Cattani. The students I have talked to in the classroom seem to really like it. Several districts have asked to come in and see it. I am sure that Mr. Tamburello and the other teachers in the room feel like fish in a fishbowl at this point so many people are looking in through the windows! I just submitted a request to present our Classroom at NJASA's TECHSPO 2010 in Bally's in Atlantic City January 28-29, 2010. The video is now up on the webpage -- www.lrhsd.org/lenapeclass2

Now that two months of the school year have passed I figured I'd give a brief update on my experience teaching in Classroom 2.0 at Lenape. It has been great watching the students work cooperatively in this classroom. Not only has technology allowed the students to collaborate more (we have been using edmodo.com and sketchcast.com recently along with interwrite tablets), but the design of the room in stations has promoted more discussion about math than the traditional classroom allows. Students are communicating on mathematics more than ever. Just this past week students used sketchcast.com and the interwrite tablets to create some presentations. Although sketchcast.com provided us with some difficulties (the voice recording was not reliable), using the interwrite tablets with the website allowed students to create some great mini lessons. I have attached a screen shot of a frequency distribution that students created using both of these technologies.

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