Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nouns and Verbs

The question that is most often asked about the Smart classroom project is: “ What technologies go into the rooms?” or “ What stuff will I get in my classroom?” I generally smile inwardly, and list off the equipment that we purchase to put into the classrooms and usually tag the list by saying that it is not about the equipment. Most people stopped listening at the end of the list.

Understanding the equipment is probably the easiest way to grasp the project, or the effect that it has in a classroom. These are the nouns of the project, the things that we buy and install into a standard classroom, but they are not the magic of the change in instruction. Those things are verbs: collaboration, learning, and engagement. These are the things that really make a difference and are the very hardest to explain. When you are in the classroom and you see the magic that a trained teacher can do to, it is breathtaking and so difficult to explain. That is why this not a technology project, it is not about putting technology into classrooms, it is about active learning and student engagement. It is centered in instruction

7 comments:

Jackie said...

Wow! So perfectly put! Speaking from experience, it is not about the things that I have in my room... it is about the the way it has changed teaching for me, therefore impacting the learning of children.

Mrs. Koenig said...

I agree with Jackie. I would like to show this to James and the rest of our staff. Very Powerful!!!

Jennie Bremer said...

Absolutely! When teachers ask how this is software is different from PowerPoint, I explain that while PowerPoint is about what the teacher does, the smart classroom is about what the STUDENTS are doing. It is all about changing the perspective to students. It is about their learning- not our "teaching."

Pre-I.Blog said...

PowerPoint, Inspiration, LCD projectors, and other "classroom tools" have been incredible pathways for students to access knowledge and comprehension. Add in the other "nouns" (an interactive board, student response systems, distributed sound) symbiotically with the "verbs" and you have profound progress not only for students but also for educators. It is the difference between showing versus telling, William Shakespeare versus William McGonagall, Tina Fey versus Roseanne Barr, Chargers vs. Raiders, Starbucks vs. AMPM coffee, Mercedes vs...

Kim Voge said...

This is making me jealous...My kids are chomping at the bit (so is their teacher). I don't have the heart to tell them that it is probably not going to happen this year. They keep saying...when is that Mr. Blackney coming back to install our "stuff".

David said...

Nicely said! It's understandable that teachers want to know the equipment, but it is the magic they inspire that really counts.

Melanie Carmona said...

Well said! You can put every bell and whistle into a teacher's classroom and instruction can amazingly stay the same. It takes training and strategy to use the technology for the betterment of our students.