Today over lunch I discussed hacking the classroom with a number of colleagues following on from the recent Microsoft #hacktheclassroom event.
It was very enjoyable to be able to bat around varied ideas and thoughts in a safe environment where the others involved were open and non-judgmental. I had a good debate with one colleague in particular when I fielded the prompt question:
“Do we really need big display screens in class if every student has a tablet device on which they can view the same content”
My prompt question came from my own questioning of the need for a centralized classroom screen, and the resulting focus and perceived “front” to the classroom. My colleagues perception was that the screen was an important focal point at times plus that it overcame the issue of where students turn up without devices. We openly bounced arguments and counter-arguments back and forth, but in an open way in search of a new solution or eureka moment.
To me this was a very positive experience with colleagues all searching potential changes which could bring about improvement. No ideas were excluded or considered too silly. No contribution was disregarded or belittled. The prospect of change was embraced as a potential for improvement. The fear of something new or the love for “the way we do things around here” was pushed to the side. It was all about creativity and sharing in the hope of finding something better. Ideas were limited to just improving current practices, instead totally new practices unlike anything current done were considered.
We need to have more events like this!