|Mike Druiven's lab at CKSS in Milton|
What do you like about 112 & 113 at CKS?
What would you change?
Develop a 5 year action plan to improve a Computer Technology classroom that you work in, have worked in or have seen.
I've agonized over the lab they gave me since seeing Mike putting together his lab last summer. I initially gave up, then started looking at cheap ways to make use of this giant space. I went on an ethernet spending spree and purchased long (25 and 50 ft) ethernet cables whenever they went on sale. When I had enough I took an afternoon after school and migrated all the computers at the back up the unused wall, so the school lab is now located all toward the front of the room (and connected to the drops at the back by looong ethernet cables). With the back clear, I got my hands on some work tables and set them up in a C pattern at the back. It is here that we build our own networks and PCs.
I began picking up computers from schools from our board's regional school (GCVI in Guelph), so every year I have relatively new machines we can experiment on. This year we're especially lucky because our technician asked if we could keep 30 of the retiring PCs back for us to use, so in the fall we'll have 2GB Pentium Core2Duo machines, which should be fun.
I'd still like the lab to be computer engineering specific. We currently run 3 grade 9 sections and an 11/12 combined section. If I can get that up to eight sections, I could lock down the lab and re-purpose it to computer engineering and nothing else. If that happened I'd chuck the board lab (someone would be happy to have it somewhere else) and run work benches down the middle of the room, leaving the side tables for other work.
I'm currently looking at getting my hands on more Raspberry Pis and Arduinos and expanding our electronics repertoire. It's currently stored in a back room, I would very much like to have in-room access to this material as Mike has in his room.
Seating and lesson delivery would be aided by a lab with re-adjustable benches and seating.
A couple of years ago I saw THIS video about Finnish classroom furniture. I used it in my dream media arts lab. Having a room with furniture that could reconfigure on the fly for whatever we're doing is the kind of flexibility I dream of in the classroom.
|The Dream Media Arts Lab|
I saw Mosaika a couple of years ago at the Parliament buildings in Ottawa. It blew me away! It turns out projection is the next big thing in animating buildings. I'd like to do something similar in our school with a long throw projector, using it to show announcements and pictures on the wall of our library. Five years out I'm hoping that pico-projectors will be cheap enough that the walls, floor and ceiling of my classroom will become pedagogical tools for student learning. I don't think I'm going to get to see holo-decks during my career, but the idea of a holographic or whole room projection is a pretty exciting prospect, and once again, where else to show the future of computer engineering if not in a computer engineering lab?
Coding the walls to show supporting information around student learning as it happens... we haven't even begun to consider just how powerful pervasive digital presence in the real world could be! (I'm tempted to put an evil scientist laugh in here)
My lab 2013:
My lab, 2018?