January 01, 2005

podium + laptop = change in educational culture

A new school in the UK was furnished without teachers' desks or desktop computers. Instead, they get podiums and laptops:

She disapproved of the stooped stance at the teacher's desk, and the way that trailing wires seemed to snake in all directions. She didn't like the way a teachers' desk occupied valuable space at the front of the room, or the fact that the laptop screen was itself a distraction when the teacher wanted pupils' eyes to be fixed on the whiteboard.

She went looking for an alternative - and eventually found one. "Using one of these, the teacher can use the laptop and see all the children," she says.

(from this article)

People have often attempted to change behavior by changing affordances, but they rarely admit to it. It's interesting to see how they're consciously trying to create a different behavior in teachers and students, and it'll be interesting to see how long it lasts. Usually changes dictated from above, without a lot of other incentive other than mandate, don't work well.

Posted by mikek at January 1, 2005 09:04 PM | TrackBack
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