I am incredibly excited to be teaching this semester in one of our new Innovative Learning Labs. Funded by Title III, these rooms were designed by faculty to be modern, collaborative, versatile, and awesome.
I am teaching in the larger of the two, with high ceilings and natural light. Six Apple TVs line the walls with another on a mobile cart, and the professor or the students can share their computer screens with one or all of the TVs. Versatile seating and tables can be rearranged in a million different ways. Color on the walls and in the upholstered furniture departs from the usual institutional classroom feel. Note the lack of a large board for lectures, and really, the lack of any natural front of the room.
What? A math class with no front board? Yes, that is exactly what I’m doing.
I hope for this room to affect my class from two aspects:
- Super cool technology that I can harness in all kinds of creative ways
- An open, casual room that just feels different and has a subtle influence on the way students feel and collaborate
I must confess that I feel completely unqualified to harness the potential of this room, but I’m enthusiastic and willing to brainstorm with others. With the help of our instructional designer and other creative colleagues, I hope to use this opportunity to infuse my class with engaging activities and digital materials that enhance my students’ learning in meaningful ways.
And with the sound-muffling baffles, it sort of looks like the inside of the old Tardis. And that’s just cool.
[Erin Wilding-Martin teaches mathematics at Parkland College. The article above is a repost from her Developmental Math Redesign blog.]