Sunday, July 12, 2009

A (class)room of their own

When Virgina Woolf wrote A Room of One's Own in 1929, there were far fewer female writers than in 2009. The change, Woolf believed, would require that women have a place where it was acceptable for them to write (thus, their room) and the resources or support to pursue their craft. One of the hallmarks of a good writer, I believe, is a premise that stands the test of time; Woolf''s has.

On Friday, I saw the first steps to create a classroom where students will have a physical space and the technology tools to allow them to work in groups during class, using technology to research, collaborate, write, and learn. The first step is reconfiguring the tables, creating spaces that define working groups. The next steps will be replacing the existing chairs with swivel chairs (so that every part of the classroom becomes a potential focal point for learning) and installing the new technology tools (details in a subsequent post). When completed, we'll have a beta lab-classroom combination that allows students and instructors to develop, review, and/or edit learning content in real time. The serendipitous collaboration of the technology group (led by the intrepid Sandy) and the curriculum committee (who requested a pilot course) are illustrative of how luck favors the prepared.

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