Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lab Hardware Configuration

The question popped into my head the other day- how does my lab stack up against other computer labs?  Im not competitive (about this) but curious.  There are no real standards to adhere to.  I just try my best to make my lab mirror the business environments I have worked in or friends I respect work in.  Never thought too much about it until I agreed to host a GIS workshop through ESRI and my POC there seemed extremely impressed with my lab setup.  It made me wonder. 

Then, as usual, I was taking advantage of a teaching moment to discuss ergonomics and started thinking, there should be OSHA regulations for school computer labs and the junky 15" monitors that come with school computers should be banned! 

Then I was catching up on Tim Holt's Intended Consequences blog and the topic

Netbook Debate Continues

Reminded me about the screen size thing and ergonomics.  It costs bucks but these students will have more seat time in front of a computer by 20 than I have now!  Seriously, I just went through a few quick estimates!

Think about it.  How ergonomic is your classroom?  How well does your room model modern high tech work environments?

Here is a picture of one work environment I recently experienced, the Combined Air and Space Operations Center in the middle east- the data fusion and command/control center for all air and space operations in the central command area.  Notice all the monitors!  Some folks have 6!!!!!

ill add a pic or two of my room next time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Building 21st Century Professional Learning Communities

So I finally convinced my principal to kick around the idea of eliminating mandatory weekly dept. meetings (part of taking time out of the day to become a Professional Learning Community or PLC) as they are just unnecessary.  Between the fact that things in a school system are just not dynamic enough to justify the quantity of meetings combined with the fact that most teachers have no clue how to run a meeting efficiently it is a huge time suck.  My proposal was to first teach teachers how to engage in 21st century learning by showing them how they can collaborate with the global community of educators and convince them there was something in it for them.  Second, give them PLC time to interact with that global community of educators either by learning or contributing on a weekly basis.  How cool could that be?  Teachers across the world being given time for nurturing the global community of educators?  We will need to see where this goes!