What is the best layout for the modern school classroom? Obviously the traditional primary and secondary school arrangement with desks and chairs in rows facing the teacher’s desk may not be appropriate for teaching kids who are staring at computer monitors and tablets while listening to a lecture. The circular arrangement may be more desirable, except for the problems encountered in larger classes. Often the arrangement best for one type of class – for instance mathematics – may not be appropriate for a class that works best when there is a lot of student participation.
And how do you encourage students to participate? Many teaching professionals have wrestled with the problem of student shyness or unwillingness to participate since formal teaching first began. Often the students who are most actively involved in computer games and team sports become tighter-lipped than the proverbial clam when they sit in the classroom. When they have their own web page they may open up more; sometimes the freedom to say what they feel is all that is necessary for a student to become more active in the classroom. A teacher may even take advantage of a Groupon promo code to obtain a deal that can get domains from GoDaddy for each individual student that are exclusively for use in that class. Those domains can serve as the students’ site for exchanging information, questions and ideas. And the instructor can use them to encourage their work or to review their performance.
When each student can use his or her domain as a means of study and research they must still spend time exchanging ideas and thoughts within the classroom setting. Even online classes can require student participation. Many encourage the use of packages like Skype for discussion and presentation purposes. And students may be required to produce presentations using basic programs like PowerPoint. A product done by one student may be reviewed and commented upon by the rest of the class in a Skype conference; or the student may seek advice or comments sent to his domain for advice prior to turning in the completed project. The use of individual domains for students in a class is the 21st century extension of the traditional assigned seat and desk we remember from our elementary school classroom.