In the race to develop the classroom of the future, tech giant Promethean has taken another step forward this year with a new product called ActivTable. Think iPad on four legs.
The newest gadget is the latest in Promethean’s range of interactive classroom products—smart boards, classroom response systems that resemble game show buzzers, teacher dashboards—and is the first of the company’s products designed especially for small group learning.
The table is about the size of a wide coffee table and comes up to the hips of the average adult. It’s a 46”, high-definition LCD touch-screen. The surface is covered in “gorilla glass” for durability. It can respond to touch from up to six kids at a time. Students stand around the table, using it for all sorts of activities, from sorting vocabulary words to working out math problems to basically anything you can think of that can also be done with paper and pencil.
"President Obama has a goal that 100 percent of students should be college or career ready, and in the next decade, most jobs will require at least some post-high school education. The opportunities for high school graduates are declining and generally offer lower earning potential. But are we educating students with the right kind of post-secondary education to meet the demands of the workforce of the future?"
It's not enough to take a traditional K-12 classroom and fill it with technology. The smart classroom requires a more methodic approach that factors in the design of the basic shell, the teacher's space, and the students' independent and collaborative work areas.
Lisa M. Dabbs M.Ed. (@teachingwthsoul on Twitter) is the facilitator of Edutopia's New Teacher Connections group. She is also the founder of the weekly #ntchat for new teachers on Twitter, and blogs about supporting new teachers at Teaching With Soul. Monday May 7 through Friday May 11, 2012 is National Teacher Appreciation Week; a time to pay tribute to teachers and, as shared by NEA, a time to "honor local educators and acknowledge the crucial role teachers play in making sure every student receives a quality education." We know and recognize that there are many teachers in our past who have given their hearts, minds and souls to nurture in us the things that they saw as vital to our education, critical to our success, and important for our future. In keeping with that theme, I want to take this time to celebrate and share with you The Magnificent 7 -- teachers from my past who inspired me, and gav…