Kids Dream up the Future Classroom

Our students are beginning a CBL project on equity in education (follow our hashtag #EqualizeOurEd !). Today we began by envisioning the "future classroom." I asked kids to write a letter to the teachers of the world and "paint a picture" of the future classroom, explaining what they hope it will look like.

Not surprisingly, every child discussed how technology should look in the classroom. They talked about devices -  mostly iPads - and how they should be used in the classrooms. I plan to have them do this same prompt again after we discuss school budgets, access to opportunity and curricula. However, as their initial responses were so interesting (and funny) I wanted to share a few of my students' thoughts with you. I asked them if they wouldn't mind having their letters posted on this blog and they were overjoyed at the thought that you would be reading their ideas. Please share your comments and I'll relay them to the kids. They love feedback (as you can see below)!

So, without further ado, here are some of room 313's dreams for the future classroom (as of 4/19/2012)....

Dear Teachers,

        My name is Johnnie and I am in 5th grade and in Ms. Magiera's class. I want to talk to you about the future classroom. In the future there will be lots of technology to help us make life easier, just like the iPads make learning easier and more fun. There are some reasons to back up my theory. One reason is that instead of buying all of those books you can just get iPads. Kids can write in the iPad books and look up words and stuff and you can’t do that with real books. Also the iPad books have movies and better pictures in it to help us understand.

Another reason is that the apps they have are so helpful. Educreations has slides so you can create your own lesson, and keynote is used for an important presentations that can help you with meetings, and other business like things. I feel like I can create more interesting work with iPads then before when I just had construction paper and markers. Now I feel like I’m doing the same thing that grown ups do on TV.
           Over the years humankind has been going through an evolution and so has technology. Now technology can help us with everything we need to get done.  So I encourage you to have iPads in your class because you can learn so much more than what you already know. iPads can do so much more than they show on TV commercials. iPads have changed my life because I'm learning more and my all my skills are increasing. Thats why I think you should have iPads. They will change the way you teach and learn.

Sincerely, Johnnie

Dear teachers,

My name is Maleyah I am in 5th grade in Ms. Magiera's class. In the future I think that kids will all have iPads and I think that they will have technology in all classrooms for students to learn off of without the teachers having to teach you each little thing. Instead we can help ourselves and the teacher can be there to help us do cool projects and try new things with what we know. For example, iPads have changed my life. When we are doing our work and and we get an answer wrong when we submit our responses on the Google Form exit ticket then Ms. Magiera get our response and she can see what we don't understand. Then she will teach it to us over then we may get it the other way they want to teach us. I always get to know how I did and get help before I leave class and that’s amazing.

iPads are going to make classrooms better because if all classrooms have iPads students would want to come to school more often. Like our class has iPads and a lot of students want to come to school  even if they are sick. We even wanted to come back early from Spring Break.
Teachers should use iPads because they show the students how much they are learning and give them feedback on their work. Teachers can use apps to presentations like keynote, educreations, popplet, and toontastic. Teachers should have their students do creations on iPads because on paper you can't take a picture or movie but on iPads you can. Also the teacher can put our work on her homepage to show other teachers how hard we worked on our creations and show them what we know how to do.
iPads can be fun and helpful at the same time because you can play math games and still be learning. It can also be helpful because it shows you the right way to solve the problem and the correct answer to the problem. If I was in your class I would want to use iPads and have iPads because they are a lot fun and they are helpful to me.

Sincerely, Maleyah

Here is a tip: In order to download apps on the iPads you have to have wifi to work on the iPads. Some of the apps that we need wifi but some of them don’t need wifi. You should think about that before buying your app.

Dear Teachers,

My name is Emani. I am in 5th grade in Mrs. Magiera's class. Today I am going to talk to you about what I think the future is going to be like for kids. I think it is going to be really fancy because I think they are going to create something better than iPads. I also think that they are maybe going to create a new app that kids would get on and do their assessments that their teacher would tell them to do and they would be able to do different kind of varieties that they can do.

Next I think that they are going to learn new things about their apps and what people want and don’t want (that means that the people that create apps are really smart and have good ideas). Then I think they are going to add new ideas to the old things we had at our age, or they would fix it up a little and take things out and add things in. So I think the apps are going to get better and better.

I also think that they are going to make the class rooms into like house or libraries and it is going to look all fancy and clean all the time. It will feel more comfortable to kids because they will want to sit in their house-classroom and learn all the time. For example, if they are going to do a project in the classroom there won't be any paper on the floor, there will be a comfortable carpet and couches and technology everywhere to help them learn.

Last I think the world will be safer so that kids can take the iPads or other technology home. That way we can keep learning all the time and don’t have to worry about getting mugged or something if we take it home on the bus or El or train.

Sincerely, Emani

Dear teachers,

My name is Brittney. I am in 5th grade in Ms.Magiera's class. Today I want to tell you about classrooms in the future. I believe 110% that every class in the United States or anywhere else around the world that there will be iPads in every classroom. I think this because the schools that have iPads now are loving it. I have iPads at my school and everyday I am excited to go to school in the morning. I don’t think I felt that way before.
I also don't think at all that any teacher in the world should be scared of getting iPads because they change kids and teachers lives. They help us work better and they are fun to have around. I can tell that my teacher enjoys teaching with iPads and the Promethean Board. In the future I also think that every class will also have a Promethean Board or at least a projector. I think that it is easier to work with a Promethean Board instead of a white board because instead of erasing and writing over and over again you can just swipe to the next page and keep going until your whole class gets it. Also you can put movies and stuff in the board and also kids can control the board from their iPads. I can write on the board without getting out of myself.
I also think that each student should have their own independent iPad. I think that because if someone has to share an iPad with someone else then they would not be able to show all their work and thinking because the other student has to show some of their work too. If every student has their own iPad we can all work at the same time and show our own thinking but we can still talk to each other too.
Another thing I think would be in the classrooms of the future is laptops if they don't have iPads. I think that laptops could also be a big help because it is easier to type it but also kids get to use technology. Also another thing I think should be in the class of the future is to take test on the iPads. We are always taking test on paper and pencil but I think that it would be more helpful. It would be helpful because when you have paper and pencil you have all these thing around you like a calculator, or a scrap sheet of paper, or notes that you need to look at. When you have an iPad all you need to do is swipe with four finger or double tap the home button and everything you need is there. There is a lot you can do with iPads and I hope you consider taking them into your classroom. It would be a great use of your time during your class. Also your class would be very focused in your class work because they will be doing so many cool and new things. Thank you for reading my letter.
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