After listening to Will Richardson's presentation, and reading the questions that Dean has posted to us, I really got thinking about this one. "If you could change one thing about school, what would it be?". I have always been a believer of interactive learning, rather than having a teacher stand at the front of the classroom leading the learning. Maybe this is because I am an interactive learner, but I also think that it has a lot to do with your philosophy of learning, as a teacher. If I could change one thing, it would be the removal of desks in classrooms, and replace them with tables so that the students would sit in groups with each other (similar to how we sit in most classrooms at the university).

As a pre-service teacher I have had the opportunity to volunteer and observe in many different classrooms. The classrooms I have observed the most student directed learning in, are classrooms that do not have desks, or when the desks are not in the traditional rows. Allowing students to sit grouped with their peers changes the dynamic of the classroom, yes there may be more noise, but they also can engage each other in their learning. 

Along with students being able to interact with each other to aid their learning, having students sit at tables, or in groups, also forces the teacher to look for different ways to deliver teacher directed lesson. Having students get out of their desks and sit at the carpet area, removes the distraction of things on or in the the students desk, and gives them only the lesson to focus on. It allows students to become more engaged in their lessons and participate more interactively than they can from their desk. 

Don't get me wrong, student interactiveness has come a long way from when I was a student. Having worked with the Mimio system during my pre-internship, I was shocked at how far classroom technology has come in the past few years, however, although we as teacher will now have access to this technology it does not give us an excuse to make our students sit in their desks and watch a projector screen.

I believe that with the influx of technology into the classroom, we should be encouraging our students to be interacting with each other, as well as with technology. Kids are still kids, they don't like to sit still. 

Even a kindergarten student may surprise us with their ability to use technology. I watched the 5 year old that I babysit navigate her way through her e-reader, download a book, and read it to me. Just an example of the things young children are capable of doing with technology.

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