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What Are Your Favorite Technologies in the Classroom?

If you could design your ideal, digitally-equipped classroom, what would you do?

We’ve published a few posts about this question. See, for example, “What Are Your Favorite Classrooms?,” “My Ideal Classroom, Part 1: Information Technology,” and “Redesigning the Classroom: Let’s Start with the Wall.” (You might also be interested in “Re-Imagining the Student Computer Lab.”)

Today, I’d like to hear about your positive experiences with technology in the classroom. I think many (if not most) of us have at some point taught in a classroom with some feature that we grew to love, finding it both reliable and pedagogically helpful.

For example, I once taught in a computer classroom that allowed me to project any student’s computer screen onto the wall, which was a great way to allow students to demonstrate something right from their seat (and also a great way to decenter the classroom). No computer classroom available to me since that time has had this feature. If I were to design a classroom from scratch, I’d list this as an essential feature.

On the other hand, one drawback I’d really like to avoid is the 10 minutes or so that are wasted at the beginning of every class logging on to the classroom computer and booting up the software I’m going to be using. Maybe someone out there has come up with a way to program classroom computers to configure themselves according to a particular schedule: on Wednesdays at 2:00, for example, the computer is ready and waiting for me to use it in my literary theory course.

So how about you? What are the best technologies you’ve encountered? On the other hand, what are some drawbacks you’d like to avoid? Please use the comments below to let us hear about your experiences in the classroom!

[Creative Commons-licensed flickr photo "Never Let Thrash Use a Megaphone" by Leigh Hamilton.]

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