Recently, an upper grade teacher told me she couldn’t have a whole-group teaching space where kids gather close to her, because she uses a document camera or projection device. She told me her students need to stay in their desks to see what’s projected on the interactive white board.
Yes, there are times when you might want students to stay at their seats when teaching with this kind of technology. For example, when teaching a math lesson with manipulatives, I often have kids sit at their desks or tables while I model with the document camera.
But there are other times, such as those on the pictures, where I bring students up close to read something together. They simply sit in front of the screen. This enables us to feel like a part of a group, or a community of learners.
I love having a whole group teaching area, even with older students. They like to sit together on the floor for a change of pace. And, by being closer to the teacher, are often more engaged in the lesson and learning. By the way, in this class, they were using Tumble Books. Teachers told me that they shared this new technology with parents in conferences. Some of their parents who didn’t have the Internet at home told teachers they were going to get the Internet just so their children could read using Tumble Books at home, too. The power of technology!