I love incorporating technology into my instruction, but a little piece of me has always cringed to see the chaos of technology carts, cords, and a jumble of devices. My latest project has been to tackle the technology in my kindergarten classroom. I successfully found a way to put all of those devices at my fingertips for successful instruction in a way that naturally fits into my classroom learning environment.
Behold the Teacher's Technology Station!
Classroom Technology: Before
Initially, my classroom technology was kept on a portable cart. I shared an Elmo and projector with several teachers. I'm sure you have a cart just like it in your classroom. It is actually a nice quality cart and I was one of the lucky teachers with a newer model but I could not bear to look at this bulky thing that was bursting with cords in my beautiful kindergarten classroom.
The cart only resided in my classroom when I needed it for instruction. The moment I finished with the desired video, Prezi, or lesson using my Elmo; it was promptly returned to a neighboring teacher. This is one of the ONLY photos I have of the cart in my classroom. As you can see, it certainly is the eyesore of my classroom.
The Teacher Technology Station
I could not be more thrilled with my new and improved Teacher Technology Station! I now have my own projector and Elmo. Since my equipment no longer travels from classroom-to-classroom, I wanted a more permanent piece of furniture for the room as well. I found a double desk that matched my students desks in storage and repurposed it for this task. It is the perfect size for holding al of my equipment and leaves plenty of space for my laptop or any additional materials that I need during instruction.
I adjusted the height of my Teacher Technology Station so it sits a few inches above my student desks. (Yes, those are student desks pushed up to it.)
The height adjustment is perfect for 2 reasons:
1) It provides a just enough space to neatly manage cords from all of the devices.
2) The added height provides a clear boundary between student and teacher property.
My most curious kiddo currently sits facing the station and he has never touched it.
I especially love how the Teacher Technology Station blends perfectly into my classroom environment. Effective technology use should be a seamless component of instruction and this station helps me to accomplish that objective.
The Next Phase
Like any true perfectionist, I am always striving toward improvement. One feature of my existing technology station is the use of a wireless speaker. I used a few of my Target gift cards from Christmas to purchase a small iHome alarm clock with Bluetooth. It's perfect for showing YouTube clips at school without the hassle of dealing with extra cords.
I recently brought my old iPhone 4 (now a glorified iPod) to school, deleted all of the unnecessary apps, and I intend to transfer music from my classroom CDs onto the iPhone. This will allow me to wirelessly play music without the hassle of changing discs and finding the correct numbered track.
I can't wait to say goodbye to my old CD player and huge basket of compact disks!
I am absolutely in love with my Teacher's Technology Station and it is motivating me to incorporate additional technology into my classroom instruction.
Bright Ideas Blog Hop
So many of my favorite teacher-bloggers are sharing bright ideas from their own classroom today in a huge blog hop. You won't find any product promotions today, just an abundance of inspiration for classroom instruction. Hop along to visit Lauren at One Bright Classroom (how fitting!) to discover her bright idea for a year's supply of classroom supplies! and discover even more bright ideas!
Bright Ideas Link-Up
No time to hop? Here's a quick list of all of the great ideas being shared today. If you don't have time to hop but want to find some specific bright ideas, you can skip to any spot in the hop!