Teachers' Frequently Asked Questions
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What and where is the AT&T Classroom?
Do I plan my own lessons or do I use a university curriculum?
How many students may I bring?
Opened in the spring of 1998, the AT&T Classroom is a unique, high-tech classroom for K-12 students and teachers with an attached research laboratory for university researchers. It is located on the ground floor of Moulton Hall Learning Technologies Center at Kent State University. During the academic year, the Classroom is “school” for students for a half day, every day, as they complete a six-week unit of study, creating and developing products to demonstrate their learning and to share with others. Researchers in the observation room, meanwhile, study the impact of technology on teaching and learning as it occurs in the Classroom.
You will base your unit plan on your own district’s courses of study. During your week-long summer cohort session which will prepare you for the AT&T Classroom experience, you will plan a unit of instruction based on your course of study, integrating technology appropriately. As you design your unit, you will also want to keep in mind the research that will be conducted by RCET while you and your students are in the Classroom. You will turn in weekly lesson plans well in advance so that the Classroom staff can support you better.
There are 24 student laptop computer stations where students usually work cooperatively. We also have handheld devices available for students to use. A group of 24 students can be accommodated comfortably. The same students need to be in attendance for the entire 6-week period (for example, a teacher should not plan to bring her period 1 class one week, period 2 class another, etc.).
The AT&T Classroom staff will assist you. Frank Seman, administrative specialist, and Tom McNeal, technology specialist, are especially helpful with web sites, teaching ideas, lesson planning and technological assistance. You will be provided a list of available hardware and software, and the staff is available to discuss possibilities of application of each to your unit.
Mark van ‘t Hooft and Tom McNeal are the Technology Specialists and will keep the hardware running and the software installed. They will be a valuable resource in helping you and your students learn how to use any technologies that are new to you. Frank Seman, the Administrative Specialist, will assist with scheduling, parent permission forms, sick children—all those things administrators do so well! Mr. Seman, a retired principal, was the principal of the first Classroom group.
You may bring anything that is compatible with our equipment. (Our computers are PC platform.) You must have a license for software, but it cannot be used simultaneously in the AT&T Classroom and at your school. One of our Technology Specialists will install and test your software.
No, you do not have to participate. Any researcher who is interested in conducting a study with your class will sit down and discuss it thoroughly with you. Keep in mind that the Classroom was built to be a research center with the goal of learning how teachers teach and students learn when using technology. If you are not comfortable with any research at all, you would probably not be a good candidate for the Classroom.
We make every attempt to make the research as non-intrusive as possible. Researchers work in an observation room attached to the Classroom. A one-way mirror and research technology enables the researchers to gather data without being continually in the Classroom. Sometimes they will ask to speak with you or your students face-to-face or to come into the Classroom. However, we are committed to high quality learning in the Classroom, and we are sensitive to keeping interruptions to a minimum.
Yes. Some teachers bring a parent or two with them every day to help in the classroom. Sometimes parents watch through the one-way mirror in the observation room. In addition, most teachers host an evening open house where the students showcase their AT&T Classroom work for parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.
During the week-long summer cohort session, you will become familiar with the hardware and software that are available in the AT&T Classroom. We also encourage you to come in whenever you can prior to your experience. If you can come after school, for example, we will arrange to be there to answer questions and demonstrate technology for you. Many teachers find it helpful to get a release day prior to their experience so that they can observe the class that happens to be in the Classroom at the time and can talk with the teacher.
We provide hardware and software. Teachers supply consumables such as copy paper, pencils, pens, markers, rulers, art paper, tissues, etc. You may contact the AT&T Classroom staff for information regarding products that will be compatible with our equipment.
We will accommodate your requests for borrowing hardware and software when possible. This includes laptops and cameras. In addition, your class will have access to a set of handheld devices that can be taken back to your home school each day while you are in the Classroom.
No. Some lessons include components that do not directly involve technology. However, most teachers design units that capitalize on this unique opportunity to use various technologies. Just remember that good teaching involves a variety of approaches and tools, with technology being just one of many options. Always keep the focus on students’ learning and the content.
Campus experts (i.e., professors) and facilities are available to you, and the AT&T Classroom staff will make contacts that you request as a part of your unit. This might include field trips to various campus facilities. Whenever possible, field trips should not be scheduled during the time you are scheduled to be in the Classroom, but can be arranged either in the morning before you come to the AT&T Classroom or in the afternoon after your morning session in the Classroom. Depending on the circumstances, the AT&T Classroom staff will assist with one appropriate field trip during your regularly scheduled Classroom time. As in your home school classroom, field trips and guest speakers should be scheduled only when they enhance the learning in which your students are engaged.
Yes. We have CD/DVD burners, and, at your request, we can burn a CD/DVD with your students’ work at the end of your experience in the Classroom.
The staff is here to support and to advise you—not to take your place as a teacher or function as teacher’s aides. The Classroom is a learning experience for both teachers and students. We will help you learn the technology so that you can then teach it to your students.
Room 34 Moulton Hall Learning Technologies Center is the Classroom where you will work.
What student discipline procedures are followed?
Good classroom management and discipline are up to the teacher, who follows the conduct code of the home school. The Classroom staff will provide assistance only in an emergency situation. The teacher and the principal of the home school enforce their own school’s discipline procedures. Students and teachers are guests at Kent State University and common courtesy and respect to the staff, building and grounds are expected.
Call RCET at (330) 672-5835 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated on February 5, 2009.