Posted on 03/22/2010 at 09:00 AM by Global Reach

Imagine this.....Your principal or superintendent comes to your classroom and says, "Mrs./Ms./Mr. Smith, you are going to be able to buy some technology for your classroom, what do you think you would want?" Some of you are laughing at me right now, because you know or know that this scenario would never happen; others might already have your list written out and ready just in case, because you have always dreamed of this day; the rest of you are thinking "I have no idea what I would want!".

I am going to attempt to help you today. There are SOOOO many technologies out there that can be used in a classroom, so I am going tell you the basics of what I think every classroom should have to get started. This is my opinion only. Other people may think differently, and if you do, please make a comment because I would love to hear the other ideas out there.

These are in no particular order, just what pops into my head as I type. I think every classroom should have:
A.) An interactive whiteboard (especially elementary classrooms). There are lots of different brands out there, so when you are choosing a board consider these things:
    1. The software that goes with it. Does the software do everything you want it to do, or is there another brand of board that does something more or in a better way for students. The boards come with different price tags, but what you are paying for is the software. Choose wisely. If a school district near you has one brand or another call them and see if they are satisfied.
    2. Is the board finger touch sensitive, or do your teachers and students have to use a pen to interact with the board. Holding a pen to interact requires fine motor skills, and not all students have developed fine motor skills, so consider your audience.

B) A document camera. This allows for great demonstrations in core curricular areas, such as science, and also allows for student projection of their own work.

C) Classroom responder set. Again, there are many different brands, so you will need to do some research as to which brands offer the software and usability to work best for your teachers and students.

D) A wireless tablet. Teachers will be able to walk away from his/her computer, yet be able to have control of it. Once again, there are many different brands. I would buy the tablet that matches the brand of whiteboard you choose.

E) More than one computer in your classroom. You will want to look into N-computing, or Cloud computing. Disclaimer: This is not my area of expertise, so do not take what I say in this section as gold! N-Computing and Cloud computing allow more than one monitor, keyboard and mouse to work off of a single computer tower. This means you can create 4 (or more) computer work stations and have them all run off of one computer tower.Ok- end disclaimer.  If you have more than one computer station in your classroom your students can utilize a variety of softwares and things available on the internet. Via the internet, students can reach other learners across the world and be active in a global learning environment.

F) Internet- preferably wireless.

In addition to the five things I have mentioned above, you will need things like a projector, laptop for the teacher, cords, cables, etc. This is by no means a complete list, but just a brainstorm list of the main items teachers are using in classrooms today. It would be the list I would recommend for a teacher who had nothing in his/her classroom and didn't know where to start.

Is there anything you would add or take out? Leave a comment and let me know!

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