Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Transforming Physical Space

 This year, the Social Studies department at Princess Margaret bought a small can of vibrant green paint and painted one of the walls in a vacant classroom. Now it is a multimedia center. Students with cellphones can now “green screen” video themselves to any location in the world. Using an ipad with a free app, students can stand against the wall, or sit at a desk in front of it and deliver newscasts with live footage and cool locations in the background.  

The green screen wall has so far been used by Social Studies and Geography classes; and now the French and Art classes are clamoring for the room. The green screen wall has become so popular that at times, we are competing for its use.  Some teachers have taken long sheets of green paper off of the rolls in our supply room and put them up on walls or onto bank of lockers and then take it off when done. Instant pop-up green screen!

The use of the green screen has also made me think about  other ways we could transform
the physical structure of our classrooms into  better learning environments. Wouldn’t it be cool if instead of regular linoleum, we could get linoleum stamped with a world map? Or periodic table?  At some universities, there are no chalkboards or whiteboads in some rooms. Every wall is covered in “Idea Paint” (basically, painted floor to ceiling with whiteboard covering) which means every wall can serve as a projection area or as an area to write upon! What a cool step in the right direction.

Submitted by Jeff Fitton

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