Tables and Chairs
What It Is
You might not think of tables and chairs as technology, but they are! They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and with or without wheels, which can all impact the learning environment. Thinking intentionally about how you use tables and chairs in your classroom (or how students might use their desk and chair online) can help you make the most of this common technology for enhanced teaching and learning.
How to Access It
Tables and chairs (or desks) are already in your classroom! For online classes, students will have their own sitting space, but it’s helpful to consider where they may be while taking the class and whether or not they have adequate time to move around and engage apart from sitting at their device.
Idea 1: Collaborative learning
Tables and chairs can be arranged in a variety of ways to support collaborative learning. For example, tables can be grouped together to create a workspace for group projects, while chairs can be arranged in a circle for discussions.
Idea 2: Active learning
Tables and chairs can be used to encourage active learning. By rearranging tables and chairs into alternative configurations, such as standing desks or collaborative workstations around the room, you can help to encourage students to be more engaged and active in the learning process. Tables and chairs with wheels are particularly useful for active learning classrooms, since they easily enable many configurations.
Idea 3: Absence of chairs and/or tables
Taking away chairs or tables can also be a useful pedagogical technique. Perhaps moving the class outside or having students stand (if they are able) could help them better engage the content. Encouraging students to stand up and move during a break can be helpful for both in-person and online classes. Additionally, removing tables in a space can create more openness in a discussion environment. However, without a table students may have trouble using a laptop, which may or may not be desired depending on the activity.
The ODL uses technology when possible to enhance our work. This page was written with the assistance of ChatGPT, OpenAI, Jan. 30, 2023 version.