Would you use these in your classroom? What are their relative advantages?
Scholastic’s Classroom Setup Tool is definitely helpful in terms of basic classroom setup. It is easy to manipulate. It assists and prompts you to set up your classroom in a virtual manner by having you select a classroom shape, and then dragging and placing furniture, windows, doors, and white or bulletin boards. Using this tool definitely makes classroom setup less laborious for the teacher and allows them to visualize their room without moving around. However, sometimes it is helpful to experiment with a classroom setup, especially when placing posters and signs it is helpful to know if the students will see them clearly from where they sit. Another disadvantage to this tool is that it doesn’t provide graphics for a rug, chairs, easels, etc. Classrooms today are becoming more unique and have items like these in them and are important to consider. Despite these drawbacks, I believe I would still use this in my classroom. I would adjust to them by simply drawing in shapes that are offered on the tool and going from there. Overall, the relative advantage seems to be in the middle to me. This tool definitely solves the problems of time-management, it is free to use, can be accessed by most teachers, and is easy to use. However, it doesn’t solve many more problems than simply drawing out the classroom arrangement would other than time and labor.
Schooltube is a very similar tool to the one that I evaluated. The first are at thing that I noticed upon visiting the site, is that it suggests videos that are relevant to what is happening in the world visibly (FDR Inauguration). I like that students and teachers are able to have their own channels and post their own videos. This seems like it would be an exciting, long-term project for a middle school class. I would definitely use this site over youtube.com because it filters the video results. I feel like it would work best in a higher grade classroom, maybe 4th and up. It could be used as a resource for teachers to post notes and videos of class for students to reference outside of class, this is an awesome and helpful aspect of the tool. I believe that the relative advantage for this tool is high. It solves big problems in the classroom such as inappropriate videos popping up and creating distraction in the classroom. Videos are extremely helpful and assistive in student learning and teachers generally use them in the classroom frequently. It also solves the problem of review and student access to content. By posting notes on the class channel, students can always access them if they were absent that day or need to review for a test. Not only this, but it is free for all to use. Only one drawback that I can think of to this tool is that if students do not have access to a computer or iPad at home, however this can be accommodated by collaborating with the student.