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Middle School Adopts 'Classroom of the Future'

Middle School Adopts 'Classroom of the Future'

Imagine "the classroom of the future." For one high school in New York City, the future is now. 

At David Boody Jr. High School, more than 100 students sit in one room the size of a basketball court "all plugged into a laptop; and 15 teachers and teaching assistants," according to an article on NPR.org.

"This isn't just the future, it's the sixth grade math class at David Boody Jr. High School in Brooklyn, near Coney Island," the article said. "Beneath all the human buzz, something other than humans is running the show: algorithms."

According to NPR.org, algorithms are "the kind of complex computer calculations that drive our Google searches or select what we see on our Facebook pages."

"Algorithms choose which students sit together," the article said. "Algorithms measure what the children know and how well they know it. They choose what problems the children should work on and provide teachers with the next lesson to teach."

At Boody Jr. High School this form of "blended learning" is doing well, according to the article. The program, Teach to One, "had mixed results, but showed they are outperforming their peers nationally on average."

"It can be used as an effective tool, but so far it has had moderate and unstable effects on student performance," said Justin Reich, a researcher at Harvard who has reviewed the study.

According to the article, "when these sixth graders get to class, they either log onto their laptop or check a monitor at the front of the room."

"It tells each student where to go — the room is quasi-divided by book shelves and small dividers into 10 sections, with names like 'Botanical Gardens' and 'Brighton Beach,'" the article said. "The computer also tells them what kind of lesson they'll do."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata

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