I like the term “pod” – so futuristic. When I ask students to work in their pods I feel like I’m sending them off to someplace really important. Four learners sit in a pod. They’re colour-coded which allows them to equitably share the workload (e.g., it’s red’s day to be logging into the system). Collaboration and hard-work points are awarded to all pod-mates – not individual kids. We work as teams to accomplish our learning goals.
All pods have a large screen computer station. We call these SOLE systems. How do four kids share one computer? Quite well, actually. And we use it – a LOT. We sometimes supplement our pods with extra Chromebook laptops, but we mostly read, play games, think, and communicate this thinking as pod-mates.
From the front of the classroom I can see what is happening on every screen in the room. I can quickly tell who is engaged and on-task. I can easily slip over to guide those in need. Our room certainly has a ‘futuristic cafe lounge’ vibe. I really like our classroom – and I have a sneaking suspicion that the students know they have a pretty ‘cool’ workplace too.