On Instructional Technology

Published by MrHonner on

I have taught in a variety of physical settings, from old-school classrooms with desks bolted to the floor to modern environments that synthesize collaborative space with individual work stations.  In these various spaces I’ve successfully integrated all kinds of technology into teaching and learning:  smartboards, projectors, clickers, laptops, sensors, calculators, and the like.

As far as I’m concerned, sometimes all a class needs is one good problem written on the board, but overall I consider myself to be a technology-positive teacher.   I like to try to new things and I do my best to use what’s available.

But without question, this is the single most valuable piece of instructional technology I’ve encountered.

Desks 1

I started teaching in a classroom full of these desks several years ago, and I’d hate to have to teach without them.  They are light, easy to move around, and extremely flexible when it comes to grouping.

It’s so easy to transition from pairs to fours

Desks 2

that students do it without prompting.  When the situation calls for more collaboration, they simply rearrange themselves.  If they want to merge into another group, they do it.

I love the wealth of tools that are available to math teachers now–Geogebra, Desmos, Wolfram Alpha, Sage, and others–but if I had to choose just one thing to have in my classroom, these desks would be it.


Matt E · March 20, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Tell me more! Where did you get them? Where can I get them?

Lisa · December 18, 2014 at 2:21 pm

I am currently shopping for new desks or tables for my classroom. My concern is the smaller surface area compared to a table. Can students work with a laptop & notebook at the same time? Do you ever find that there is not enough space?

Also – I found similar, cheaper versions of these desks here:

    MrHonner · December 18, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    I don’t find it to be a problem. When in pairs or fours there is lots of usable space. However, I don’t usually have students working with laptops and notebooks simultaneously.

Veronica · January 31, 2015 at 8:25 pm

The charter school I am currently working at is using these desks. I am wondering if you have any other grouping ideas. We have really weirdly shaped classrooms and navigating around the desks and grouping them has been kind of difficult. Any advice would greatly appreciated.

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