TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


September 25, 2017

New classroom features get A for effort

Once TCHS announced that we would be able to have classes in the new buildings this year, my expectations soared but were not fully met.
TV Monitors
One of the biggest changes to the normal classroom setting are the five monitors. Good things I noticed are that students don’t have to be in front to see what teachers are broadcasting from their tablets or computers. This idea is supposed to be beneficial for both teachers and students, but there are recurring problems that need to be fixed.
Teachers didn’t get a tutorial on how to use their new technology and only learned from testing out the different features themselves. Sometimes when teachers write on the main monitor, the marks are not visible on the other smaller monitors.
“I tested the equipment [last year], specifically the screen, to see if that was something that was acceptable,” math teacher Mr. Michael Kidd said. “I had much more advanced knowledge than all the other teachers so I had pretty much no issues with any of the features.”
The TVs also allow for casting mobile devices onto the screens which to me, seems like an open opportunity for students to cast inappropriate content.
Compared to the ENO board which had minimal problems, the monitors weren’t an upgrade. Technology has come a long way in providing efficiency, but it’s the 21st century; ours should not be a hindrance to both teachers and students.
Air conditioner
In contrast to the old buildings, each individual classroom has their own air conditioner allowing teachers to adjust the temperature to their needs. If there is a problem with it and a system breaks down, it wouldn’t affect the building, making it much easier to maintain and handle.
Trapezoid tables
In addition to the traditional rectangular tables, teachers had the option of getting trapezoid shaped ones, depending on which would best fit their needs.
Teachers pieced two tables together making hexagons, which are essentially just round tables. Five or six students crowd around and the chairs often run into the table legs, inconveniencing everyone. But other than the fact that you can use them as a whiteboard, traditionally shaped tables function better in classes in comparison to the trapezoids.
Rolling chairs
Along with the tables, there are new rolling chairs with school colors that contrast with the white walls of the classroom. They move easily around the classroom, but sometimes swivel off into the wrong direction, which can result in mishaps. The chairs also causes students to fidget in their seats which distracts them from focusing well during class activities.
The tall windows on each side of the classroom are a personal favorite of mine because of how the natural lighting makes the room look bigger and livelier. It provides an open learning environment, opposed to the old classrooms which have little to no windows at all. When it’s needed, there are also shades to block out the sunlight.
A study by the Heschong Mahone Group shows that daylighting, or illumination of buildings using natural lighting, improve the cognitive and physical performance of students.
Natural light coming from the sun suppresses melatonin production, which is the hormone that causes sleepiness, leading to greater alertness from students. With the windows, the visual environment in the classrooms has since significantly improved.

About the Author

Alison Chen



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