Whether a desk or chair is on wheels, collaboration seems to work best when students can move freely throughout the classroom.
The old style of collaboration was thought to have four students sitting in four chairs at a table collaborating on a particular project. After the project was worked on, then the collaboration was thought to be done.
What teachers have been witnessing is that their students collaborate the best when they can move freely around the classroom. When furniture is on wheels, there is no limit to collaboration.
A few examples below:
- Tom is working with his group of four students and needs a question answered by his friend Elisa sitting in another group behind him. He slides his chair over, asks his question and then comes back to his group to continue their work.
- Marcus is working alone in the corner of the room. His friend Jeff needs a question answered on a project they worked on earlier in the day. Again, he freely moves his chair over to Marcus, asks the question and discusses this with him, then moves back to his group.
In other words, real collaboration begins when students are able to move freely throughout the classroom, allowing them to really open up and expand their minds.