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April 08, 2010


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John Connor

Hassenbrook School, Thurrock, installed an i-Lab about 4 years ago. In the main room there are curved walls, different seating levels (bean bags, high stools, café chairs) brushed aluminium tables, touchdown spaces (chest high so that some can work standing up if they prefer. Walls are laminated so that pupils can think aloud and make flowcharts, spidergrams, etc. Pupils can also write on the tables, as they are wipe-clean. Work is then digitally photographed and saved, and can be used in the neighbouring computer room - yes, round tables, 4 computers to a table. We ran a session there led by the inimitable Mr Dale, so he too has seen the facility. It's only as good as the school filter system, however. With a draconian filter you lose access to all sorts of wonderful sites which will enable pupils to produce all sorts of different presentations. Idea Paint can turn any space into a dry wipe wall - probably cheaper than laminating.

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