I loved the idea of desks with wheels. My lessons usually involve some combination of partner work, small-group work, whole-class discussion, inner circle/outer circle discussions, independent work. Movable desks seemed to make sense for this kind of collaborative practice.
And I have noticed a few distinct benefits:
- It can be fun to push oneself around in one of these desks
- It's very easy to push the desks around the classroom (no heavy lifting required) and scratches on the floor are significantly less likely to appear
- Students can more fluidly shift between partners
- It's easier for students to turn around to see what's happening in different parts of the room.
With that said, I can't say that this new desk necessarily makes collaboration easier for my students -- particularly since my students are already so adept at team work. Classroom furniture should reflect our pedagogical values. I do see the potential benefits of Node chairs, but it seems like a stretch to dub them "real world" or "21st century."
A few issues that I've noticed:...