"Which looks more like a 21st century classroom?"
Neither. They're booths at a conference. I understand that the snap judgement goes against the top booth because the 21st century classroom isn't supposed to be about one person "lecturing" and 30 students quietly absorbing new information without "collaboration"; it's also missing a lot of misunderstood 21st Century Learning New-Age Idealistic Pedagogical Folderol.tm
But I digress.
In the Upper portion of the composite photo, we see a booth set up to present a lot of information. The people are encouraged by the layout to be seated, which means that they can all see because they out of each others way; no one is standing in front of the screen.
Think about this for a second. TI has a mission: sell calculators, at $150 each, with crappy screens and SLOOOOOOOW processors. They need to get you in a seat and show you the WOW factor. They need to get you past the basics fast and sell you on the tech because that $4500 classroom start-up fee is huge. "Those regression functions don't come cheap, and aren't in any other package."
This is crying out for exactly what they've got here: a booth with a presenter who knows the machine inside and out, delivering information to as many people as they can, as efficiently as they can, in as little time as possible.
You put them in a seat where they can set down their stuff, see the big screen, write something down if they want to, hold the Inspire, swap out the faceplate, photograph it with their phones, set it down and tweet about it ... tables and chairs arranged in an efficient pattern, making best use of the space. Additionally, once seated, it's tough to leave politely before the end of the spiel and it's easy to control the technology and prevent theft.
Over on the side, some tall tables (which don't force you to lean over) for people who are browsing and don't want the whole presentation, or who want to stand and watch from the side.
BOOTH SCORE: 8 out of 10. Great for information transfer and for sales promotion. This booth is designed to have you linger and explore, try out and figure out, and to convince to you agitate for a major purchase back at your school.
CLASSROOM SCORE: 7 out of 10. "Boring" if you are looking for new-age learning styles, but effective as an organized setting for 30.
In the lower one, there is a guy on the left, holding a laptop in an awkward stance. One of the people he's talking to can see the screen. The other one can see the keyboard and be part of the conversation but unless he leans in and gets in the way of the other listener, he can't see much.
In the lower right, three people are crowded around a computer that desperately needs to be on a higher platform because all the people who want to look at it are standing -- it should be at eye height or, if not eye height, at least not "lean over and peer through the top part of your bifocals and then crane your neck back so you can see through the lower half of your bifocals" height - as the guy in white shorts is being forced to do.
In summary, a badly designed booth for this function, unless that function was "quick information shot and move on." This booth is designed to NOT allow you to linger and deeply explore the product.
There is no marketing director here trying to maximize anything, because there doesn't need to be. They only need to let you convince yourself that Desmos is cool - it is its own selling point. The website is free and doesn't have a large initial classroom purchase required, as TI does.
As a classroom, this booth is crap, too. There's nowhere for people to get comfortable. There's a giant graphic with some expression art. The displays / workstations are placed too low without any chairs so students have to type at weird angles. If the intent was for people standing, there should be some podiums so they can set down their devices and use both hands. If the intent was for people to sit, then the tables are at the right height, but there are no chairs.
This would be a horrible "classroom" for teacher/guide or for students.
BOOTH SCORE: 3 out of 10. (or 8 out of 10, depending on intent)
CLASSROOM SCORE: 1 out of 10.
But I guess I don't see things in the same way as other people do.
Oh dear! RT @calvinballing: @Desmos and TI at #NCTMNOLA. Which looks more like a 21st century classroom? pic.twitter.com/SgcWBPUgSu
— Christopher (@Trianglemancsd) April 13, 2014