Technical Resources in Woj's Classroom

This section of our site is designed to help you understand what and how technology is integrated in Esther Wojcicki's Adaptive classroom.
A Diagram of Esther's Classroom
The diagram is to give you an idea of what Woj's Beginning Journalism classroom looks like at Palo Alto High-School.

The program

The journalism program has five classes: Beginning Journalism, Advanced Journalism and Broadcasting. The two classes remaining are dedicated to the publication of the school's newspaper and magazine respectively. In adddition, thanks to Woj's entrepreneurial campaigning, the program has its own computer lab.


The lab is primarily populated by Apple PowerPCs Macintoshes, which she hopes to upgrade soon, and a couple of G3's generally used for more graphic-intensive productions. In terms of periphereals, there are two laser printers and a scanner available, and Woj also lends out storage devices (Zip Drives and disks) and digital cameras upon request.

In terms of software, Palo Alto High is extremely lucky to be situated in the center of Silicon Valley, and to have such an excellent teacher as Woj. The father of one of Woj's former students years ago was the founder of Software maker Aldus, and he was so impressed with her methodology that he promised to supply Woj with all the free software she'd require to keep the program running successfully for life. Aldus has since been acquired by Adobe, yet the company is still honoring this promise, and supplying her students with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Pagemaker. Students teach each other to use the software on a one-day long seminar at the beginning of the semester.

The many awards her students and their publication have earned have won Woj a place within the school's administration that also facilitates her efforts at both innovating her teaching and incorporating technology. Yet for the program's equipment, she herself applies to grants and funds, often negotiating with executives directly, to ensure that her students have what they need.

Lab Rules

The lab rules are simple and commonsense: no food, no drinks, priority to students doing school work. ( Click here for a photo of the Rules) The students must be surpervised while the lab is in-use, and although Computer Support technician is there during office hours, Woj often spends nights and weekends until late keeping the cluster open, often trusting her students to call her should any emergency arise if she must leave.

Main Page | Who is Woj? | Philosophy | Related Theories | Teaching Strategies | Course Materials | Technical Resources | In Class with Woj | Related Links

This page summarizes Heidy Maldonado, David Sears, and May Britt Postholm's Project for Ed224: Technology in the Classroom, a Stanford University class taught during the Winter 1999-2000 quarter. Our research centers around Esther Wojcicki's classroom practices, ("Woj" to her students) and we hope to give you, the visitor, a glimpse of how and why she manages to combine technology and project work so successfully.

An adaptive classroom is one in which students and teacher collaborate to construct understanding. It is flexible in its uses of teaching strategies and technologies, incorporating those that improve the overaching goals of the classroom. We invite you to take a glimpse at what lies behind a successful adaptive classroom.

© Copyright 2000, Heidy Maldonado, David Sears, May Britt Postholm.