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.
The diagram is to give you an idea of what Woj's Beginning Journalism classroom
looks like at Palo Alto High-School.
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
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
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.
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.
This page summarizes
David Sears, and
May Britt Postholm's
Technology in the Classroom, a
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.