The Classroom Communication System


  • What is Classtalk?
  • As a teacher you use tasks or questions to stimulate thought in your class and to ensure mental involvement. For a student his or her own discovery is much more meaningful than just hearing about a discovery someone else has made. Teaching by questioning, commonly referred to as the "Socratic Method", is the basis for our educational philosophy. Classtalk is a networked software system that facilitates the Socratic teacher by providing an effective way to manage an interactive class and involve every student. Typically a teacher using Classtalk would send three or four Classtalk tasks per hour of class time. This may not sound like very many, but Classtalk tasks, unlike the much more frequent rhetorical questions (rhetorical in the sense that they do not require an answer or can only be answered by one student), do require an answer and unlike the questions that you send home with your students for homework, Classtalk tasks must be answered in class in the context of a normal lecture or lesson.

    • What is a Classroom Communication System?

    A Classroom Communication System is comprised of four elements. A computer, an LCD panel, television or other type of projection system, student devices , and a connecting network. The computer, which is usually at the front of the classroom and is operated by the teacher, must be running a software package such as Classtalk teacher software. When a task is sent to the students any complex graphics associated with the task are sent to the display device and any text associated with the task are sent to the student devices. Of course there are many student devices in each class, one for every student or every small group of students. These items may be calculators, organizers, or personal computers and are often owned by the students. The final element is the smart network which connects the student devices to the teacher's computer. This network is able to interpret the communication protocols of the various student devices. Tasks can be sent across this network to the students, and answers can be returned to the teacher .


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