What equipment should the modern math classroom have? Since most schools have had teacher-centered education the focus has been on what equipment the teacher should have. A good example of this is buying expensive smartboards for science classrooms. The price of one smartboard equals the price of all equipment needed for only one classroom which I find necessery for providing good lessons for my students. The problem with buying expensive tools for a teacher is that there is no correletion between the price of the teachers tools and students learning. I am not saying that a smartboard is of no use, since it can be good to demonstrate certain things, but it does not dramatically increase students learning. As a teacher I am happy if I have a working computer, preferable with speakers, and a projector aimed at a whiteboard. With this equipment I can do pretty much all that a smartboard could do. So instead of focusing on what the teacher needs, you should focus on what equipment you should provide your students so that they can collaborate and research in class.
A modern classroom must have internet and students must have access to some form of computer. I have heard so many people saying that it is either impossible to afford computers to all students, or the complete opposite, schools buying each student their own tablet for a tremendous amount of money. My philosophy is that schools should use all available technology. Why can’t students just use their own smartphone? Nowadays basically everyone has one and if someone does not have their own smartphone, schools could have a few tablets that could be borrowed. Technology should not make education more expensive, in fact, technology should make it cheaper and more accessable to everyone and at the same time improve the quality of education.
Since you come a long way just by offering Wifi to students so that they can use their own smartphone; what is it that is needed in the classroom? In my opinion, not a lot. If the teacher is teaching according to the student centered model you could re-think the seating arrangements. You no longer need nice rows with desks facing the teacher. Instead students could sit in groups so that they always have someone to work with. You should however provide tools so that the groups have an easier time working together. Just a simple tool like a whiteboard ensures that students can exchange ideas, explain their thoughts and work together on difficult problems. Sitting still on a chair all day is also tiring for students so standing by a whiteboard working for a while can also come as a releaf. Students working on a whiteboard also helps the teacher since the teacher gets a real nice overview of everything happening in the classroom. As a teacher you will notice if someone gets stuck on a problem and so you could just join that group in need of help and start collaborating with the students instead of just giving away solutions to the entire class.
This is pretty much it. Students having their own work space and access to internet is what I think is needed. Of course if you are lucky and you work in a resourceful school, there are more ways to create a nice atmosphere in the classroom, but what I presented here is cheap and hopefully affordable to all classrooms and this equipment is enough to run a succesful, modern class.
Are you looking for an online math book that encourages students to research? If you are, please visit Ma.fi (available in English, Swedish and Finnish) and learn about a digital math book for junior-high.