This is definitely not a topic that is new, it isn’t a trend, and it isn’t technology-related, but it can be an issue in any brick and mortar classroom: Do seating charts matter?
I remember when I went to college that I felt so free of assigned seating – it was wonderful. In some classes, it didn’t matter at all where I sat as long as I could see the professor and what they were showing on the board/monitor. In other classes, the professors had a very strategic way of calling on students as the class progressed, so if I had something really good to say about the previous night’s assignment, I’d sit in the ‘call on them first’ area. Seating charts were something my brain left behind until I started teaching university level students several years later, and I wondered if the seating chart would serve me despite the age of my students.
In my case, creating a seating chart really helped with some of the classes I taught. Some of the students, quite frankly, just needed to be separated so they could actually focus on school, and while pinning them on opposite sides of the classroom seems quite basic, it did indeed work in more than a few cases. Teachers of younger students inevitably find the seating chart to be quite ubiquitous, but aside from the daily routine and keeping unmotivated student A away from disruptive student B and chatty friends C and D, what else does a seating chart do for the classroom?
The handy infographic below takes a look at why seating charts matter.