The Green Room: Bringing the Classroom to the Community

Sep 27, 2017

A new honors seminar at the University of Iowa entitled "The Green Room" is more than just a class. It's a community-wide educational experiment. In addition to the 80 students participating, The Green Room has expanded its reach to hundreds of community members. 

Dave Gould, an administrator for the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa, is behind The Green Room.

"In a world that seems very divided, we often don’t talk to people outside of our own little sphere," Gould says. "I believe that the classroom can really be a place of magic. The classroom is a sacred spot where we all come in as learners."

On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Gould, as well as Green Room featured speaker and Iowa City-based magician, Nate Staniforth, about the inspiration behind the program and its positive effects on the Iowa City community.

Nebbe also talks with Iowa State University psychology professor Doug Gentile, who talks about his latest research on the negative consequences of children having a TV or video game console in their bedroom. 

“Having a TV in the bedroom might decrease school performance not because of what it’s doing, but because of what the kids aren’t doing. They’re maybe doing less homework or less reading or getting less sleep, and so it’s displacing other things."

Gentile says this can also increase a child’s risk for exposure to violent media, obesity, video game addiction, and physical aggression. That’s often because it’s harder for parents to monitor a child’s digital activities if they’re taking place behind closed doors.

He says these findings likely apply to kids who bring handheld devices, like tablets, into their room.