This was even before the invention of the chalk blackboard. Certainly now the computerized BIG screen at the front of the room would have these students in amazement.
Can you imagine actually being in such a classroom with these lecterns, the heat from the fireplace, the light from the windows? Oddly enough, this is one of the classrooms in the Wren Building at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA......and I actually did take classes in such a room, under such conditions.....it drove the literature lessons home. You certainly could read Thoreau with greater feeling in such an environment.