Parents really appreciate the up-to-date posts about what is happening at school on the Bloomz newsfeed, which they can access right on their smartphones. They also like having the calendar to remind them about dress-up days, report cards, and meetings.

We’ve used the conference scheduling aspect for three years in our grade level to set up time slots for conferences. Parents get instant notifications that conference times are available, as well as the option to cancel or reschedule if something arises. This simplifies our life as teachers because it saves written notes and phone calls. The best part about a parent-teacher communication tool is the fact that we know when a parent has viewed our messages, so we can be aware that he or she has seen the subject at hand.

Michelle Zavaleta: Uniting the classroom with an audio system

So many pieces are needed to complete the puzzle of a mobile learning environment. Every school has its own unique challenges, and technology plays the important role of helping address those by supporting educators to continue providing superior lessons.

3 must-haves for a #mobilelearning environment #edtech #mlearning #mobile

At Tulare (CA) City School District in 2011, we had a cluster of deaf and hard-of-hearing students for the first time in one class. Faced with the challenge of providing the necessary assistance to students who couldn’t hear their teachers, we implemented Lightspeed’s Redcat classroom audio system. After completing training courses, educators quickly noticed the advantages of using audio in their spaces.

We saw the benefits in our classrooms with our hard-of-hearing students, but through the years, we’ve also seen the benefits for students who are not hard-of-hearing. In today’s mobile classrooms, where students are moving around the room rather than sitting at desks, children are able to hear anywhere in the classroom and have displayed an increase in attention span. Having students working on their devices in different areas of the room can create distracting background noise, but an audio system allows teachers to be heard—without raising their voice.

About the Author:

Gary Lambert is the director of 21st Century Learning at Beekmantown Central School District. Follow him on Twitter @Dir21KLearning.

Kendra LeRoy is a 5th-grade math teacher in Southern Indiana.

Michelle Zavaleta is the director of psychological services in special education at Tulare City School District. To contact her, email Mzavaleta@tcsdk8.org.


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