How to navigate the new device-agnostic classroom

How can schools ensure that they are creating effective, purposeful learning environments in a device-agnostic classroom? It helps to begin by asking 3 questions.

“How can I ensure my digital learning ecosystem will support my students?”

Once the “why” goals have been established, you can move to the “how” and begin evaluating potential digital resources in a more meaningful way. At this stage, it’s important to ask: How do our resources align with the learning objectives? Rather than solely focusing on operating systems and browser support, it’s important to determine “how” the platforms and applications will facilitate teaching and learning.

For some districts, this step can be intimidating, but thankfully there are a variety of organizations that provide support. Future Ready Schools® and the IMS Global Learning Consortium provide excellent best practices and frameworks for digital device implementation. Future Ready Schools helps district leaders evaluate and plan how to implement personalized, research-based learning environments, and IMS Global, which is quickly becoming the industry standard for ed-tech interoperability, can help districts map out the infrastructure of these digital systems.

In addition to providing and planning for the successful implementation of new technologies and operating systems, it is also critical for education leaders to provide ongoing, sustainable professional learning and development for teachers and IT professionals. At the same time, district administrators and school leaders should carefully choose external partners who can work closely with them on an ongoing basis and evolve as the district does.

“What platforms and applications need to be in place to accomplish our goals?”

And that brings us to the third critical stage and questions: What platforms, applications and devices will help meet the established goals?

When considering digital content, platforms and devices, it’s vital for technology and curriculum teams to come together and make decisions collaboratively and collectively – and from the lens of various stakeholders.

For example, IT is concerned with security, student data privacy, operating systems, bandwidth, interoperability and if the technology will work on all the devices. Teachers and students want to seamlessly access content that is purposeful, differentiated and supports their learning goals – and it must be accessible whenever and wherever they are. Administrators want to see stronger results in student achievement and effective implementation of the technologies, devices and platforms, while being mindful of costs and sustainability.

All of these audiences and their needs have to be considered when creating a truly effective and meaningful device-agnostic learning environment. Establishing a highly impactful digital learning ecosystem (either from scratch or by repurposing elements of an existing platform) is rarely simple.

But as many school districts have already demonstrated, starting with the reasons why a digital learning ecosystem needs to be in place, how it supports teaching and learning, and what platforms and applications support the goals, can lead to success.

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