Classroom technology is more than a nice amenity–it’s critical for student learning and engagement.
But with funding an ever-present concern, and with more classrooms moving to hybrid instruction, it’s important that classroom technology reach all students in a way that prioritizes 21st-century skills development.
“Really, the key in our classrooms today is student engagement,” says Jairo Casco, principal of Hogg New Tech Center in Dallas ISD. “We know that as our students are more involved in their learning, as we’re fostering student agency, they’re engaged. We have to look at what technologies are out there, look at how the teacher is able to facilitate the learning, differentiate the learning, and how students can own their learning in different spaces.”
This is what makes three classroom technology trends–communication, blended learning, and small group learning–especially important for students.
Communication takes on many different forms in, around, and outside a school and a school’s community. It’s a way to deliver daily announcements and important reminders, and educators can engage students groups in academics or extra-curricular activities when they are able to cater specific messages to different student populations. Digital signage and content management software can make this process seamless.
Blended learning allows for a mix of in-person and virtual students, and 75 percent of teachers in a recent survey say it increases student engagement. Some early college programs are using blended learning to let students take college courses virtually and graduate high school with some college credits already completed. Rural districts with limited access to diverse courses can collaborate with other school districts to connect their students with diverse learning opportunities.
Small group learning in a virtual space gives students instant feedback and often leads to a big increase in engagement. Students who are shy in a physical classroom, or in a virtual or hybrid class with all their peers present, become more willing to participate when they’re in a virtual breakout room with just a few other students.
For strategies around how to implement these classroom technologies, as well as ways to get creative with your dollars and fund these technologies, click here.
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