Six tips for classroom technology success

An industry advisory panel of educators shares strategies to help teachers – regardless of their tenure – implement education technology in the classroom

lego-technologyThe LEGO Education Advisory Panel (LEAP) advises LEGO Education, the education division within the LEGO group, on how to meet the needs of educators and students. The panel consists of 50 educators, across all levels of education, who are experienced with the trials and triumphs of using unconventional teaching tools in the classroom.

Drawing from our experience using a wide gamut of education technology, we compiled the following list of tips and tricks to help teachers —regardless of their tenure —implement education technology in their own classroom.

1.  Be sure to teach the concept that failure is an important and expected part of the process. What we learn from each failure or mistake is the important part and will lead to the next version, or improved iteration in the problem solving process.
– Beth Brubaker, grades 1-8 Project Specialist, North Idaho STEM Charter Academy…Read More

How are classrooms implementing mobile technology?

Supporters note that mobile technology boosts student engagement.

Advocates of mobile technology in the classroom say that devices such as tablets and smart phones boost student engagement and offer a way to personalize learning for each student. Now, a new survey takes a look at the extent to which mobile technology has penetrated classrooms, and reveals what’s keeping some districts from forging ahead with mobile technology deployments.

Across the globe, tablet sales have soared since 2012 and are expected to top laptop and desktop sales by 2015, according to Gartner research. More than one-third of U.S. teenagers own a smart phone, and nearly one-quarter–23 percent–have a tablet, and parents have reported that they believe their students’ reading and math skills improved while using mobile devices and related applications.

Interactive Educational Systems Design conducted an online survey of K-12 district technology and media leaders in May of 2013. The survey focused on the current and future levels of mobile technology adoption in schools; the most significant hurdles to mobile technology adoption; access to mobile technology in the classroom; bring your own device (BYOD) policies; interest in purchasing tablets for student use; the types of mobile devices that have been adopted or will be adopted for student instruction; and more.…Read More

Three key developments in school AV technology

BenQ’s ‘SmartEco’ technology automatically adjusts a projector’s lamp settings based on the ambient lighting and the nature of the content being displayed.

The “bring your own device” (BYOD) phenomenon has exploded in popularity among K-12 schools, as educators look for cost-effective ways to leverage technology in the classroom.

Developers of audio-visual products are responding to this trend as well, making it easier for students and instructors to collaborate and share their presentations wirelessly from a wide range of mobile devices.

Support for BYOD initiatives was one of the key developments in school AV technology discussed at InfoComm 2013, the world’s largest AV trade show, held in Orlando earlier this month. Here’s more information about this development, as well as two other AV trends worth noting.…Read More

Survey: Most parents support mobile learning devices

A majority of parents overwhelmingly think that mobile apps, mobile content, and technology in the classroom promote positive learning habits and yield benefits, according to a new survey released on May 2.

Living and Learning with Mobile Devices: What Parents Think About Mobile Devices for Early Childhood and K-12 Learning,” from Grunwald Associates, the Learning First Alliance, and underwritten by AT&T, surveyed 2,392 parents who have 4,164 children between the ages of 3-18.

Most children in preschool through 12th grade have access to different technologies at home, and this includes mobile learning devices.…Read More

Idaho works to carry out online class requirement

Idaho has just become the latest state to require students to take online education courses before graduating.

Now that Idaho has approved a requirement that high school students take at least two credits online, officials are working on plans for a statewide contract expected to include a list of providers for districts to choose from when selecting virtual classes.

Idaho also will phase in mobile computers, such as a laptops or iPads, for every high school teacher and student while making online education courses a graduation requirement under sweeping new education changes backed by public schools chief Tom Luna and the governor.

A task force aimed at helping implement Luna’s plan to increase technology in the classroom met Nov. 7 at the Idaho Capitol in Boise. The goal is to provide schools with a list of online course providers approved and contracted by the state to offer virtual classes to Idaho students, Luna said.…Read More

Panel examines ed tech, personalized learning

Educators must figure out how to use digital technology to engage and instruct students.

Education policy in the United States should change and adapt to digital technologies that make personalized learning a reality, agreed a number of panelists during an Oct. 6 Brookings Institution discussion.

Greater access to high-quality education is much-needed, said Darrell West, a Brookings Institution senior fellow and the panel moderator, during “Educational Technology: Revolutionizing Personalized Learning and Student Assessment.”

“Technology innovation represents an important part of that overall puzzle,” he said. “Technology has the potential to improve education by personalizing learning, enabling different forms of student assessment, and making class time more flexible.”…Read More

Survey reveals need for tech skills in college, workforce

Students say they need tech skills for the future, but most high schools don't deliver.

A new survey reinforces the concern that while students must have technology skills to succeed as they enter college and the workforce, their schools are not meeting this important need.

The second annual 21st Century Classroom Report from CDW-G reveals that 94 percent of students said learning and mastering technology skills will improve their educational and career opportunities, and 97 percent of school faculty agreed. But in spite of those results, only 39 percent of students said their high schools meet those technology expectations with technology in the classroom.

Eighty-six percent of students note that they use more technology outside the classroom than inside.  Nearly all surveyed students (94 percent) said they use technology to complete homework assignments, but just 46 percent of faculty said they regularly assign homework that requires the use of technology.…Read More

How to spur more technology use in the classroom

Panelists said school should hire technology integration specialists to help personalize technology use for each teacher.

Superintendents and educational technology directors discussed how to ensure that technology is integrated into the curriculum during a Dec. 7 webinar sponsored by the Consortium for School Networking.

The webinar, entitled “Bridging the Chasm Between Curriculum & Technology,” featured a panel of four superintendents and educational technology directors from across the country who shed light on what adding more technology in the classroom has done for their students.

“We use technology as a tool to enhance student learning and really enhance students’ engagement in the content,” said Suzanne Freeman, superintendent of Trussville City Schools in Trussville, Ala. “We know that technology really entices  children.”…Read More

Survey: Mobile learning at a tipping point


Students said their 'ultimate school' would allow them to use mobile technology in the classroom, according to Project Tomorrow's most recent Speak Up survey.


According to a recent national survey, access to mobile technology in the classroom has more than tripled among high schools students in the past three years—and even more interesting, parents say they are more likely to purchase a mobile technology device for their child if it’s for classroom use.…Read More