More schools using technology to teach character skills

Nonprofit foundation provides tips for nurturing mutual respect and academic excellence in today’s technology-rich classrooms

technology-curriculumAs schools are increasingly fitted with new technology, the classroom atmosphere is changing. Tablets are replacing textbooks, interactive whiteboards are ousting chalkboards and software discs are going the way of the dinosaur.

Amidst all of the change, however, there’s one constant: the pursuit of academic excellence and mutual respect.

During the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Convention, experts from the nonprofit foundation Great Expectations shared best practices for fostering productive classrooms in the presence of increased technology integration. Great Expectations is a school transformation model that emphasizes a climate of mutual respect and academic excellence.

Next page: The main tenets of the tool

Instructors from Texas emphasized three key aspects of integrating Great Expectations practices into iPad classrooms:

  • Harness the excitement of new technology. Incorporating new technology, such as mobile applications, in everyday instruction can infuse excitement into classrooms. Use that excitement to nurture a love of learning and respect for others.
  • Empower students to take control of their learning with technology. Presentation technology and apps enable students to create projects and publish them for the whole class to see, fostering a sense of pride and ownership.
  • Provide timely feedback to encourage student growth. Education technology makes providing feedback nearly instantaneous. Take advantage by communicating regularly with students about their progress – move learning forward.

“Technology can sometimes distract from the basic tenets of healthy classroom management,” said Sarah Firsching, educator at Westlake Academy IB World School. “The tips we’re sharing today will help educators nurture respectful, supportive 21st century classrooms.”

The Great Expectations educator-training model is guided by six basic tenets and 17 classroom practices. The tenets and practices provide guidelines for program training and implementation and they serve as standards for evaluating Great Expectations schools. The basic tenets include: High expectations, teacher attitude and responsibility, building self-esteem, all children can learn, climate of mutual respect and teacher knowledge and skill.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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