Five strategies for using classroom technology

New paper from Center for Promise highlights best technology practices gleaned from school districts

classroom-technologyTechnology and digital media continue to represent a powerful pathway for advancing the goals of education, including raising academic achievement and preparing students for college and career, according to a new study released by the Center for Promise, the research arm of America’s Promise Alliance.

In time for Digital Learning Day, the new paper, Wired to Learn: K-12 Students in the Digital Classroom, supported by the Cable Impacts Foundation, explores digital learning as a promising strategy for improving students’ educational experiences and highlights the efforts of five school districts across the country focused on reshaping the traditional learning environment.

“Our research findings illustrate how carefully planned and implemented digital learning initiatives can powerfully impact how students learn,” said Jonathan Zaff, executive director, Center for Promise. “Identifying innovative, yet practical ways to involve students in meaningful teaching plans that meet their individual needs and strengths is critical for creating positive pathways toward graduation.”

Next page: The five key takeaways for classroom technology

Key takeaways from the study, based on information gathered from five school districts, include recognizing the importance of:
1. Planning and investing in bandwidth and wireless connectivity to power educational technology
2. Providing ongoing professional development opportunities that equip educators to effectively integrate digital learning and employ new instructional approaches
3. Restructuring the traditional classroom to personalize learning
4. Developing creative strategies by connecting with stakeholders outside of the district, and
5. Using data systematically to improve learning and instruction.

“For decades cable has been at the forefront of connecting technology to schools to support — and transform — student learning,” said David Pierce, executive director, Cable Impacts Foundation. “With cable as our nation’s leading broadband provider, we gladly supported this important research highlighting exactly how this transformation takes place in a digital environment.”

The research team conducted interviews with 13 stakeholders across five school districts spanning diverse geographic regions throughout the country. Those districts include: Elizabeth Forward School District in Pennsylvania; Lewisville Independent School District in Texas; Mobile County Public School System in Alabama; San Jose Unified School District in California; and West Allis-West Milwaukee School District in Wisconsin.

“Digital learning is an important medium for helping to create the conditions for young people to thrive,” said John Gomperts, president & CEO of America’s Promise. “As America’s Promise continues to progress toward the GradNation goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020, we hope that these lessons help to guide other school districts that seek to engage students through technology, and to equip them with the essential tools to succeed in college and the 21st century workforce.”

Follow this link to read the full paper:

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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