The Evolution of the Digital Classroom

Published Feb 26, 2019 11:47:45 AM in Tech News

See how classroom technology integration is transforming the way spaces are designed and used to benefit student learning outcomes. 


Today we are seeing real-world results from the evolution of digital education. As with any major shift, we have moved past the buzz and accompanying unrealistic expectations and are now moving into an era of productive integration of new ways of teaching and learning with the aid of technology.

“There is no turning back. Instead of pitting traditional and online learning models against each other, we should be working together to integrate the best of both to propel education into the digital age where it belongs.” - Damian Creamer on EdTech Digest

Reports now focus on real-world improvements in learning outcomes, job readiness, and even digital equity. Beyond tangible improvements in learning outcomes (particularly in literacy and math), teachers and principals report that digital tools, content, and resources have had a positive impact on critical thinking and problem solving, creativity skills, and improved collaboration with peers.

As Damian Creamer notes on EdTech Digest, digital learning can be leveraged as an enhancement, giving students and teachers access to the best and latest information, learning aids and tools to provide flexible, personalized support for students of various abilities, requirements, and learning preferences.

Let’s take a look at some of the best practices and latest trends in supporting the digital classroom:

Classroom Configuration

There has been a lot of research on classroom design for K-12, including insight on table placement, groupings and even the options to sit or stand to help boost engagement and reflect a new style of pedagogy that is more interactive vs one-to-many. Take inspiration from the latest classroom design trends or these simple tips.

Makerspaces 

Gone are the days of computer labs. Now, STEM labs, digital workspaces, and school libraries are the hub of collaborative learning with digital tools. These “makerspaces” may be within the classroom or outside, but focus on problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking skills leveraging devices, coding programs, manipulatives, and games. The future is looking toward robotics and virtual reality, but these technologies are at the early stage of the hype cycle in K-12 integration.

Fluid Spaces and Workflows

In a digital classroom, the ‘digital’ tools are not fixed to the classroom. Students in 1:1 device programs can continue to work on assignments, collaborate, ask questions, and do research outside of school time. While the digital classroom opens up more opportunities for personalized learning, it’s important for teachers to set realistic expectations for student and parent feedback and interaction outside of school hours.

Tools

Think of your classroom workflows, looking for tools to streamline rather than leveraging everything ‘new’ or digital. There’s always the risk in a digital classroom that we become encumbered by too many moving parts, complex processes or even too much content. Think of what you and your students actually need - and keep it simple. Beyond devices and apps, classrooms need dedicated areas for charging and device storage.  

Analytics

Data-driven education is helping provide valuable insight for teachers, but this same data is key to attaining and retaining increasingly competitive technology funding. Insight is particularly valuable when it comes to application usage, performance assessments, and formative insight on engagement and homework submission.

School districts evolving toward the digital classroom require clear vision and leadership on how teaching and learning are supposed to change, and how best to support that vision at both the IT and classroom level. Want to learn more about the challenges for effective EdTech Management? Download our free ebook Making Technology Work for Education below.

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