Everyone has been to school and has their own image of what a classroom should look like. And depending on their background and experience, not everyone is supportive of tech-infused learning. Yet, 1:1 classrooms, BYOD, and tech-supported education are today’s reality. During the edWebinar, “Leading Digital Learning: Successful Strategies for 1:1 Implementations,” the presenters focused on how to get buy-in from within the school and across the community to improve chances for success and sustainability.
Interacting with technology is second nature to children these days. But, even though they are tech savvy, they might not have the keyboarding and digital citizenship skills to make them stronger and more adept learners. In a recent edWebinar, “Keys to Success for Digital Natives,” experts explained that digital natives still need to strengthen their technological know-how in this context, and offered strategies teachers can use to build these much-needed skills.
Creativity and play are children’s work. They build confidence, encourage risk taking, and ultimately shape the soft skills young people need to negotiate school and careers. But, as children get older, their playfulness and creative spirit wane. They aren’t so keen on trying new things and are often afraid of failing when they do. In a recent edWebinar, “Building STEAM Confidence and Creativity in Middle School,” educational technology experts described how enriching STEAM-based learning experiences can enhance the socio-emotional skills students need to succeed now into the future.
Students exposed to coding and programming at an early age are well equipped to take on higher-level computer science courses in high school and have essential skills for future opportunities in the technology world. When Rob van Nood was hired as the educational technology specialist for Catlin Gabel School in Oregon, coding and computer science courses were only offered in grades 9-12 and not to students in the younger grades. The lack of coding curricula at the younger levels has left a significant teaching gap in 21st century skills such as problem solving, designing, and computation thinking.
Although many in K-12 are cautious of comparing education to corporations, schools are in the business of educating students and preparing them for life. And one of the most important parts of any business is customer service. During the edWebinar ”Building Trust: 4 Sure-Fire Ways to Improve the K-12 Customer Experience,” the presenters explained why school leaders need to include customer service as part of their strategic plan and offered four steps to start improving school-community relations right now.
During a recent edWebinar, Kelli Etheredge, a Director of Teaching and Learning Resources in Mobile, AL, identified key benefits of formative assessment technologies presented by members of the Microsoft Education team. These benefits include being able to accommodate the needs of diverse learners by developing more personalized learning pathways, so that every student can reach a level of success.
For many teachers, edtech translates to visuals and video. But during the edWebinar, “Voice Devices and Beyond in the Classroom,” the presenters made the case for using voice technology in schools to assist with all types of activities, from practicing math to classroom management, and more important, to improve listening comprehension skills.
Now that online games have become so popular among K-12 students, school and district administrators can use gamification techniques to create a positive school climate and encourage positive behavior by individual students who have differing needs. Shawn Young, co-founder and CEO of Classcraft, explained during a recent edWebinar how gamification techniques can be combined with research-based approaches such as Response to Intervention (RTI), to create engaging and systematic Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
24/7 access to technology has brought many benefits, from online collaboration to improved parent-teacher communication. But that 24/7 environment has also brought increased stress to students’ lives as issues they encounter at school, especially on social media, follow them home. In the edWebinar “How Digital Stressors Impact Student Learning,” Jamie Nunez, Bay Area Regional Manager at Common Sense Media, explained what digital stressors are and how social-emotional learning (SEL) can be used to combat them.
Teaching computer coding skills and concepts in the primary grades may sound like a challenge, but now there are hands-on activities and age-appropriate software that engage young students in this type of learning. And, starting the learning process in grades K-2 can build students’ confidence and reduce the challenges they face later when working on coding projects in the upper grades.