Technology continues to change the face of education, including how teachers and students interact in the classroom. Even after a swift move to greater technology implementation in the past two years, managing the use of laptops, tablets, a front-of-class display, and students remote learning can be exhausting for teachers. Add to that the expectation for personalized learning that meets each student’s needs and frustration can grow for both the teachers responsible for planning and facilitating instruction, and the students who may not feel motivated or focused to engage. What support can be offered to help alleviate the challenges being felt?
Larry Jacobs from Equity & Access Pre K-12 (ace-ed.org) spoke with Luanne Ropp, Implementation Specialist from Boxlight, and Krista Walker, Innovation and Development Director for EOS Education by Boxlight, to discuss what an inclusive environment is for all learners, and how technology can help optimize this environment.
Building a connected classroom for all learners is progressive and EOS Education by Boxlight provides the expertise and support needed to help teachers build confidence and competence, thus providing a more cohesive learning environment. “We have a team across the nation that services not only our partners and those working with schools day in and day out, but (we’re) also hands-on, in the classroom,” stated Walker. “(We’re) working with teachers, working with students, in how to integrate technology and learn about the programs available to them.”
Jacobs advocated for greater support of educators, “The more we do for them, the more likely they are to stay on their jobs. It’s that simple. We have the technology to make their job easier.”
While the group agreed that technology plays a key role, quality teacher training is essential. In talking about a ‘connected classroom,’ Ropp believes it takes more than just the technology provided. Referencing the work that EOS Education and Boxlight does for teachers, Ropp commented, “We give them the resources and the training that empower both the teachers and the students.” She also mentioned that when teachers are supported by professional development, this “accelerates the use of the technology and teachers are confident”.
In addition to hands-on training and ongoing guidance, the group discussed the value of high-quality audio technology. “Our classrooms, unfortunately, have multiple things that work against us - distance from the teacher, background noise, and the biggest one (being) students' ears maturing and being ready,” remarked Ropp. A good audio system in which the students can hear the teacher’s voice clearly regardless of where they are in the classroom is essential. Ropp continued, “Whereas when you put audio in the classroom, it takes the teacher’s voice above all the ambient noise in the classroom, and it makes it as if they’re right next to the student.”
Walker agreed saying, “The auditory piece is a huge component (of the classroom) and should be looked to as districts and leaders...are bringing in pieces to support that learning environment.”
The discussion between the three thought leaders is compelling and one that those in education should take some time to listen to. For the full podcast, click here and scroll down to Building an Inclusive Environment for All Learners.
To learn more about audio solutions to optimize the learning space, click here - Classroom Sound Systems.
Interested in award-winning professional development? Click here – EOS Education Professional Development for Teachers.