In the previous two Sensory Series posts, we covered meeting the sensory needs of students and designing a sensory sensitive classroom. The final piece of the sensory puzzle is how devices can assist students in the classroom. Can technology help students with sensory issues? And can it impede their learning if we aren’t attentive to their needs?
At times, making changes in our teaching methods can be very hard. The way we teach is a very personal matter, as teachers (should) bring their personality into the classroom to help connect with students. Because we want teachers to teach from their heart, to change our teaching methods means we need to change our mindset, our beliefs, or even what we are comfortable doing and saying in our classroom. Even more so than instructional practices, classroom management is one of these areas where change can be especially hard.
Over the past several years, K-12 education has started to shift away from delivering technology that keeps the show running behind the scenes. Instead, there has been a fresh emphasis on main stage performances—engaging learners in innovative ways to improve student outcomes.
Another successful year at the annual ISTE conference has come and gone, and this year’s latest trends have made a strong impression on the EdTech industry. Whether you were at the conference in San Antonio or following the action through the #NotAtISTE hashtag on Twitter, there was so much to learn about. The Boxlight team returned from ISTE this year full of new insights into the educational technology industry, but a few topics stood out to us more than others. Here are the top three trending themes our team found most impactful at ISTE 2017:
We are now at the time of the year when teachers are retiring or relocating to other schools. Administrators are looking to hire new teachers who will help take their schools to the next level in all aspects of education—especially in the area of technology.
What are some ways that principals can bring in educators who will be leaders in the area of technology? There are the basic ways to find out more about candidates, such as reference checks, resumes, applications, and cover letters. However, the traditional methods of exploring great candidates aren’t always enough to help find the right person. What are some other methods of discovering a candidate’s technical expertise and potential? Here are some ideas:
We know what it’s like to attend a one-day professional development event and never have any follow-up training. It is just as frustrating to listen to a trainer and not be able to practice what you learned because the equipment is not readily available. Additionally, many of us have struggled through a training never being able to touch a piece of technology equipment.
What is the role of keyboarding instruction in the classroom—especially the elementary classroom? Over the past few years, as one-to-one devices become more widespread and accessible to students at younger grade levels, this question has become more and more pertinent. I know our own school has struggled with student keyboarding skills over the past few years.
Three main issues we grapple with as educators.
We are only about 25% of the way through the year, but there has already been a number of exciting books published in the world of education. From scholarly books to practical guides and straight-talking classroom help to intellectual political thought, there is something new to be found for every type of teacher leader.
When it comes to technology, most schools don’t assign separate grades for “computing.” Most of us in the EdTech world probably wouldn’t suggest doing that anyway. Technology should be integrated rather than being treated as an add-on; it is just part of “what we do” in the classroom, and not a separate subject.
Whether it is a school-owned computer or a student BYOD cell phone, classroom management with devices can be challenging. Most students probably see their own device as a gaming/texting/social media gadget—and not as a learning tool. So when teachers ask students to use their devices to learn, and not to play, it can be very challenging. From social media and games to learning tools, most students are highly adept at flipping from one thing to the next, such as hiding apps they shouldn’t be on and masking their social media action. Because of all this, monitoring and managing can be difficult from the outset.