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?
Topics: Classroom Technology, Education Technology, Classroom Audio, teacher training, teacher support, teacher professional development, teacher PD, Podcast, Connected Classroom, audio solution, EOS Education, audio
Because technology is playing a greater role in teaching and learning, in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts are making high-quality professional development an essential focus. Las Cruces Public Schools (Las Cruces, NM) is one such district with an expectation that their schools are “diverse, equitable, and provide opportunities for the development of critical thinking and democratic ideals.”
The ability to understand the lessons being taught in a classroom is crucial for student learning. If the teacher must strain to have themselves heard, or students cannot access the lesson because of hearing challenges, this can impede active learning. Jaime Mendez, Regional VP and Application Engineer for FrontRow by Boxlight, recently discussed the value of high-quality audio systems to support teachers and students with Larry Jacobs from Equity and Access PreK-12 (ace-ed.org).
We may not even realize the breadth of invisible barriers our kids face each day during class. These include the inability to access the instruction because of how a teacher presents a lesson or where they are projecting their voice in the classroom, learning and/or language ability and level of the student, poor acoustics of the physical space, and downgraded audio quality when streaming lessons online. Technological advancements in classroom audio distribution systems (CADs) have helped meet a variety of such needs for teachers and students, with greater demand for easy-to-use sound technology given the rise of remote and hybrid learning, concerns regarding missed learning, and the need to ensure equity and access as education rapidly evolves.
Research shows that incorporating social and emotional learning (SEL) in instruction helps students understand and manage emotions, personal challenges and difficulties, and relationships with others. Consistent and dynamic SEL teaches students the skills they need to deal with life in and out of the classroom.
Krista Walker, Professional Development Program Manager with Boxlight-EOS Education, recently spoke with Larry Jacobs from Equity and Access Pre K-12 (ace-ed.org) about how school closures and the move to remote or hybrid learning due to COVID-19 changed professional development and support. Walker has 25 years of experience in education, including working with education technology, promoting accessibility and inclusive practices, helping educators include social and emotional learning into classroom instruction, encouraging community engagement, and advancing 21st-century enrichment.
Ensuring that every student in a class has access to high-quality instruction is an ongoing need for many schools, especially when considering how students with disabilities have varying educational objectives. In recent years, teachers have explored different technologies to support student learning including but not limited to interactive hardware, software, and apps. Teachers have found quite a few of these technology solutions to positively engage students and support active learning.
Barry Sunder, Central Regional Manager with Boxlight, spoke with Larry Jacobs from Equity and Access Pre K-12 (ace-ed.org) on how large interactive displays (interactive flat panel displays, interactive boards, interactive panels) can improve engagement for students with disabilities. Sunder who has experience working with students with disabilities and special needs, as well as having a wife and a sister who are both Special Education teachers, shares that in these classrooms, the use of technology has “gone up another level.” Referencing an experience his sister had with a student, he says, “His attention span was about 15-20 seconds. He has seizures. When he got in front of that board, (his) time with seizures was reduced. He was up there focused on that activity.”
Hannah Olson, Co-Creator of the award-winning MyStemKits STEM Curriculum, recently spoke with Larry Jacobs from American Consortium for Equity in Education (ace-ed.org) on the topic of STEM education and careers, focusing on encouraging young women to explore what STEM has to offer.
Dr. Don Gemeinhardt joined the Boxlight family late last year as Director of Strategic Funding. He is a grant and proposal subject matter expert who has worked with various companies involved with education, compliance training, and student, faculty, and police officer development. His role at Boxlight is focused on helping schools and districts identify funding opportunities for education technology, STEM solutions, and professional development.
Boxlight recently welcomed Aleasha Stevens to the company where she will serve as Education Consultant and lead the development and delivery of the company’s virtual learning center. In this role, she will use best practices to facilitate demonstrations on Boxlight education technology solutions including interactive displays, MimioStudio lesson creation and presentation software, and the MimioConnect blended learning platform. Stevens is driven by a passion to advocate for the needs of all learners, particularly those who have not been empowered to do so for themselves. This has led her to dedicate her life to advocating for the needs of children as a classroom teacher, literacy program director, VP of Education Services, and an education technology consultant.