"Technology changes so fast and when you finally get the hang of a platform, updates come along with new features!”
The Phoenix Union High School District (Phoenix, AZ) mission is “Preparing every student for success in college, career, and life.” To ensure focus on this mission, teachers and staff are trained and supported to meet student needs and celebrate accomplishments as they work to prepare and inspire their students. There are challenges including the impact of the pandemic on student learning and teacher practice. Boxlight-EOS Education, the professional development division of Boxlight, has established a strong relationship with PXU (in its ninth year) so when remote learning became necessary, EOS designed training and support to help teachers and staff.
Believe it or not, this generation of young people is interested in data – likes, shares, comments. They sometimes use this data to create content, even apps, to address what they perceive as needs observed. How can this translate to STEM learning in the classroom? When problems are addressed within real-life contexts, this generation of students – digital natives who are accustomed to using technology to find answers and research information – are more likely to be engaged in the learning process.
We are extremely proud and excited to announce that we won Primary (K-6) and Secondary (6-12) 2021 Best Tools for Back to School from Tech & Learning for not one but FOUR of our education solutions! What Boxlight solutions earned recognition from this prestigious organization?
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.
Pre-pandemic and school closures, many teachers implemented Google Classroom for efficient and interactive teaching and learning support. Google Classroom made using technology tools manageable and provided a user-friendly alternative to paper and pencil. How? Google Workspace for Education (formerly G Suite for Education) apps and tools help teachers and learners organize lessons, assignments, and resources. Teachers can also save and share content using their Drive folder, collaborating with colleagues at any time and from anywhere.
Implementing social-emotional learning (SEL) skills and strategies have shown to positively impact student learning. Especially with this past year, teachers and students have had to deal with challenges they may not have been prepared for including how COVID-19 our feelings towards learning. Addressing SEL skills is not a new concept and educators have referenced the SEL Framework to meet students’ emotional needs to clear a pathway to learning success.
There is countless research that says an engaging learning environment supports student achievement and success. As a former classroom teacher, my favorite memories are of seeing my students totally into a project, hearing them talk with their classmates about what they were doing, and celebrating their successes when they understood a concept or completed a project they worked so hard on. A classroom should be a place for conversation and collaboration, combined with critical thinking and creativity.
Now more than ever, school and parent/family connection is integral when it comes to supporting students as everyone is working to maneuver learning in various environments and situations. In response to school closures and a move to remote learning, there were districts that provided training to help the adults at home understand how online learning platforms, software programs, and video conferencing tools would be used. Parents and caregivers needed to know the what, when, why, and how of educational technology and how to best support learning at home.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework that helps teachers create flexible learning environments that can accommodate students’ unique learning needs. Research shows that when teachers incorporate UDL, they are better able to meet the comprehensive needs of their students, including students with learning disabilities. The goal of UDL is to implement a variety of methods to engage students, represent information, and encourage students to actively participate and express themselves. Essentially, the application of UDL eliminates barriers to learning.