Interactive learning has moved from being an innovative strategy to a ‘must do’ to keep students engaged in the classroom. As technology has become more beneficial for instruction and student learning, teachers are at the forefront of why, how, and when to use ed tech effectively and efficiently. Interactive displays support connected and collaborative experiences for students, even if they’re remote learning. With more features and applications available on displays, teachers are incorporating their use regularly and seeing student participation and active learning improving in their classrooms.
The past couple of decades have shown that the pace at which technology has influenced teaching and learning is moving at hyper speed, and within the past two years – warp speed. Not only have this generation’s students grown up in a technology-rich environment, but they also benefit from lessons and activities that are interactive and immersive. Educators have seen the advantages of implementing educational technology, like interactive whiteboards, that offers students multiple opportunities to engage and collaborate with others.
More and more schools are opening up to in-person learning, even as we get closer to the end of the school year. Regardless of if they have two months or two weeks left in the year, the excitement of being in their classrooms with their classmates and teacher can be overwhelming. We celebrate in-person learning and the effort it took to ensure everyone’s health and safety but after the initial frenzy of first day, first week, first recess, what can be done to get students focused and ready to learn?
April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, a day that recognizes the rights of those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). What is ASD? It is a developmental disorder that can cause people to behave, communicate, interact, and learn in different ways than most others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov), in 2016 there were 1 in 54 eight-year-old children identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) across the United States.* What does this mean for classrooms across the country? Teachers need to be prepared to teach students with ASD, using a variety of strategies and tools including educational technology. Read some tips for supporting your students with ASD in the classroom.
We are at the mid-year mark (Spring Break…woohoo!) and it’s time to really look at how students are progressing. With the challenges of school closures, it is important to know how much students have been able to retain and identify the learning goals that still need to be met. This knowledge can lead to personalized instruction that is tailored to each student, meeting their academic needs, strengths, and interests. Not sure where to begin? Here are some quick tips for increasing personalized learning:
Have you hit your rhythm with lesson planning, teaching, meeting with students, and grading assignments? Are your students excited each time they walk in the classroom or turn on their web cameras for a live virtual lesson? Do you wake up each morning with so much energy that the cup of coffee you pour is really unnecessary? If your answer is ‘Yes’ to the previous, Kudos to you! (I’d also like to interview you for my next blog.) For the rest of you, there may be moments of ‘Yes’, ‘Sometimes’, and ‘I wish’ for each of these questions and that speaks to your hard work and effort to make learning an enjoyable experience for all.
“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy – I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” – Art Williams
As most of us have experienced, heard from friends, or seen on the news, remote learning has its challenges. Difficulties have ranged from tech glitches and connection issues to students not showing up to any live virtual lessons. In addition to these challenges, teachers are making every effort to tailor instruction for students with special learning needs, including regular review of students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and/or 504 plans. This can be quite overwhelming for everyone involved, especially the parents at home trying to balance home responsibilities with their child’s specialized needs. How can all involved work together to support the child? Here are some recommendations to consider:
Coming into this new school year has been a mixed bag of emotions for everyone: anxiety, disappointment, frustration, excitement, sadness. Because many schools are starting the year with remote learning, add stress and hopelessness to the list especially for those juggling more than one child in school, work responsibilities, and maintaining some semblance of balance at home. There are quite a few social media posts of children trying hard to be excited for learning online but struggling (haven’t we all seen the little boy lying across his chair out of view of his teacher during a virtual session?!). Understandably, this leads to concerns of substantial learning loss for our students.