From smart devices to social media and online learning to analytics, technology is transforming the classroom. It provides educators with new touch points to deepen student learning through more engaging resources.
According to the Pearson Research & Innovation Network , there is substantial research showing that student-centered, active learning strategies increase student learning and achievement. Because technology provides access to multiple resources on a given topic, students can take more responsibility for their own learning.
The new eBook about engagement, Creating Connections looks at some of the ways technology is transforming the way teachers teach and students learn. We’ve summarized five emerging technologies that can help you support student engagement at your institution:
1. Smart devices and bring your own device policies
Technology helps create an environment that focuses on the four C’s of next-generation education: communication, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. Many classrooms are now wirelessly-equipped and educational institutions are offering more liberal Internet access. This approach includes bring your own device (BYOD) policies, which allow students to use personal devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones for anytime, anywhere learning.
2. Social media
The vast majority of students—81% of teens and 89% of young adults —use social media for day-to-day communication with their peers. It can also support collaborative learning and strengthen the creative learning process. Through social media, students have access to a wide variety of engaging multimedia content such as videos, blogs, and podcasts, which can contribute to a deeper and more varied understanding of content. Learners who interact through social media channels, such as Twitter, also exhibit a stronger sense of community.
3. Online learning and MOOCs
Online learning is becoming mainstream—many educational institutions offer a mix of online or hybrid courses. Massive online open courses (MOOCs) are a variant of online courses that allow unlimited participation and open access. MOOCs have risen in popularity over the last few years and offer those institutions the opportunity to extend their reach to tens of thousands of students around the globe. Students benefit from exposure to diverse peers and affordable course options.
4. Personalized learning
Faced with shrinking budgets and a resource shortage, today’s teachers face the challenges of large class sizes and little support. Technology allows teachers to be creative with their instructional methods and dedicate time to students in effective ways. Teachers are now able to craft personalized learning paths that allow students to access supplementary or advanced material when appropriate.
According to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASDC), a school’s culture can benefit from the use of student learning data. Improving instruction without that data is nearly impossible. Learning management systems—or an integrated learning platform (ILP), like Brightspace—provide educators with an opportunity to monitor, evaluate, and predict learner performance in real time. This cycle of feedback allows teachers to proactively reach out to students with support and personalize instruction to drive student success.
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