5 Digital Strategies That Deliver a Complete Education Experience

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Many teachers and administrative boards of years past have struggled to really understand the needs of their students. Furthermore, educators did not have the tools necessary to help children engage in the classroom as an individual.

Today, our understanding of student needs has advanced and technology has the potential to meet these needs. Though tech development and the understanding of learning still aren’t in perfect harmony, digital learning is the future of education.

Here are some needs that you may have in your classroom that already have existing solutions in the form technology.

5 Digital Strategies that Deliver

1 – Virtual Classrooms – Share More

In the past, teachers have been locked into a schedule. They have to deliver a certain amount of material in one given class period. Much of the content you share actually comes from pre-existing curriculum that wasn’t set up by you in the first place. Often times, you’ll find that this one-channel learning style will only reach a certain percentage of your students while others lag behind.

However, with an online environment coupled with your regular classroom teaching, you can share additional material like TED talks, educational YouTube videos, infographics, or even games. This content will inspire students to see stories, problems, and important facts in a different way which will promote deeper learning.

2 – Online Discussion Boards – Participate More

One of the most important goals in student development is that they feel strongly that they have something special to give to the world. Teachers must do what they can to openly recognize the valuable contribution of the student.

Higher education realizes the power of recognizing the voice of a student. Online programs at most universities mandate discussion board conversation over class topics. Much of a student’s grade relies on his or her participation in class. Professors and student aids team up and interact with students on an individual basis and teacher feedback is more immediate.

When teachers take the time to engage with students individually, it helps them feel validated in what they can contribute.

3 – Digital Devices in Class – Deliver Instruction more Effectively

As smartphones, tablets, and laptops become more ubiquitous and prices continue to drop, schools are investing in computer and mobile apps for students that enhance classroom experience. Slide shows, quizzes, interactive learning material, research and more can be delivered to the hands of each child.

Most of the classroom experience happens in the front of classrooms (powerpoints, whiteboard demonstrations, object lessons). This traditional method holds students back from 100% engagement. In an interview I recently had with Dr. Troy Brady from the Optometrist Clinic Inc., I learned that unless a child has perfect vision, many student’s eyesight keeps them from engaging with material that is traditionally presented up in the front of a classroom. With material in the hands of students through digital devices, they can really absorb classroom material much easier.

A 2012 study of the effectiveness of iPads in classroom showed some pretty impressive results, with 77% of teachers reporting that they felt student achievement had risen since the introduction of iPads at their school. A similar percentage of students felt the same way about the technology in school.

4- Electronic Media – Saving Costs

Most public schools provide books to their students. Anyone who has their hands in school budgets knows that textbooks weigh heavily on school budgets. How many school administrators would love to have more room in a budget to spend money on programs that are much needed for students?

Electronic media is not only a solution for reducing textbook costs, but also is a way to provide a much more dynamic way to learn class material.

5 – Multimedia – Touch Different Learning Styles

An online computer science program at a well-known university has designed their own textbook to teach students code writing. The strategy is to provide different ways to learn concepts taught in each chapter.

First and foremost, the principle is explained in clear text which the reader can follow. The content includes videos of the instructor explaining how he builds a certain piece of code that applies the principle he just taught. Analogies are made so that readers can wrap their minds around new and difficult concepts. Finally students are asks to build their own code.

Through text, video presentation, abstract thinking, and hands-on application, the student masters fundamentals of computer programming. This “textbook” is just a simple PDF file, but it is extremely effective.

Students need to learn material in multiple different ways to really master principles. Digital media give teachers the tools to touch multiple areas of learning.

All of these forms of technology are currently used in various classrooms to deepen the experience that students have. How will you apply these strategies at your school?

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Hannah Whittenly

A freelance writer and mother of two, Hannah graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism. She writes for small businesses and educational institutions about a variety of topics.
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