As a former high school math teacher, I have experienced a range of technology-enabled districts; from schools with no technology to schools with a one-to-one tablet implementation. But, in my experience, classroom management can inhibit widespread adoption of new technology by educators. There is often the fear that when students are left to their own devices (pun intended) teachers lose control.
For teachers who are slow to adopt technology, it can be a really powerful experience to use a classroom management system like GoGuardian or Google Management Console. These tools can empower teachers by letting them see what students are doing and redirect the class at a moment’s notice.
To choose the right management platform for your school, consider the needs of both administrators and teachers.
When it comes to device management in the classroom, one of the critiques we see from administrators is that they don’t just want their teachers sitting behind a computer screen all day.
The great thing about tools like GoGuardian is that so many of them are cloud-based now. Cloud-based management tools are becoming more prevalent because they are generally much more usable in the classroom. Educators can walk around the classroom holding whatever internet-connected device they like and see what everyone is working on.
GoGuardian’s tool gives a lot of control to administrators, but the teacher’s part of the tool also is really useful because of the timeline view, which shows a screencast of each student’s device (and what website or app it is currently running).
Both GoGuardian and the Google Management Console allow educators or IT staff to immediately push content, such as a website or an app, directly to all the classroom devices via the cloud server. This saves time when a teacher needs to quickly redirect the entire class to focus on the same topic.
A lot of the newest trends, such as blended and personalized learning, put the onus on the student for both seeking the information they need to learn and thinking critically about it. Device management tools provide freedom and structure, allowing students to explore in a sort of walled garden.
As educators, these tools let you provide students an open environment that is free from many of the distractions of the internet. In doing so, educators can take a step away from being a “sage on the stage” and act as more of a facilitator to learning, collaboration and active discussion.
This article is part of the "Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology" series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the #ConnectIT hashtag.