Jan 16 2020

Leverage Technology to Support Learning Any Time and Anywhere

The way students learn has evolved with the times and schools are adapting to these changes in innovative ways.

When you imagine a modern classroom, what do you see? Are there rows of forward-facing student desks? Is there a lectern or a teacher’s desk at the front of the room?

Increasingly, that’s not the reality. Educational technology and emerging workforce trends are key reasons why. Instead of sitting quietly in rows of desks, students are encouraged to move around and collaborate in groups. Newer classroom furniture options enable students to better see their teachers and to work independently and comfortably, with classmates or one on one with instructors. These innovations reflect the increased demand for a workforce of people who can collaborate and think critically, among other things.

Administrators and faculty in New York’s Rochester City School District realized as much while strategizing a district digital transformation. The physical learning space was a key factor in the transformation’s success. Students “need to be collaborators, they need to be researchers, they need to be their own learners,” CIO Annmarie Lehner told EdTech.

Goodman Elementary School is another example of how technology enhances modern learning environments. A tornado destroyed the Missouri school’s buildings in 2017, forcing administrators, staff and students to regroup. That experience influenced the design of the school’s new building, which opened in August 2019 with collaborative spaces, makerspaces, interactive displays and flexible furniture. For more about the new Goodman Elementary, check out our feature, "How K–12 IT Leaders Shepherd Post-Disaster Regrouping."

Administrators hoping to create modern learning environments in their schools should look for technologies, such as virtualization, that create efficiencies, helping to maximize time and money and optimize physical space. Embrace tools such as screencasting, interactive displays, mixed reality and mobile technology to expand learning opportunities beyond a school’s physical walls.

Most important, know that you don’t have to tackle this sort of effort alone. Consult experts who can help translate your vision for a classroom redesign into reality.

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