Blended Learning Schools
Technology allows for learning to continue outside of the normal school day in a variety of ways. Students can access content whenever and wherever they want to consume it. These are reasons why so many schools are adopting blended learning classrooms, which free up vital in-class time for teachers to coach individual students one-on-one, rather than relying on explaining broad concepts to all students at once. When selecting a curriculum, schools and districts can benefit from selecting a curriculum that includes access to the content online.
Recent studies indicate that companies value “soft” skills much more than previously thought. The ability to work collaboratively with strong communication skills is a must in today’s work environment. Schools can better prepare students for their future by providing them opportunities to practice these skills. Encourage students to use web collaboration tools to design, communicate, and problem solve projects in a collaborative manner. These also allow for group work to occur after school without having the need for students to be in the same room.
The Benefits of Social Media in Education
Social media is not just for following pop stars or flavors of the month. There are actually a wide variety of educational uses for social media, if you know where to look. For teachers, there are hundreds of different Twitter chats each week designed to bring experts and novices together to discuss modern trends in education. Following certain hashtags such as #edchat, #k12, #edtech, and #edreform will give teachers access to different types of professional development and information whenever and wherever they are.
Social media can be used proactively by students as well. There are several Twitter-like apps out there designed for educators where students can engage in chats with only the students in their classroom or school. Facebook groups can also be created so students have a place to chat online about different homework assignments and projects.
Learning Management Systems for Schools
Learning Management Systems (LMS) are used by a variety of industries for training and education but LMS can also be a necessity within today’s educational landscape. If students are accessing online content and using online tools to complete homework, teachers should provide a place online for them to house content, assignments, and discussions. While there are a variety of free tools available such as Google Classroom and Schoology, there are dozens more that are fee-based. Either way, using an LMS can increase and diversify the support given to students outside of the school day. For example, teachers can embed videos, text, and links into the LMS for students to explore on their own time.
Communication Platforms for Groups
More and more households are getting rid of their dedicated home phones. Most parents today are frequently on the go and don’t always have time to pick up a phone to listen to a pre-recorded message. App-based communication tools have become more and more popular because they allow parents to read texts and receive messages directly through their smartphones. These tools also allow teachers to easily send messages from their own phones directly to parents, students, or both.
About the Author
Dr. David Franklin, Ed.D. is a nationally and internationally recognized speaker and an experienced school administrator, consultant, curriculum designer, and professor of education. Dr. Franklin has presented at education conferences around the world delivering keynotes and breakout sessions, and is currently serving as National Education Consultant for Securly.