In order for a student to comprehend information, that student must be attuned to what is happening in the classroom. Many students immediately dissociate as they slump down in their seats, texting instead of listening to what is being taught. Today’s teachers must develop an ongoing method to immediately engage students. Many professional learning activities support thinking outside the box, so teachers are looking at technology, especially for teens, to engage students.
The traditional chalkboard was upgraded to a white board, which was replaced with a smart board. Teachers must understand that change is inevitable. With advances in educational technology comes the necessity to evolve one’s teaching methods. Take a look at two technological marvels anticipated to improve your classroom in 2014:
One of the most celebrated technologies on the market is 3D printing. In the past, the cost of printers exceeded the price range of most school districts’ budgets. However, predictions are that 3D printers will become mainstream in 2014, granting access to small businesses and schools with limited budgets. Students will be able to work in groups to hypothesize, design and implement ideas, then use a 3D printer to build their product and ascertain whether their plan succeeded or necessitates further thought.
“Personalization engines” determine the learning styles – auditory, visual, or kinesthetic – of each student in order to give their teacher ideas on how to successfully reach each child during every lesson. Take, for instance, a kinesthetic learner in a classroom struggling to learn an auditory lesson. The teacher speaks, the student zips and unzips his/her backpack or clicks their pen repeatedly. Without anything for their hands to do, the lesson is lost to them. Opening up the lesson to incorporate the learning styles of each individual student will give the teacher the opportunity to better share his or her knowledge, and give the students the benefit of learning on a level they better understand. Technology is often incorporated into these lessons, which are highly recommended by teacher development programs, by having the kinesthetic learner answer questions on a smartboard, or by allowing an audio learner access to a learning CD for concepts they could not interpret through a worksheet (visual learning).
As professional learning for teachers continues to evolve districts are moving to automated tools like ERO to track learning activities – from the registration process through evaluations and all of the follow up activities associated with professional learning. Even more powerful is ERO’s integration with a variety of PD systems, making it the central repository for all professional learning like:
Awarding of credit
What tools are you using to manage professional learning activities in your district?