More than an acceleration of the pace of education, more than the expansion of content to teach, your classroom is being reshaped in new ways.
Technology is reshaping what your classroom is right now. Veteran teachers can tell you classrooms are not only changing, but changing at an exponential rate.
Here are three ways…
Teachers used to be the gatekeepers of knowledge. Not only has that knowledge become widely accessible, but gatekeeping itself is being overtaken by asynchronous access to knowledge. Learning can happen independent of the scope and sequence – and independent of the teacher. Teachers need to change-up access to information in their classrooms from sequential to a flatter method to remain relevant.
Students-centric possibilities exist because of technology which was unimaginable years ago. Personalized learning is only imaginable because of current technology. Teachers can now offer pathways to students without committing inordinate amounts of time to planning and grading.
Students are also able to easily tap into passions which exist outside of current grade level curriculum. Some content which could never be covered inside a traditional classroom.
All of this impacts how a teacher paces and delivers content. Through creating learning offered up “just in time” to students, teachers can serve as tour guides rather than gatekeepers and still remain relevant through coaching students through learning experiences.
Technology is now easily accessible for quick correction and feedback to students on assessments. Devices are now nearing a 1:1 ratio in many districts, making it a common practice to administer assessments at one place/point as traditional tests have typically been administered. Options of both low and high stakes assessments online are increasing for K12 students as access to devices increases.
Many features of online learning platforms also offer levels of timely feedback from which students can benefit. Technology can bring students in contact with content outside of school hours and with increasing support of student learning. Consider the Discussion Boards which allow students almost unlimited time to compose and share commentary, allowing all students to participate no longer constrained by time and the confidence to speak aloud in class. Auto-graded assignments/assessments and peer-reviewed assignments can free the teacher to front-load answers or rubrics and then work with students on revisions and remediations as the platform performs less crucial work.
This can re-prioritize where the teacher spends time while in class with students. Teachers can intervene in the formative stages of learning and not be hostage to hours or grading before knowing areas to focus on repetition and remediation.
Historically, teachers had to work to get student work published. Really. Work. So it often did not happen – and if it did it was infrequent. Now, students have a wide array of audiences very close at hand, and with minimal effort on the part of the teacher classwork can become exponentially important with these new audiences.
The stakes for the producers of content, your students, increase dramatically when they are excited by a new audience. While the teacher is an important audience, it is an old audience. Peers, parents, community members, and The Internet are all possible options now with relative ease compared to just a few years ago.
Increased audience size more closely mirrors the future world of work and gives traditional assignments an exciting twist which can produce better results. Teachers can carefully mold meaningful assignments into “real world” interactions.
Your classroom is being reshaped right now. It is being reshaped by asynchronous learning, immediate feedback, and a changing audience. The only question is are you embracing the changes and incorporating them into your teaching or ignoring them and downgrading your class, your content, your students in the process?
Technology is reshaping what your classroom is right now. Will you embrace it?