By Paul Blake
While digital trends have greatly accelerated in recent years, this was nearly predictable, as online education companies were experiencing huge growth pre-pandemic. This expansion of tech in education continues as online education has become more universally accepted as a supplement to traditional pedagogies.
The explosion in the use of virtual ‘meeting space technologies’ like Meet, Zoom, and other online classroom tools, has thrust traditional public schools into similar collaborative and diverse spaces that International Schools have long been accustomed to.
Here are five benefits and trends to take advantage of, while technology continues to greatly impact everyday brick and mortar classrooms:
Learning is More Accessible than Ever
Teachers often need to set rules in the digital space the same way they have rules set in a regular classroom. Requiring cameras to be on and microphones accessible during group classes helps increase student engagement. Assigning live group tasks to test new skills, correcting students in breakout rooms, and utilizing collaborative whiteboards and documents are all ways to increase digital space engagement.
Increase in Digital Literacy
Data research for projects can be done in real-time in collaboration in breakout rooms and a flipped classroom model. Students are becoming more digital-savvy in recognizing data-driven statistics from government sites, and more discerning about opinions (versus facts) provided on social media or blogs. Obtaining official documents and studies from field and area experts is easier than ever in the digital space.
Global Connections And Intercultural Communication
Public universities have joined the trends of online course offerings and are welcoming more international students into their communities. Project collaboration and presentations are trending more digital while traditional public speaking skills dominate the importance of effective communication whether on video or in-person.
Increased Collaboration and Hybrid Learning
Teachers who set goals and expectations find online space to be more accountable to students as there is often a clear record of a lesson’s goals and outcomes. Tasks for a project can be clearly allocated, and students can take advantage of their strengths in collaboration. Students tend to take a more holistic approach in learning all aspects of the goal, often taking part in the research, writing, editing, and presentation.
Applied Skills And Concepts
Technology has provided great collaboration for high-quality teacher lesson plans as well. Teachers Pay Teachers and a vast sea of prepared lessons are available at low subscription-based fees. A popular option for international school teachers, due to its commitment to UK standards and International School standards, is Twinkl. The digital space offers real-world applications and testing of learned concepts. Teachers can use a Baamboozle game to review concepts with first graders, or professors can have college students publish on open access journals for peer review. Access to education is no longer held by gatekeepers or holding back students with limited resources.