I’ll never forget my first day as a brand new high school teacher. As a young college graduate (with absolutely no experience teaching and a one-hour course on classroom management), I stood stiffly in front of the room on that hot end-of-summer day, afraid to crack a smile. Thankfully, a more seasoned teacher had taken me to lunch the day before school started, so I at least had a pretty good idea of how to set up my grade book, allocate points to assignments, and fashion a seating chart.
What if we could change learning in the classroom to better suit students’ needs and accommodate individual learning styles? That’s exactly what Denton Independent School District in Texas is doing through flipped learning and collaborative video technology.
In his recent blog, Barry Fox describes what the future of education looks like at Denton ISD, and the potential for other school districts throughout the country to adopt a similar model. Through flipped learning, students experience a rich virtual classroom experience, with video-based material made available to students from any location through multiple devices, bringing learning beyond the classroom. This provides the flexibility desired by students, enabling them to easily connect with teachers, re-watch content and learn at their own pace.
Help us share the Denton ISD story of championing student-teacher relationships at next year’s SXSW. Vote for our panel at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/23959.
In every school district in America today, educators are faced with a simple, yet critically important, question. How do we obtain, implement, and integrate transformative technology into all of our schools and classrooms?
Some districts have embraced technology and put mobile and collaborative devices in the hands of students. In The Katy School District in Texas, for instance, performance on math tests increased from 70th to 90th percentile following adoption of mobile technologies and devices. Similarly, in the Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina, the district increased levels of competency in all subject areas from 60 percent to over 85 percent, and graduation rates increased by 22 percent.
But in too many schools and school districts today, the promise of connected classrooms is just that – a promise, and not reality.
That’s why it’s so critical that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) modernize and streamline the E-Rate program. E-Rate is the cornerstone of America’s effort to provide digital education to students. Since the program’s inception 15 years ago, E-Rate has connected more than 100,000 schools and libraries to the internet. It has a proven track record of success.
Back to school madness is in full swing in our house. That means early alarms going off, rushing around in the morning and cranky kids. However, there is something new this year at least in our household. There aren’t books all over the dining room table like last year. That’s because our son’s High School is now putting everything on iPads. That’s right all books, all notes and all assignments are all on one device.
Long gone are the days of heavy backpacks or lockers packed full of books. No more highlighters to mark books or making book covers to make sure the books last longer. The school has a one-iPad-per-student model and believes it will expand student access to engaging tools and resources.
Engaging is the word I would like to focus on here. One of my son’s teachers goes as far as posting assignments and directions on her own YouTube channel. What better way to connect with kids than to do it on a medium they love to use. So I watched one of the sessions and it was great. Long, yes, but still good and gave students step-by-step instructions.
Simultaneously as this is happening at home, at work our team has just launched a new monthly magazine. Our topic this month is education. The magazine has tons of content about how technology is changing the way we learn. One of the stories even focuses on the one laptop per child program and our contributing writer talks to Nicholas Negroponte who founded the program.
That said I now know some people don’t agree with the one-iPad-per-student model, but this is a digital world we are living in now. What better way to have our kids adapt than by having them do all of their work on one device and also engage with their instructors online during the process. I have to admit, sometimes it does freak me out that my son barely knows how to write in cursive, but he can probably type faster and find something online way quicker than I can. The best part is I know he is getting a good education and learning about the importance of this increasingly digital world at the same time.
The largest Higher Education IT event of the year, EDUCAUSE 2013 takes place in Anaheim, California October 15-18. We will be there along with about 5,000 key decision makers from the United States, Canada, and around the world.
If you are planning to attend, visit the Cisco team at booth #601, where we will showcase our Connected Learning solutions for higher education. Stop by and learn how to use your campus network infrastructure to save money, improve efficiency, enhance safety and security, and prepare the next-generation workforce.