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.
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.
Have you heard about Flipped learning? It is transforming the world of education.
At the Denton Independent School district in Texas we wholeheartedly embrace technology education. Why? Because we understand the correlation between technology and student success. With over 26,000 students to serve, Denton ISD looked to “flipped learning” as a solution that would benefit students at all levels. With flipped learning, student’s take-in content before connecting with the teacher in the classroom. Often times, this takes the form of video based material recorded by the teacher and made available to students from any device or location outside of the classroom. In this way, students spend time with their instructors applying learned knowledge instead of acquiring content.
Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for underserved students, today announced Cisco as a new National Leadership Partner.
Cisco and the Cisco Foundation have supported Citizen Schools since 2009, providing more than $1.24 million in grants and products to help the program expand from 10 schools in five states to 31 schools in seven states and improve communication among staff nationally.
Also, more than 125 Cisco employees have volunteered with the nonprofit’s Citizen Teacher program, leading 10-week apprenticeships for middle school students.
Cisco Strategic Account Manager Doug Reagan instructs students on the art of making video documentaries.
Are you passionate about helping children succeed in high school, dream of college and careers, and reach their full potential? Find out how you can become a Citizen Teacher at citizenschools.org.