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Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Rethinking Teaching: How K-12 and Higher Education Leaders Can Facilitate Collaborative Learning with Technology | Government Technology

Technology is transforming teaching and learning, and preparing students for the future of work. But educators must learn to leverage teaching tools to engage students and support their personal growth, continues Government Technology.

College students collaborate on mobile devices.
Photo: Shutterstock.com 
K-12 schools, colleges and universities are awash in technology that would have been unthinkable even a decade ago. Interactive tools have transformed online and blended learning from passive experiences to active, engaging environments that allow students to work together on projects tailored to their specific needs and interests.

Next-generation education emphasizes collaboration and interactivity, whether students are in the classroom, learning from outside experts or working on their own time. But they’re only as effective as the educators who use them.

We are going to explore ways in which technology is transforming teaching and learning, and preparing students for the future of work. We will also offer suggestions on how district and higher education leaders can help educators innovate.

THE CONNECTED CLASSROOM 
The 4Cs — critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity — are the cornerstone skills learners of all ages need to be successful in life.

That’s why the most transformative use of connected classroom technology, whether in face-to-face learning or online and blended learning models, isn’t presenting lectures or material. It’s leveraging these resources to help students collaborate and problem solve in new ways.

Collaboration tools such as Cisco Webex blur the lines between synchronous and asynchronous models, making learning a hybrid, continuous experience for all students.
 

In a connected classroom, technology helps enable: 
  • Collaboration. Students can securely connect and communicate with peers, teachers and experts.
  • Flexibility. Whether in an online or traditional classroom, tools such as video, whiteboards and lecture capture give students the opportunity to access learning materials when and where they want. 
  • Blended learning. Students use tools like Webex Teams to gather materials and collaborate in class, then return to their projects on their own time.
  •  New connections. Video conferencing can help educators connect with parents in new ways.
  •  Bringing the world to the classroom. Students can speak to experts and collaborate with peers in other classrooms, cities or countries across the globe...
To support educators in creating this kind of digital learning culture, leaders should start by shifting the lens. Rather than starting with students — who today are digital natives at all ages — focus on the adults who teach them.

For a complete look at rethinking teaching, download our free issue brief here to see suggestions on how district and higher education leaders can help educators innovate.
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Source: Government Technology 


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