From the time students exit school at the end of the day, they begin connecting with the world. They are not limited to the walls of the classroom or the knowledge of the teacher. Students pick up their devices or their parent’s devices and know no boundaries to information access or engagement with their peers. As technology evolves in society, students, as a result, expect classrooms to evolve and reflect the world that they live in. We have already witnessed the evolution of the teacher from a sage on the stage, presenting with a TV, to an exciting learning facilitator who delivers immersive experiences via classroom-connected devices.
Excitement about Multifunctional Classroom Technology
We watched the excitement of touch boards in the classroom fade into an everyday expectation. Now when students see a screen in the front of their classroom, they expect to touch it and navigate with their fingertips in much the same way they interact with their devices at home. Excitement is now centered around the multifunctionality of the device. The power of the device submerges students into their learning, subsequently making it easier, faster, and more engaging. This evolution on the interactive front of the classroom device, or classroom hub, is changing to reflect how students interact with their daily world.
Excitement about Access to Cloud Platforms, Applications, and Tools
With the touch of a finger, students collaborate with classrooms across the globe. And with a single swipe, they are multitasking as they model concepts for each other. With cloud platforms and technology, students stay connected to their learning no matter what events are taking place around them. In the same way touch technology has become an expectation, access is also becoming an expectation. Students expect to have access to their content, and they expect to interact with it.
The excitement that is emerging lies within the tools that drive creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. Students want to have multiple windows open at one time while working through a project with their peers. They want access to applications that allow them to decide how to showcase their work. The world is full of problems that need to be solved. Therefore, students need access to everyday tools that will help them learn how to navigate it.
Excitement about Equitable Learning and Personal Access
This leads us to our next expectation, and that is equity. Students expect to have the same equitable learning experience that their peers from other schools have. For example, they expect to do group research on the internet, watch a YouTube video as a class, or use a computer lab and word processor to create reports. There is developing excitement about having personalized access via one-to-one devices. Students are becoming the designers and innovators of their learning. They now have access to cloud-based applications where videos are created, not just viewed. Research is no longer limited to a web search. Augmented reality and virtual reality replicate the real world, and therefore, allow students to experience their research.
Excitement about Innovation and Collaboration Using Classroom Technology
Lastly, students expect to be able to share and present their work. Excitement is now centered around how students share and engage their classmates in their ideas. This sharing and engagement involve not just the finished product but the entire design process. Being able to mirror or connect the student’s device to the interactive classroom hub provides students a place to innovate how they defend, explain, and model their learning experiences and the tools to do so.
Excitement Turns to Expectation
Technology tools becoming an everyday expectation isn’t a bad thing. It means teachers have successfully integrated these tools into their classrooms. So, if your classroom technology has already become a daily expectation and you are looking to excite your students in new engaging ways, let the world that surrounds them be your guide.