Student engagement is a major concern for today’s educators. According to the 2015 Gallup Student Poll, “Engaged Today—Ready for Tomorrow,” three-quarters of fifth graders feel “involved in and enthusiastic about school,” but only one-third of eleventh graders feel the same. In an effort to address low student engagement, many schools are looking to technology and becoming future ready.
“Future ready” isn’t just a trendy buzzword. It means guiding students into a high-tech, fast-paced world. Future ready schools prepare students to succeed as adults. As part of their efforts, schools are integrating teacher mobility into the classroom and seeing increased student engagement.
How Teacher Mobility Helps Shape Future Ready Schools
For generations, educators have known that students perform better when their teacher moves around the classroom. This hasn’t changed in the digital era. In fact, as mobile technology progresses, school IT professionals and educators are seeing the benefits of enhanced mobility. There are seven key elements (called “gears” in The Alliance for Excellent Education’s Future Ready Framework) for school administrators and IT professionals to consider when making their schools future ready. Wireless display is an important classroom tool that can enhance each of these critical elements.
Curriculum, instruction, and assessment
Today’s students live in a mobile world, and keeping their attention in school is an ever-increasing challenge. To be effective, educational content and its delivery have to keep pace with the times. The gold standard of education is personalized curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Future ready schools help teachers meet that standard.
Students no longer need to sit in rows facing the front of the room. Mobile technology enables the creation of work groups and collaboration spaces. With this newfound freedom in how curriculum is delivered, educators have more materials to choose from. With access to realia at their fingertips, students benefit from a more relevant curriculum.
Teacher mobility bolsters student attention, retention of knowledge, and performance. Experienced educators and education researchers have long recommended that teachers move around the room, engaging with students whenever possible. Classroom agility makes it easy for teachers to monitor student behavior, identify issues quickly and help off-task students refocus, without interrupting instruction. When they aren’t tied down with wires and cords, teachers can move more freely around the room to monitor and assist students.
All schools strive to use assessments that accurately measure student achievement. It’s critical that assessments be effective, relevant, and current. In future ready schools, formative assessment can be done in real time, allowing teachers more precision in adapting their instruction on the fly. Teachers can record and analyze responses from individual students during normal classroom activities, identifying problems before it’s too late.
Future ready schools take advantage of mobile tools to make curriculum more relevant, instruction more accessible, and assessment more meaningful. Mobile tools enable teachers to differentiate their instruction and provide individualized attention.
Use of space and time
One of teachers’ biggest objections to adopting new technology is the amount of space and time required. Fortunately, as technology improves, the space and time commitments go down.
As the school-age population grows, many schools are facing space constraints. Mobile technology helps alleviate this by making computer labs a thing of the past. Schools are able to convert their computer labs into regular classrooms, and students have quick and easy access to technology anywhere in the building.
Digital materials take up less space than traditional classroom materials. When classroom devices are mobile and don’t require cords, everything is more streamlined. Both students and teachers use their space and time more effectively when they have the right tools. Wireless display technology gives them access to more and better materials while helping them use their time more effectively.
Of course, even the best software is useless without the right infrastructure. A school must have the right mobile devices and the infrastructure needed to support those devices.
Schools that already have wi-fi in place can easily incorporate wireless display devices, enhancing their current infrastructures with upgraded mobile devices for users.
Many schools today issue tablets to students or have them on hand in the classroom. They’re ideal for personalizing content and making digital materials easily accessible to students.
Because today’s laptop computers are sufficiently powerful, they have quickly replaced traditional computer labs. Many schools have a shared inventory of laptop computers that can be moved from room to room.
Whether a school is equipped with tablets, laptops, or both, wireless display technology can make the schools’ existing technology even more useful to both teachers and students. Screen mirroring can be accomplished on both tablets and laptops, and Miracast technology allows mirroring without using the school’s bandwidth.
Wireless display technology is a critical component of the future ready school. Because of its power, security, and ease of use, ScreenBeam is the best screen mirroring solution on the market.
Privacy is a major concern in any school, and data privacy is extraordinarily important. Future ready schools use software and mobile devices with advanced security features. They also use a system of backups to prevent loss.
In addition to keeping records secure, school officials must also consider the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) when gathering and using data. There’s also the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act to consider in schools with students under the age of 13. Many states have additional regulations. Future ready schools ensure that staff are current in their knowledge of laws and regulations. They have privacy plans in place to protect their institution, staff, and students. Their mobile devices and software include robust security measures that support their needs.
Future ready schools can enter community partnerships to support their initiatives. The Microsoft Innovative Expert online community is one example of a place educators can go to learn more about how they can use technology to make their schools future ready. A community in which education professionals can exchange ideas and ask questions adds a layer of support.
Personalized professional learning
Educators know that personalization is critical in student learning. For schools that are adopting new technology and working toward future readiness, professional learning can be personalized, too.
Events such as the Arizona CIO/CTO Forum, the Northwest Council for Computer Education conference (NCCE), the International Society for Technology in Education conference (ISTE), and Microsoft EduDays are valuable opportunities for educators to learn about technology and techniques that are important to them. Breakout sessions and seminars allow attendees to focus on their specific areas of interest, ask questions, and exchange ideas.
Budget and resources
Future ready schools, like any school, seek to use their resources effectively to engage students and help them succeed. Although the use of technology has changed in recent years, the need to stick to a budget remains the same. Fortunately, becoming future ready by adopting mobile solutions doesn’t have to be costly.
For example, ScreenBeam’s miracast-enabled wireless display technology doesn’t require hard wiring or upgrades to Wi-Fi systems. In most cases, existing mobile devices can be used with ScreenBeam.
By selecting technology carefully and keeping the existing infrastructure in mind, IT professionals and educators can stay within their budgets while building future ready schools.
All educators want to help their students become lifelong learners who are responsible citizens and able to compete in today’s job market. Increasing student engagement has always been important in education, and mobile technology, including wireless display technology, enhances educators’ ability to reach learners. When technology is integrated in the right ways, it has a huge impact on student success.