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A New Era of Connectivity in Schools: Adapting to the Educational Landscape

Posted 1st June 2020
By Ellie Rolfe

One thing I know… as we adapt to the changing educational landscape, our journey into and utilisation of digital connectivity will be one of the key indicators that determine our potential success.

In digital connectivity, these are the areas that schools must ensure they are continually moving forward as we continue in this changing educational landscape.

1 to 1 Device Usage

It seems strange to me that this even needs to be mentioned, however there are many schools where this is not a reality. Perhaps this is by choice, perhaps this is through lack of funding… whatever the case, the world we are living in, and moving toward is saturated in digital technologies, and our young people need to be equipped to operate in this realm. This must go beyond mere word processing, or even worse – “busy-work”. It needs to move, more and more, towards content discovery, synthesis and creation.

Effective WIFI and Broadband

Schools must become hubs of excellence in terms of speed and volume of connection. As students prepare to move into a world where their business, communication, media consumption and creation are virtually instantaneous, it is imperative that we conduct our education in a physical and digital landscape that mirrors this.

IMG_1933.PNG#asset:12240Teen Brains Under Construction: Have you ever asked your teenager the reasons why they have done something and you are met with the reply “I don’t know?” Chances are, they do not actually know the reasons for why they have just said what they said, why they had that emotional outburst or why they have just participated in that risk-taking behaviour.

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A Learning Management System (LMS) that works for teachers

A Learning Management System (LMS) that is built around the educational paradigm and philosophy of individual schools will become increasingly important. It is vital that these systems are built with the functionality and flexibility that allows them to be adapted to the specific needs and desires of each school that they are rolled into. It has been said that the tool needs to serve the user, however in many cases teachers and schools can find themselves having to serve (or bend to) the tool. Delivering content, launching different platforms, providing various connectivity functions, allowing embedded content, delivering assessments, allowing for effective feedback, making the administration of all of these simpler instead of merely adding another layer of complexity, tracking participation and engagement… this is what schools and teachers are looking for in an LMS. I am grateful that my school has invested the time and money to get this right.

Teachers that can fully utilise an LMS

Today’s teachers must commit to discovering how they can adapt to a world where continuous remote learning or distance education is a part of our reality. This must include a commitment to upskill in using LMSs to deliver content and feedback. This necessitates not just learning how a platform works, but also making a change to the way we as educators view our role in the teaching and learning relationship. As part of this, today’s teachers must become familiar with, and even experts in the art of video sourcing and creation, digital resourcing (creation and utilisation), flipped learning, voice annotation, digital feedback and more.

Professional development that targets and demonstrates digital connectivity

It is an accepted truth that one of the most successful ways to improve student results is to increase teacher effectiveness… we must professionally develop our staff in a way that allows them to consistently upskill in this ever developing realm. It is vital that the tools we use to professionally develop our staff upskill them through both their content, and through the manner in which it is delivered. The material being delivered has to teach us about the world of digital teaching/learning and engage us with that same world through its delivery.

I would like to think that after the last 8 weeks of rapid development in the teaching profession’s uptake of digital connectivity technologies, that we will not return to a business as usual mode when this current Covid-19 crisis is over. We should do all that we can to ensure that we keep moving forward in this realm. The world will continue to develop in this area, and if we do not, we may well be left behind.

Matt Connett

Deputy Principal

The Life

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