Friday, August 31, 2012

Today's Digital Class Boosts Learning

I attended my daughter's high school open house this week and was impressed by how the digital media transformation has impacted education. There was zero exchange of paper. No class handouts, guidelines or rules to carry around from class to class. Instead, every classroom was equipped with a healthy size LCD screen to run the Apple TV platform. Teachers, who grew up using beepers, used  iPad touch screens to give brief presentations on their classroom objectives, teaching strategies and student expectations. Their fingers slid across a touch screen for everything they needed to share, with no need to uncap a white board marker, let alone white chalk. But the coolest thing about the school's new platform was  the instructor's ability to engage students in learning, using interactive apps with immediate feedback on their inputs. For example, in Anatomy, students were using a 3-D app that featured 360-degree views of all of the human body systems. Using their own individual iPads, students are asked
to focus on the skeletal system of the human foot and answer pop questions by the instructor. Their answers are submitted, reviewed and feedback is provided by the instructor before the bell rings for the next class. The visual element and the use of technology in the classroom is boosting student interest in learning the subject content. Likewise, the use of Google Connect cloud services is making English class less burdensome for both the instructor and student, who can collaborate on early drafts of essays or papers with immediacy in order to get students focused on the right presentation of content. It's not easy being a high school student these days, as so much more is being required of them, but then again, they literally have the world at their fingertips!

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