- Kimberly Zajac, a nationally certified speech/language pathologist and audiologist for Norton Public Schools and a board member for Massachusetts Computer Using Educators (MassCUE), shared with eSchool News five key ingredients to connect with students and colleagues that she gleaned during conferences she attended this summer.
- Zajac suggests that teachers and administrators can amplify student voices, expand classroom horizons globally, and better connect with Generation Z through classroom Twitter accounts, classroom blogs or vlogs using Flipgrid to encourage student participation.
- Technology is also expanding ways for students to visualize their thinking with the Sketch-Notes app and similar products. Educators can expand their own knowledge and professional development by connecting with resources from conferences and professional learning networks.
As a new school year begins, administrators are looking for ways to get off to a good start. It's the perfect time to introduce new ideas to teachers, students and staff, and the expanding realm of technology makes innovation easy. Zajac offers several ideas in her article that may be new to other educators and can help to engage students and teachers more actively in the learning process.
One of the best advantages of educational technology is the ability for schools to now connect globally through sites such as Our Global Classroom, Belouga and Skype in the Classroom. These types of global connections can expand a student’s view of the world and better prepare them as global citizens. It can also allow educators to share ideas with other educators who might be as far as across the world.
Administrators and other educators can also use technology to better connect with and influence Generation Z which, in turn, is already affecting changes in education. By understanding the expectations Generation Z has for higher education, educators can also help prepare them for that future. Twitter accounts and other forms of social media are important parts of this connection and can be a positive force in the classroom to share information and encourage student voices. Though technology has its challenges, it is shaping our educational landscapes. Learning to use it effectively is the only way to thrive.