New Student Interactions
As technology moves into the classroom, the roles of teachers and students are shifting.
Teachers are no longer lecturing at a chalkboard. Instead, students are collaborating with other students, focusing on their personalized learning program, and being coached by their teachers—all facilitated by blended learning on laptops, iPads and other devices.
Making the Most of Differentiated Instruction
When technology is brought into the classroom, it can change the way students and teachers interact with one another. Teachers can now step away from their traditional roles of being the lecturer and presenter to become a guide. This lets teachers focus on individual interactions that can make the most impact.
Technology lets teachers spend more time differentiating instruction: performing side-by-side coaching, providing individual interactions and support and assessing and giving immediate feedback. And students find all of these interactions more rewarding and more instructionally impactful.
Learning Outside of the Usual Circle
Technology can revolutionize the learning process for students by extending their learning outside of the classroom. Not only can they work collaboratively through virtual labs and classrooms, they can also share their experiences and learning in discussion boards, chat rooms, and blogs. This blended learning broadens their perspectives and practices.
In this digital age, students can also interact with and learn from others outside of their usual circles. Students can reach out to experts in the field they are studying, work with students from other schools, and take virtual field trips to places they cannot see otherwise.
Extending the Purpose of Student Work
With technology, students can actively seek their own knowledge, and teachers can differentiate instruction. Since technology can access multiple resources on all topics, it is now possible to decrease the dependence on teachers for content and answers, which enables students to take responsibility for their own learning.
This transforms students from passive to active learners and teachers from presenters to guides. Students are no longer waiting for the answer and regarding the teacher’s perspective, thoughts, and ideas as the only ones. Instead, educators can help them develop critical thinking and questioning skills and to engage in their own learning.
Implementing blended learning, teachers in West Ada School District in Meridian, Idaho, are transforming their classes—and student outcomes—with differentiated instruction.