With more access to digital technologies, learning goes beyond the textbook.
Teachers are using new types of learning resources to engage students based on individuals’ level, needs, and style. Through technology, students can work on the same activity while accessing it at a level that fits their specific needs, interests, and skills.
Empowering Students and Teachers with More Access to Digital Learning
Technology has the potential to improve teacher and student access to more up-to-date, higher quality learning resources. These advances can open new doors for all students, including those with special circumstances and needs.
Using Engaging Learning Materials
Teachers have more access to digital learning resources than ever before. Educators in our study reported advantages to increased access—as well as an evolved learning environment. Digital resources are updated more readily than textbooks, providing students with more current information that keeps pace with our fast-moving, information-rich world.
Teachers also have the option to engage students in many different ways. Students now access course materials through mobile devices, computers, and video game consoles, and digital learning resources can take the form of videos, games, and much more. Using these multiple modes, students are digging deeper and become more engaged with a topic. Teachers can then encourage critical thinking because students do not need to rely on the teacher or textbook for information.
Learning Anywhere, Everywhere
Ability to access class materials and content at any time and from anywhere changes how teachers can encourage responsible behaviors. Access to course materials from home holds student accountability to complete assignments. If students can access them from anywhere, they don’t have to fall behind if they miss class. They can learn where they are, when they can, and teachers don’t have to spend valuable instructional time helping students catch-up.
Personalizing Learning Materials
Technology also opens the door to individualized instruction to engage all students, including advanced learners, English language learners, and students with learning disabilities and special needs. Teachers noted the positive impact that technology is having on their special populations. They have identified software programs and apps that provide leveled instruction and activities to assist students who are behind, at grade level, or ahead of their peers. Through technology, students can work on the same activity while accessing it at a level that fits their specific needs, interests and skills.
Teachers from Meridian, Idaho, describe how they use technology to increase access for their students.