- Education and Science
A Sneak Peek Into 2016 Educational Trends
Sneak Peeks & Teasers
Sneak peeks have revolutionized the movie industry. Before a film even debuts, producers can predict how well it will do at the box office by the number of views online. I have to admit trailers can be pretty convincing, especially those with plenty of action and minor details on the plot.
With each new school year come new developments, changes, and amendments. Parents check for effective changes, students look for improved classroom experiences, educators want to know how it all affects teaching. Although the cost would be something to consider, wouldn't it be great if schools posted sneak previews to promote the school year? Just a thought ...
2016 brings some interesting changes, some still being considered, to the educational platform of learning. Most importantly, schools implement new ideas to provide all stakeholders better methods of communication while providing quality education.
Social & Physical Well-being: Recess!
Voice Your Opinion
Is recess important to a child's well being during a school day?
Recess: It's Not Just Play
If you ask a child to name their favorite school subject you will most likely hear "recess". That always gets a chuckle from adults, but to a child -- it's probably the truth. I remember recess as being an important part of my school schedule as a child. It was the only time of day I could get away from the pressure of learning and just talk to my friends.
The Center on Education Policy reported a 44% cut in recess, among other school studies, in 2007 to allocate more time for language arts and math. This move proposed student focus on higher learning would result in better test scores. However, the inclination to succeed academically, at the cost of less "play", decreased student focus during the latter part of the day.
Educators now realize how essential a break during the day is to the well being of a child. Recess allows adolescents to rest their brain and interact socially with peers. Better yet, movement through play diminishes stress, clearing the mind for cognitive performance in the classroom.
The concern of child safety and lack of proper supervision during recess influenced school districts to eliminate or lessen the break time in the past. Today parental concerns with the No Child Left Behind Act tendency to push excessive testing and lengthening school days is reaching the ears of administrators. Principals argue it is impossible to allot time for recess, deeming the students already have physical education in the curriculum.
At this time only a handful of states require mandatory recess or physical activity breaks, Florida and Tennessee to mention a couple. There is much discussion in the higher courts to amend this mode of thought on recess during the school day for this year and beyond. We shall see how it all plays out.
Classroom Project Management
The Flipped Classroom
The term flipped classroom is defined as a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions. (Educause Learning, 2012). The concept of a flipped classroom was introduced about eight years ago. 2016 will see some changes for those institutions preferring this method of instruction. The strategy for success depends upon the use of technology, enabling sharing and easier access to assignments.
Forums/Discussions: Teachers share resources, document, and discuss classroom strategy with colleagues online at their convenience. This method of communication frees them to use their time more efficiently within the classroom.
Video: As students view videos at home, technology advancements allow them to ask questions and provide feedback at certain points. Teachers can use this information to pinpoint any problems needing additional instruction or clarification.
Lab Time: Preparing for labs before and after classes takes from valuable teaching instruction in the classroom. Educational tools within the home environment will allow students to perform their work at their convenience. Provided with online videos, students can view the experiment, pause, rewind to better understand the process. Scholars then report to school with their data for analyzing and interpretation by the instructor.
Again, these unique concepts may take time to perfect. However, one can see the benefit of more classroom instruction time to review and reinforce student learning.
Keeping Up With Assignments
Communicating with Mobile Apps
Technology in the classroom is becoming the norm for many instructors, extending the learning beyond the classroom requires inventive methods of instruction. Mobile apps have changed the way teachers, parents, and students communicate.
Nearly 33% of students today have access to some type of mobile device in the classroom. Not every teacher agrees with the use of technology for instruction, concerns about cheating and distractions are definite problems. Instructors who embrace it will increase student engagement and foster social interaction.
The greatest value is the ability to communicate -- for teachers, parents, and students. Using mobile apps fosters:
- Presentations, forums, debates
- Note Taking
- Checking grades, tracking achievements/accomplishments
- Parent-Teacher communication
- Student collaboration
Mobile apps can enhance the learning process without taking from basic classroom instruction. Creating a mobile space where education is blended with technology will only increase student performance and retain interest in education. I have listed below some apps currently used in classrooms and proven successful with teachers and students.
Access/post presentations, assignments, photos, videos. Create/edit MS office files on mobile, share file links with students.
Save articles, videos, web content; saved articles viewed online while presenting.
Teachers provide feedback, comment on student behavior; can send parents public/private messages on child progress. Parents can view child's feedback in real time.
Share info/course assignments with class/individual. Provides tools to annotate and grade assignments before digitally returning them. Upload items from camera roll/provide audio and video feedback. Classroom discussions and chats are a bonus.
Teachers/students can share content and use app as a conduit for new information and notifications, submit assignments, receive grades. Teachers can post messages, quizzes, polls while providing access to relevant resources and calendars.
Creative Writing Prompts
Aids teachers/students with starting lines and unique prompts to improve writing process. Allows sharing and saving of work via Social Media. Daily reminders posted for motivation/encouragement.
Teacher's Assistant Pro
Classroom management notes. Teachers record behavior on students; offers quick look-up method for noting behavior. Teachers can email specific incidents directly within apps main interface.
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© 2016 Dianna Mendez