How to Set Up Your Digital Classroom for Success
Whether you teach entirely online or have a physical space, your digital classroom needs to facilitate successful learning. There is no one right way to arrange or present education to your students. However, there are markers and go to ideas for a healthy digital learning environment.
What is the Hallmark of a Successful Classroom?
A successful digital presence will invite exploration while supporting the organization, routines, and procedures necessary for student growth. The best online classes are integrated seamlessly into your curriculum and physical set up. For optimal presentation, design your digital plan before school begins.
If your course offers laptops or tablets for student use, you’ll need a handy charging station to keep tech contained. Include an online taskmaster board or poster to give students a visual reminder of online assignments. Include instruction for digital participation, in-class device use and accessing your online classroom with course orientation.
Strategies to Consider
- Be Consistent
Choose what technology your class will use and stick with it all year. There are constantly new apps and programs being introduced to aid classroom learning. However, changing too often can hinder active learning. You may choose to use a fully integrated LMS (think Study Island or USATestprep or Integrated LMS Cloud System), a classroom blog, or a homework website. You also might involve students with several tech apps to engage them in learning. Regardless of your chosen tech approach, make sure students understand how it works and use it consistently throughout the year.
- Use the Stoplight Method for Classroom Tech
Many teachers worry that allowing devices in the classroom will cause a distraction. Student preoccupation can be an issue if not properly addressed. The stoplight method is a simple way to communicate classroom expectations. Visual cues are easy to teach and follow, even for younger students.
- Encourage Device Sharing
If your classroom doesn’t offer enough devices for every student, don’t despair. Children need diverse learning opportunities, and encouraging device sharing can improve their focus. Assigning groups of 3 students to work on a class tablet is an innovative way to get everyone involved.
- Leverage BYOD
Letting students work from their own devices may seem like a slippery slope towards chaos. However, if you have implemented strong classroom rules, your students may benefit from this practice. Most schools cannot afford enough tablets or computers for every student. By allowing a variety of devices to come to class, you encourage participation in your digital learning process. You can engage students in class games through their devices or plan in-class lessons which require students to access online resources.
The bottom line is that digital classrooms are diverse and ever-changing. Having a plan on how to incorporate technology in your courses is the first step to success.
What ways have you used technology to further education? What apps or programs do your students enjoy? We want to hear your experiences and thoughts!