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The Overlooked Technology for Student Success

Posted on Nov 7, 2018 7:20:00 AM

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What if there were a technology architecture that could solve or contribute to the solution for numerous educational goals/challenges, like:

  • Increasing parent engagement
  • Teacher recruitment and retention
  • Educational professional development
  • Student success and engagement
  • Professional learning communities

One ubiquitous technology can contribute in all of those areas, all of these groups are already familiar with it, and it’s already widely adopted by people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s also likely that your district already meets at least some of the requirements to implement this technology right now. This can all be achieved with our old friend, video. That’s right—the same technology that allows your kids to FaceTime you from a Shawn Mendes concert can also hold the keys to providing a better educational experience for many key stakeholders: teachers, students, and parents.

Here's what video can contribute to all of these groups:

It’s Ultimately About Engagement
The key to getting parents on board at your district: keeping them engaged. Historically, this is done through brick-and-mortar parent/teacher conferences. It worked well in the past because for a long period of time, only one parent in the household worked. Today, in 61.9% of households with two parents, both parents work. So why are so many school districts using an outdated engagement model that is inconvenient for working families? The solution is simple: implement widespread video conferencing for parents. This could increase parent engagement exponentially. In addition to reaching parents who would typically be unavailable to participate due to other obligations, you can also increase the frequency of these meetings. If additional interactions become necessary throughout the year (based on disciplinary or educational requirements), why couldn’t the parents and educators jump on a 10-minute video call to discuss the issue rather than wait for the parent(s) to be available to meet on-site? This allows teachers and parents to collaborate in a meaningful way and gives parents the opportunity to be more in tune with their students’ performance throughout the year.

Continuing Education Has Never Been Easier
One of the most important parts of the California teaching credential is the requirement for continued education. It’s so vital that teachers are able to learn and grow in their knowledge and capabilities in order to maximize the educational experience for students. Video provides an amazing opportunity to deliver on-demand professional development courses for those teachers. Imagine the power you give your staff by creating and cataloging a continuing education library so that they can work at their own pace and revisit topics weeks or months later? This could help new teachers, long-term subs, or teachers who simply want a way to review and consume the material as a refresher after they implement something new in their classrooms. This also opens up new avenues for professional learning communities to trade ideas and tactics based on real-world results.

Students are the Real Winners
Students are already using video in their personal lives. Additionally, we know that interactive learning is incredibly successful in terms of retention and understanding. Let’s use that knowledge to create the best learning opportunities possible for our students. We can leverage video for flipped classroom techniques or lecture-capture so that students have access to lecture information at their fingertips. This allows them to better absorb challenging course material and prepare for testing. It’s also valuable for students and parents as they establish individualized education programs (IEPs) or accelerated education plans. Imagine the opportunity to implement a plan on Monday and have a five-minute video check-in with the parents, the student, the specialist, and the teacher at the end of the week. Each person could be in a different location but still benefit from the same meaningful interaction through shared screens and open dialogue.

Video is a powerful tool. It’s time to look at the education process and focus on what we can do rather than what we have always done. Let’s team up to provide a better student and parent experience.

Here's DGI's Vice President, Jason Eatmon, with more:

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