Across the country school districts face a serious challenge. Transforming the teaching and learning culture to enable students to achieve educational success in a digital world.
Education leaders realize their schools must respond with innovative teaching and learning opportunities. One of the most challenging opportunities for most school districts is closing the gap between in-school and off-campus circles of influence.
Everyone knows that parental engagement, nutrition and community support play vital roles in shaping the educational experience. Great strides have been made in addressing health and wellness with school lunch programs. After-school programs, community outreach initiatives and recent post-secondary curricula changes to improve digital media literacy for new teachers have made dramatic inroads to overcome learning obstacles for many students.
Exploiting technology wisely enables administrators and policy makers transform their campuses – empowering all stakeholders to achieve success.
Challenge One: Changing the Culture
As noted in the Consortium for School Networking’s Participatory Learning in Schools: Leadership & Policy initiative report, schools must actively promote innovative solutions for teachers, students, parents and staff members to interact. Incorporating digital media creates opportunities for parents and instructors to connect 24/7 via chat features. Alongside traditional communication tools such as flyers and open-house activities, teachers and parents connect via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Challenge Two: Collaborative Professional Development
Building educator and administrative capacity supports critical culture transformation. Finding the time and resources to develop effective professional development programs is challenging for many districts. Digital media support professional development by allowing educators to:
- Practice new teaching strategies and techniques
- Personalize learning environment
- Establish a flexible schedule for learning opportunities
- Collaborate with other graduate students and education specialists in diverse specialties
- Engage with faculty and support staff in ongoing training programs
Challenge Three: Enabling Possibilities Through Innovative Policy
School districts that commit to scaling innovation district-wide face significant challenges, but reap considerable rewards. Every student deserves an exceptional learning experience. In order to deliver consistent opportunities for all students, districts must develop rigorous digital media policies. Web-based platforms that enable real-time access to training and assessment tools, chat features and performance tracking, create a system that allows full engagement and communication for teachers, school staff, parents and students.
For more information about how embracing digital media may help your school overcome education hurdles, contact 247teach.org.