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Understanding the three pillars of the ‘new’ modern classroom

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As many schools across the UK and Ireland fully return to the classroom, teachers and students will feel relieved to be back in the nucleus of education. A year of hybrid learning has been a mixed experience: on the one hand, accelerating the uptake of education technology; on the other, burdening staff wellbeing and student engagement. Edtech providers, too, have had to adapt by offering remote support — Promethean now offers virtual demos of our ActivPanel interactive display.

The hybrid learning approach has opened up new teaching tools and techniques for educators, and schools will now be looking to implement a robust strategy which reintegrates students back into the classroom. Rather than simply returning to tired, old practices, however, the new modern classroom understands that properly integrating the most valuable edtech enhances traditional teaching methods.

Realising the seamless combination of tech and teaching predicted by 90% of educators in the UKI State of Technology in Education Report, it’s a long-term solution which supports staff and students by ensuring their priorities remain at the heart of school strategy. The new modern classroom overcomes issues with tech access, the attainment gap and engagement drops, by focusing on three pillars: pedagogy, environment and technology.

So how does this translate into educators’ day-to-day lesson delivery, and what actions can you take to maximise the modern classroom?

Pedagogy

Modern pedagogical practices diversify traditional teaching methods with a variety of activities which target different learning profiles. Understanding that individual students learn in different ways — especially this generation of digital natives — modern pedagogy seeks to create a diverse learning experience.

So how can staff personalise and improve their teaching? Employing and blending a range of lesson styles promotes enhanced learning. Encouraging greater collaboration is one of the most effective ways to make students active rather than passive learners, practising tasks and problem-solving — all while developing social skills. Taking this further, making lessons student-led gives them greater ownership of their learning and allows them to tailor activities to their strengths.

Blending traditional teaching with modern pedagogy by incorporating greater variety with differentiated approaches not only caters for mixed-ability pupils, but also eases the burden on the always-on teacher. A flipped classroom fosters a greater relay between staff and student so they can engage with the content, rather than being left to consume it independently. The teacher therefore becomes a trusted mentor guiding them through their learning, instead of carrying the burden of one-way exchanges.

So, how else can educators create stimulating learning experiences which don’t rely on the role of the teacher?

Environment

The new modern classroom isn’t just about the people in it, but the space itself. Making carefully considered choices about classroom configuration not only provides further variety, but reduces the strain on the teacher’s role. Are static rows of desks ever conducive to the most effective learning? Group discussions, demonstrations and activities can be better facilitated in a rounded classroom designed for full interactivity.

Indeed, your conventional classroom layout may have worked up to now, but staff and students are coming out of a period of inhibited interaction. So why neglect the chance to boost in-person collaboration in the classroom? Exploring new setups which spark interest in your students can reignite the social component and eliminate any engagement drop.

Interactive displays are an integral part of this structure. The focal point of the classroom, the best front-of-class displays serve as a hub for lessons to run through — whether that’s big quizzes, live streamed videos or exploring 3D models. Whatever layout you choose, front-of-class displays like the ActivPanel can provide a central anchor for teachers and pupils to work from, while also opening up the space by transporting students outside the classroom.

So what opportunities does edtech provide in the new modern classroom?

Technology

Elevating the impact of the teacher in a well-configured classroom, edtech is essential to delivery of high-quality lessons. Educators have first-hand experience of the role edtech plays in delivering hybrid learning, but the new modern classroom extends its benefits from an enabler to an enhancer.

With a generation of digitally native students coming out of a period of hybrid learning, they expect more than ever to use tech tools regularly, nurturing their creativity. Fundamental to how they interact with the world, they’re predisposed to understanding ideas and topics through digital platforms. A digital-first school strategy leverages this so students can enjoy hands-on learning with media-rich content.

Of course, it’s not only students who benefit. With new demands on teachers, edtech is well-positioned to improve their productivity and make lesson delivery more seamless. Front-of-class displays like the ActivPanel offer in-built multi-device mirroring, so teachers can efficiently share content and exemplar work. Embedding edtech in the classroom equips staff and students with a range of dynamic tools to engage with each other and the content.

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So how can you bring these three pillars together for a future-proof school strategy?

Aligning the pillars for success

Educators have an opportunity to reevaluate teaching to thoroughly secure school objectives and support wellbeing. Maximising the new modern classroom doesn’t require radical reinvention, but considering each of these three pillars and how they work together in your school.

Find out more about how to implement this approach in our guide on the ‘new’ modern classroom. Want to take a first step towards modern edtech with teaching and learning value? Request a free ActivPanel demo, tailored to your needs, to discover the benefits for your school.

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