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Scholars: Digital Classrooms Benefit Best From Supplemental Instruction

A study of five school districts finds that the benefits of a digital classroom are more substantial when supplemented with the necessary instruction, rather than replacing instruction time. Researchers have devised five keys on the road to success for technology integration in schools.

“Scholars have noted that benefits tend to be more substantial when blended learning (versus a purely online experience) is used and when the time devoted to instruction with technology supplements, and not replaces, the time spent without it,” according to the original report based on the 2014 study.

The study was completed by the America’s Promise Alliance’s Center for Promise according to D. Frank Smith of EdTechMagazine. The five districts included in the study resided in Pennsylvania, Texas, Alabama, California and Wisconsin due to diversity in geography, ethnic composition, socioeconomic patterns and size.

Though technology is growing in the classroom, the scholars found that supplemental instruction helps the learning process along. Completely annexing the time students spend receiving instruction from educators may not breed successful results for tech integration, so how what else did researchers take away from the study?

Jonathan Zaff, executive director for the Center of Promise and researcher Michelle Sedaca says that further research is still necessary according to the EdTechMagazine article, however they have five key elements that can push schools in the proper direction for tech integration in their schools.

The strategies include: “Plan and Expand, Provide training in technology and pedagogical techniques, Restructure roles and rooms, Venture beyond the classroom and Use data systematically.”

Expanding networks is essential to comfortably power digital learning according to the report. By building the infrastructure of a schools technology network, students will be able to work efficiently due to increases in Internet speed.

With new tech advancements being developed almost daily, regular professional development is necessary for educators enabling them to troubleshoot problems students may come across.

Addressing individual needs paired with physically altering the looks of classrooms also made for a more dynamic teaching and learning environment according to researchers.

Schools are also urged by researchers to venture outside of the classroom to spark new ideas as well as “building new relationships with businesses, universities, foundations and other organizations.”

The final key includes using the data to alter and guide the way students learn as well as the way they are instructed.

The exploration and research for technology in the classroom is an ongoing process but through it, researchers are learning how to effectively integrate technological systems into classrooms. Much like the last key mentioned above, the implementation of systematical data should continue to alter the way educators use technology in the classroom for the better.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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