Finding the Right Education Solution
In order to transform today’s classrooms into appropriate 21st-century learning environments, we need to provide students with rich digital content that goes far beyond simple digitized print textbooks.
Common features of digital content should include:
- Multimedia elements, such as still images and graphics, video, virtual reality, animations, simulations, audio, music, interactive, and gaming elements
- Embedded tools (survey, calculator, spreadsheet, and so on) to facilitate student highlighting, annotating, calculations, and more
- Links to 3rd party tools (wikis, video/graphics editors, academic networking tools) to support collaboration and creation
- Multiple languages
- Adaptive technology designed to meet special needs
- Links to external resources
- Technologies that evaluate student responses, provide customized content, and redirect students to data-indicated areas of need
- A seamless continuum of instruction and assessment
Rich digital content can take many forms. It can be provided in standards-based packages that build upon textbooks, with teacher’s guides, assessments, and multimedia content all included and aligned to standards. It can be created collaboratively, in open source format, by a variety of experts, or it can be drawn from multiple sources— subscriptions, free online resources, and other digitized material—customized locally to meet the needs of a particular classroom, grade, or district.
Rich digital content, delivered on flexible mobile computers, can revolutionize the ways in which elementary, secondary, and post-secondary age students learn and grow. The most effective digital learning environments bring together the three C’s of consumption, collaboration, and creation by:
- Engaging students through a rich and varied array of innovative media and learning experiences
- Being flexible and adaptable, allowing students to learn at their own pace, and in their own style
- Offering teachers and administrators the power to select and modify content as desired
- Connecting students with outside resources as well as experts and mentors to support their learning
- Providing a seamless continuum of instruction and assessment, thus providing data to inform teacher practice and improve student performance
- Offering opportunities for students to share ideas and collaborate with one another through such tools as wikis or social/academic networks
- Challenging and motivating students to create their own meaning in the form of blogs, multimedia presentations, or other original content that builds on what they have learned and is delivered to an authentic audience
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