Our understanding of learning is constantly developing, and naturally this has led to changes in how we teach. Of course, this has resulted in a myriad of learning theories, of varying degrees of credibility, but one thing is clear: people learn in different ways, at different times and with different subjects. Further complicated by the different ways people teach.
The modern learning experience recognises and indeed embraces the diverse and at times ‘messy’ nature of teaching and learning. It understands the need for teaching to be as flexible as possible, allowing teachers to continuously adapt to meet the needs of the students in order to help them achieve their personal best.
In response to this, schools are increasingly turning to a new class of edtech platform which allows teachers to innovate for greater impact in the classroom and beyond, whilst reducing the complexity and burden of the teachers day to day workload. With less time being spent going through notes for example, teachers have more time to work with individuals and small groups so that they can better meet their needs at that moment.
So I’m sure you’re wondering, how can this new class of edtech better facilitate the learning experience?
Empowers your teachers to provide detailed feedback
Modern learning experience platforms provide teachers with an environment where they can easily collate appropriate resources, from a variety of sources and publishers, and provide their students with the detailed feedback they need to go further every day. In turn, this fosters a greater degree of independence in the student's study habits, empowering them to shape their own learning journeys. Students can now access learning content on any device, (mobile, laptop or desktop) allowing them to focus on learning, not managing their assignments.
Ensures guided learning pathways
The idea of having the accumulated knowledge of the world at your fingertips should be a good thing, right? No more having to rote learn facts that will be mentally discarded as soon as we've sat the relevant exam. But this vast ocean of knowledge throws up its own challenges as students have to navigate their way through to the most useful/accurate and unbiased knowledge for any particular task. Firefly helps schools provide students with the guidance they need to make good choices in the information they use either through a 'walled garden', (particularly useful for younger students) or by including a series of starting points for research, embedded into tasks.
Facilitates communication to better understand student needs
Of course, access to such a wide knowledge base also stimulates a desire to discuss what we have discovered. Whilst one of the benefits of the classroom environment is the ability to talk about ideas and collaborate in refining them, Firefly forums facilitate student discussions in a secure, online environment helping to ensure that any follow up, face-to-face conversations are more focused and informed. Firefly’s online assignments, polls and quizzes make it easy for teachers to better understand student misconceptions before the lesson takes place and plan activities accordingly.
Allows for varied multimedia to suit learning preferences
Technology has made an extraordinary impact on the world we live in and the rate of change can at times feel breath-taking. I don't consider myself to be 'old', (although my children might disagree), but I remember a time when the use of 'multimedia' in a lesson involved the whole class trooping off to the TV room to watch a BBC education programme that was being aired at a specific time. Forty years later we teach in an environment where the tools for using multimedia in a classroom can be the size of a notebook in the hands of every individual in the classroom. This greater accessibility to technology is opening up new horizons for teachers to explore in the delivery of their subjects. Whether they are using video, audio or digital textbooks, they are now better placed to adapt content and material such that it meets the needs of all of their students. A modern learning experience platform like Firefly allows schools to stop looking at what technology currently provides, but rather at what they want to achieve.
The modern learning experience is here now. Using the right technology can provide schools with the opportunity to not only embrace new ideas and innovation, but also to think about how we might want to shape the changes yet to come.