[Webinar] EdTalk - The Future of Technology in Schools Featuring David Udry

The Campus Consortium 20-minute webinar featuring school leader David Udry was held on 30th June.

Mr. Udry has over 25 years of experience in education, the last ten being in India. He currently serves as the Principal of Himalayan International Residential School in Siliguri. He attempts to use technology to treat both teachers and students as individuals and improve both student achievement and teacher practice.

For those who unfortunately missed the webinar can check the details of what he shared in the webinar below. The central theme for the webinar was “What education will look like in 2020 and how edtech will evolve to meet the needs of students, faculty and administration?”

With technology integration we see people obsessing over the tech ignoring the fact that tech must be used to make the teaching-learning processes efficient. Starting with the idea of tech integration and speaking of future of technology in education , he quoted “We as parents, administrators and teachers have to take the lead and check what is right. We can’t let technology drive us, education has to drive the technology.”

The webinar was focused on 4 key areas - Student Engagement, Teacher Engagement, Parent Engagement, and Administration Engagement.

1. Student Engagement

Students being the core of the system, he stated 4 key areas that need to be looked upon when  making students the center of the complete process.

Individualized Instruction

The first aspect of student engagement concerns with individualized instruction that focuses mainly on the students. This includes various things like change in learning environment and adapting to the new flipped classrooms model so that students are being able to learn in various ways.

Integration of technology for instant formative assessments is a great way to understand the level of information that is being understood by our students. Talking about virtual classrooms, he mentioned how technology has enabled teachers to look up on each students' on individual level and plan personalized remedial plans so weak areas of individual child can be taken care of.

Also, this leads to better opportunities for strong students. Easier implementation of differentiated instruction can be done via tech integration which allows students to work on their own pace and helps teachers understand more about the capabilities of the students. Ability to track student performance across disciplines/subjects is other thing that would help teachers attain a more holistic picture of students’ understanding. 

Collaborative Learning

The second area to be addressed is collaborative learning that deals with making sure that students are provided with opportunities for collaborative learning. This one is loved by the students and is of great benefit. Students learning together learn better as they encounter information with more perspectives.  

Opportunity to work with students all over helps students develop skills like creative thinking, communication skills, better understanding of the subject and increased interaction with different viewpoints can be observed. Increased mediums for students to showcase learning is one thing that comes with practice of this model. Students are being able to get the visibility for their work and they get the opportunity to perform a variety of roles.

Real World Learning

The third area must address the real world learning experiences of the students and make sure that the students are engaged in their learning processes. Access to global issues like depletion of water, global warming and other issues must be a part of the learning process. This way students become responsible towards the nature and society, as well as they learn and work about things with real concepts in mind.

Up-to-the-minute issues in all subjects is possible now with information just seconds away. Updated and latest resources can be accessed by students over the web and they can always learn from the recent and updated resources. Variety of perspectives and views that students encounter with collaborative and social learning in practice is another thing that adds to their knowledge bank.

Deeper understanding of issues in each subject can be observed within students as they are being able learn in real world, with real life experiences.

Making Learning Visible

And the last part is making sure that students are being able to showcase their learning not just in terms of their knowledge but in terms of their skills as well. Visibility to students learning is important and now they have got variety of ways to demonstrate learning with the help of technology.  

Ability to show learning over a period of time has changed and evolved with so many options for students as they can now present their learning in multimedia form via tech tools. Creation of learning portfolios for admission to higher ed is another thing that is great and being done by students now.

Knowing a lot is of no use when you can do nothing, showcasing what students can do, not just what they know is one great way to have them introduced to opportunities that utilizes their skills and helps them develop and grow new ones. Also, allowing different learners to present their knowledge in their own way is essential.

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2. Teacher Engagement

Just like students, teachers get a lot of ease and all the benefits of teaching with tech. Ease of collaboration within schools and beyond helps educators form their own PLN. Available resources can be updated and with technology teachers can even get the best of resources in multiple formats that makes it easy for them to have engaging sessions with their students.  

Tracking of student performance with tech tools like online LMS is  great ease. 

Easier differentiation, Variety of assessment options and Easier syllabus/unit/lesson planning are some other benefits that teachers have when they integrate technology in their teaching patterns.

3. Administrator Engagement

Administration gets a lot of perks from tech integration. With tech tools, admin can dig deeper into the real working of the school and get hands on the daily reports easily. Tracking of student and teacher performance is easier that will help the admin to organize individual development programs for those in need. Tracking of planning and assessment is feasible. Individualized professional development according to ones performance can be done regularly.

Targeted curriculum development, updated best practices, new ideas and ability to see big-picture of each student can be done with the web tools like never before and all this process saves a lot of time giving more time to admin to focus on the development of other areas.

The common problem of effective school-wide communication and industry collaboration can be addressed with web tools to expand the reach of organisation. 

4. Parental Engagement

Drawing  parents out of work and house can be avoided with so may tech tools that keep students, parents and teachers connected. The ease of technology has enabled educators with ease of communicating with parents. Educators can give real time update of student performance to parents and keep them in the loop. Also, this has helped with using parent’s expertize to enhance learning of students. Technology has eliminated miscommunication instances and now parents more likely to be with the school.

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You can watch the webinar from this video below:

About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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