The education industry has recognized the need to incorporate digital technology within the classroom and course curriculum. However, the transition to fully integrated and blended learning involves a set of key challenges that must be resolved in order for our education systems to truly hardness the potential of 21st century learning.
We’ve outlined the following 3 challenges facing education today… and how to solve them.
Problem #1: Resistance to Change
Making changes to tried-and-testing learning methods is difficult – especially when the change is technology based. Many teachers, parents and policymakers find it difficult to be the first to experiment with new technology or teaching methods as no one wants to risk the success of our students. In addition, it can be hard to initiate change on an individual basis. Change requires a large group of like-minded individuals who share goals, plans and results. It’s much easier to adopt new learning strategies or technology based platforms when we positive evidence that students will ultimately benefit.
Solution #1: Establishing a Global Network of Like-Minded Professionals
Tapping into a global repository of assessments, activities, lessons and advice from like-minded education professionals is a great way to connect with other schoolboards and instructors who are already adapting to new technology and/or advancements in teaching methods. To overcome the resistance to change, the education industry must work together to identify new and engaging ways to share cutting edge technology and best practices with schools, district officials, policymakers and community members. The XpressLab integrated global library is a great example of a repository of like-minded education professionals who are able to share how they are using XpressLab within their classrooms to achieve success. XpressLab’s library engine allows teachers to easily share their resources within their institution and globally. Instructors can publish their original content into a personal library or share their course content with colleagues within their school boards, making it easier to export or import previously created assessments and courseware, reducing cost and time investments.
Problem #2: Inflexible Education Budgets
Provincial politics play an important role in determining the potential for making strides towards 21st century learning. Education budgets are determined at the provincial ministry level, and as illustrated by the June 2014 Ontario Election, budget cuts are always a concern.
Solution #2: Cost-Saving Products & Partnerships
Schoolboard officials and teachers should always look for cost-saving technology products and potential partnerships that recognize the school’s challenges by providing matching solutions. When looking to integrate technology platforms within you school, look for holistic software platforms that integrate a wide range of services without require additional software or user accounts. In addition, look for bulk pricing options that can offer a financial incentive for incorporating the software school wide. For example, XpressLab offers users a course authoring in addition to a robust assessment and course delivery platform. XpressLab also integrates with existing Desire2Learn (D2L) learning management systems, which helps to leverage your existing school budget. Bulk pricing options are also available for integrating the platform on a school-wide basis.
Problem #3: Outdated Professional Development Strategies
Professional Development days are often reserved for cumbersome workshops that tend to lack a hand-on approach. In addition, integrating software opens up the opportunity for user errors and technical difficulties which can be difficult to address on a user-by-user basis. Dealing with a large software company can be intimidating, especially when requesting IT assistance is difficult and non-personal.
Solution #3: Digital Solutions to Professional Development
Hands-on webinars are an ideal replacement to workshops because they allow each and every participant to get involved immediately, as opposed to passively watching a presentation. Researching smaller and more personalized software agencies can also reduce the stress associated with IT support by ensuring that every users of the system can easy submit questions and receive support. Look for organizations that offer one-on-one client support and those that offer continuing professional development support long after the software is purchased and integrated within your course curriculum and classroom environment. XpressLab is committed to professional development and ensuring that our users get the most of the software. We do this by offering dedicated webinars that allow users of the system learn how to use the system hands-on. XpressLab is also committed to personalized service and offers our users the ability to access our integrated global library, allowing users to collaborate with colleagues within their organization or globally.
The team at XpressLab is committed to making learning more fun by making it easier for today’s teachers to integrate multimedia and digital technology within their classrooms and throughout their course curricula. To learn more about our involvement in 21st century learning and get in on the conversation, visit us on Facebook or Twitter .