Designing the Classroom of Tomorrow

The physical rigidity of classroom instruction has difficulty dealing with the dynamic natures of students and teachers. This disconnection leads to a discrepancy in student achievement and the sheer ability to learn. Many components affect student success, and paper and whiteboards need to develop with us to push everyone to their potential. Teacher Designed Classroom As we grow our understanding of the learning environment, we discover several ways that regulated government doesn’t bring growth to the classroom. The United States continues to set uniform standards; they do not always push districts towards success. What we must come to realize is that the teacher is the next point of control over the classroom, and this can happen with a great responsibility that we do not use. If given the proper tools, he/she will have the best chance to curate content for their students. Assessments and the curriculum may stay constant, but what if we found a few ways to meet the needs? If given a dynamic platform that ran congruent with the traditional system, teachers would adapt and connect more consistently with their students. Teacher Autonomy and the Student Experience Teachers may not have control over the grading standards, but what if they could control how they presented students' grades? We should question the potential psychological effect that consistent imperfection has on student performance and wellness. Grade presentation is the differentiation of a restrictive environment of standards, and the fun encouragement of games. Instead of holding grades as these missed standards above the head of students, we can present them as building blocks towards student goals. Teachers may not have control over the curriculum, but what if they had power on how they connected students? With diverse student sets, each inevitably has strengths and weaknesses. We can provide the chance to emphasize where they excel and improve where they lack. The list goes on, and from it arises a logical pattern. When we focus on state and district standards' needs, we miss out on an important point. As the central command of the material presented, teachers can control how the measures above them translate to the classroom's day-to-day activity. This perspective opens the door to teachers having a much more full span of control within their classes. And if given a tool to ensure teachers meet the standards, they can use the countless variables to help their students. Engagement is a quality that can often determine how successful students are in the classroom. However, on the dashboard from which they receive information, the physical class shows moderate amounts of stimulation or variation to aid the transfer of information. “Lectures should go from being like the family singing around the piano to high-quality concerts.” ~ Bill Gates We can look at the statement through two separate lenses. The first comes with the psychology of stress. We are all familiar with how it can harm our abilities. But when we achieve the optimal level of stress, we enable ourselves to work at our optimal level. The second level comes when we look at the flow of information from teachers to students. The problem today is that there is only one channel for students to learn, and it heavily depends on how well students connect with the instructor. We find that some students would prefer multiple channels of information, while others need a different one entirely. Giving a teacher a dynamic platform for autonomy can also give students a chance to fine-tune their experience. Technology and the Classroom The connection of technology serves as a significant improvement for many factors of our lives. We run into the problem when we let it become the entirety of our lively focus and is the point of subtle difference. Technology will never solve our problems. It has great potential, but it does not have the complexity or depth to fix issues that are a part of our human nature. When used correctly, technology should temporarily fill the discrepancies of human imperfection. It serves as not only a mediator amid conceptual disagreement, but the translator in the lack of communication. If we look at technological advancement as the extension of our physical evolution, we can put that into the classroom's best perspective, opening many new opportunities. As we move into the future, virtual and augmented realities may be the key to immersing students into the class experience. The process would need consistent development, but the potential is there. The only question becomes, what ways can we integrate this technology into the classroom? Final Thoughts As we funnel power down through the ranks, each level has the chance to find alternative ways to translate the standards above them. Using technology as a dynamic tool will help teachers bring the rigidity of government regulation to a more effective presentation in the classroom. Let’s move forward with a new take on technology in the class. We can take its many resources and tailor them to the needs of teachers and students nationwide. The only step remaining is developing a technological tool—not a solution. Community Engagement Question In what ways can you see technology helping student and teacher experience? Drop your answers in the comments below! Special Thanks! Photo by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

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