A recent editorial in USA Today from two school superintendents highlighted the urgent need for schools around the country to heed the call of increased technology in America’s classrooms.
The authors wrote:
“Nationwide, the ways students learn are undergoing a fundamental transformation fueled by a generation of children who use digital media to learn everything from beginning phonics to biophysics. Students no longer want to look at a static drawing of a strand of DNA when they can virtually explore the inside of an interactive digital rendering of DNA to decode its scientific mysteries. Instead of forcing them to adapt to old, singularly focused methods, schools must adapt to the multiple ways in which today’s students want and need to learn.”
Schools across the country are undergoing a digital transformation, moving from a paper and textbook-structured learning setting to a digital learning environment, where audio-visual solutions take the form function of tablets, laptops, Chromebooks and interactive SMART Boards.
Teachers, school administrators and students alike are collectively moving to a new learning system, one where the digital advances of the consumer world are driving more initiatives in the classroom. It’s part of the US government’s call to digital technology companies (tablet and interactive whiteboard manufacturers, digital publishers, and others) to join forces and lower costs to help bring digital learning to the US’s 50 million students.
According to the USA Today article noted above, these changes in classroom learning are impacting how students learn. Instead of hearing directly from one voice, one teacher, K-12 students are effectively choosing their own individual learning methods. Students are able to study digital classroom content that’s relevant to them, based on classes, interests and accessibility.
It’s the kind of stimulus that makes companies like CCS Presentation Systems, an audio visual systems integrator based in Scottsdale, Arizona, excited for the future of digital education.
“Knowing that our government is engaged with digital education providers to bring about a revolution in the classroom is very exciting,” said Julie Solomon, CCS manager of marketing & business development. “The growth of portable devices, touch screen displays and interactive whiteboards in schools is helping to bring a renewed focus on digital education in school districts.”
For example, one of the leaders in interactive technology is SMART Technologies. More than 2.3 million SMART Board interactive whiteboards have been installed globally in education, business and government settings, with more than 2 million installed in K–12 classrooms, reaching more than 40 million students and teachers. SMART Notebook collaborative learning software has been downloaded by more than six million users in over 175 countries around the world.
With teachers and school districts taking the lead on digital education, and help from the US government in rallying audio-visual systems providers to find digital solutions, the future for increased digital education is growing brighter by the day.