K-12 education is going through a period of rapid change that is creating both challenges and opportunities for taking K-12 education to the next level. There are several factors contributing to this exciting time of transformation.
#1. The Growth of Digital Learning
One factor is that digital learning is growing very quickly and is literally reshaping what K-12 classrooms look like. According to Project Tomorrow’s Digital Trends Report, 1 in 3 teachers started describing their classrooms as blended learning environments in the past two years.
#2. Transition From Textbooks to Digital Content
The transition from reliance on textbooks to digital content is another factor that’s radically changing the way we think about curriculum. Many districts are replacing textbooks with digital content. Soon, students may see traditional print textbooks as a relic, just like floppy disks, film, pay phones, and tape decks are for adults today. Managing digital content and ensuring easy access for students, parents, and teachers creates new hurdles for schools.
#3. Paving the Way for Competency-Based Education
A third factor is that common standards like state standards and Common Core have paved the way for competency-based education that opens doors to innovation and student centered learning. Competency-based, mastery learning builds upon standards reforms and provides flexibility in awarding credits and providing alternatives to the Carnegie unit (or seat time).
#4. The Ubiquity of Mobile Devices
Finally, mobile access is changing the ways kids learn and how schools communicate with parents. Students, teachers, and parents are spending more time on mobile devices than personal computers and this is changing their expectations for technologies in the classroom. No matter what your district mobile devices policy, B.Y.O.D. or 1:1 initiative may be, mobile ubiquity must be factored into your plan. Project Tomorrow’s latest data shows that 90% of high schoolers, 77% of junior high schools, and 40% of elementary students have access to smart devices.
#5. Critical Need for Professional Development to Navigate Change
With these digital transformation trends, professional learning and collaboration are more important than ever for educators. According to Project Tomorrow, 65% of district leaders believe that enhancing teacher effectiveness is the best way to impact student achievement.
Blackboard wants to empower schools to overcome these challenges and transform learning. That’s why we’ve created Blackboard Classroom. Blackboard Classroom is much more than a learning management system. Blackboard Classroom is a comprehensive digital learning environment built specifically to address the unique needs of K-12 education. And, we’re proud to announce that Blackboard Classroom was just named a finalized for the 2017 SIIA Codie Awards for Best K-12 Course or Learning Management System.
Transform learning and unleash each student’s potential with Blackboard Classroom.
|Mostly one-size fits all instruction||Instruction can be differentiated at scale to meet the needs of each student|
|Seat-time as a driving measure for instruction||Competency-based, mastery learning|
|Textbooks||Interactive digital content and open educational resources (OER)|
|Paper, pencils, pens||Productivity tools (spread sheets, presentation tools, word processing, iMovie, GarageBand, and much more!)|
|Dog Ate My Homework, Lost Notes, Missing Assignments, What’s My Homework?||Class materials, homework, class notes, and assignments live in the cloud- accessible to students and teachers all the time|
|“School” is limited to time and space within physical classroom walls||“School” can happen anytime, anywhere, from any device— even when offline|
|Schools close in weather emergencies||Teaching and learning can continue online—both in real-time and asynchronously—despite emergencies|
|Pencil and paper testing, bubble forms, Scantron testing||Online formative assessments with technology enhanced question types|
|Delayed feedback||Immediate feedback|
|Laborious grading, data entry into electronic gradebook, limited feedback||Automatic grading, seamless gradebook integration, time-saving interactive grading rubrics with rich feedback|
|Limited, fragmented data and analytics- too little, too late to make a difference||A plethora of real-time rich analytics and data visualization to empower students, parents, teachers, and school and district administrators|
|Missed school days for parent–teacher conferences a couple times a year||Anywhere, anytime parent-teacher video conferencing|
|Guest speakers and field trips limited by budgets, travel, and locations||Bring guest speakers into classroom from around the work or take virtual field trips|
|Lost instructional time for sit-and-get professional development||Ongoing collaboration and professional learning without sacrificing class time|