With all the changes and challenges that have taken place over the past year, one takeaway I keep in mind is how essential learning technology has become for learning – and how quickly this transition happened.
I have been in the teaching and adtech space for almost a decade and I have long believed that adtech has the power to open up opportunities for students and change how teachers teach. That being said, when the Kovid-1 hit hit, Adtech went almost overnight, in the middle of the classroom, as an educational supplement. The stress of the epidemic, the sudden shift to remote and hybrid education, and the challenge of managing students’ socio-emotional learning made teaching incredibly difficult for teachers around the world, with physical classes no longer available.
This transformation created both challenges and opportunities. Yes, everyone shared their difficulties. No, technology could not solve every problem and not all students had adequate use of devices or WiFi at home. And yet, tools like learning management systems and video conferencing apps help ensure learning continuity during extremely difficult times.
Now, we are entering a new phase of education, and we hear a lot of uncertainty in the society about what to prioritize in Adtech practices in times of crisis. At Adobe, we talked to education leaders who are using our tools with students, and we asked them about new rules for teaching with Coded-19 and later with Adtech. Here are their thoughts and ours:
Three rules of the new digital class
1. Success requires high-level thinking skills, so you should use AdTech to drive that thinking.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is affecting the education sector. Memory and other lower-order skills shown at the bottom of Bloom’s classification or Level One of the web’s knowledge cycle are part of this learning process. However, lower-order skills are of the floor, not the ceiling, of student learning and now more than ever, the floor is not enough. AI can make these simple skills better, faster and cheaper. To prepare students for the changing job market, schools need to focus more on teaching high-level thinking skills that may not be automatic-creativity, critical thinking, creative problem solving, and communication.
Schools and teachers are already moving forward to face the shift of what students want in their professional future. Martha Bongiorno, a media and education technology instructor in Fulton County, Georgia, said, “This past year has given us insights into how the power of technology can be used to ignite a new generation of capable citizens. Bongiorno has seen first-hand the impact of Covid-1 education on education and believes that teachers are ready for new ways of teaching and learning. “After a year of uncertainty, teachers are more aware of how that uncertainty can lead to creativity, more opportunities for student interest and investment, and a wealth of resources to analyze data for skill development.”
2. Give students the opportunity to lead their learning and use AdTech to express their ideas in new ways
Engaging students in a digital environment can be challenging. When we asked education leaders how they recommend driving engagement using technology, most of the advice they gave boiled down to one simple principle: put students in the driver’s seat.
Student agency is not a new idea in learning, but new technologies have opened up new projects and possibilities, increasing and changing the opportunities for students to express their ideas and drive their learning. By employing digital projects such as podcasts, infographics, and video essays, teachers enable students to fully express themselves through new mediums and in ways that students feel more familiar and relevant to their lives today. And when students have the opportunity to create their own digital media, they become more informative and more purposeful media consumers. These projects give students more opportunities to guide the direction and vision of their projects rather than filling out worksheets.
Willie Thomas III, director of media integration for the Robinson Independent School District in Texas, works daily with students and teachers to provide safe space for classes and expression and creative research. He says, “I’ve always been fascinated by the growing student participation we get from our learning experiences when we let students build their interest in their products.” “When students’ voices are at the forefront of the learning process, ownership of their learning shines through the products they produce.”
It’s not always easy, but Thomas says it’s worth the effort. “It can be difficult for teachers to relinquish authority and control over the final product and the results of education. When they finally go back and let learning become a natural and personal journey of demonstration, the products they create can help enhance the perception of the learning experience.
The Adobe for Education team believes that Adtech’s world is going beyond connecting students to their classrooms, learning resources and assignments. Students have the power to put themselves at the center of their learning and build those 21st century skills that are evidence of the future. And, as Martha Bongiorno suggests from her recent teaching experiences, “Learning agency parenting in a school environment allows our students to develop social responsibility, cultural awareness, and a positive personal identity. They learn content and how to become positive change agents in our communities. ”
Let’s help students grow in their best spirit by giving them some guidance in their learning.
3. Pedagogy I, Adtech II – Don’t let instruments get in the way of education
While Kovid-ed has changed some of Adtech’s rules, there is one rule that I always think is true साध tools will change and change, but good pedagogy and teaching methods are permanent and timeless.
I learned in my teaching class and as a teacher that, before I use a new tool, I need to know how it makes sense in my teaching practice and helps students learn. At Adobe for Education, our team believes we should help teachers focus on pedagogy and tools, bringing the two together. The thousands of free lessons and educational resources at Adobe Education Exchange help teachers learn to use Adobe Tools, how to teach with them, and how to integrate them into everything from English to photography. In this way, teachers can focus on teaching, confident that the tools are giving students a better learning experience.
We recognize the value of reaching where they are in their workflow. That’s why we’ve partnered with some of the leaders in the Adtech ecosystem, as well as curriculum leaders from Google, Microsoft, Canvas, Blackboard, Clever and Classlink, as well as Khan Academy. In this way, we have protected you from having students decide where to start your lesson by submitting their work.
At the Adobe for Education team, we look forward to partnering with teachers and collaborative solution providers on the journey of developing learning technologies, and emerging as they learn from the community about new rules on the road. Over the next year, we will continue to find new ways to support teachers and schools as they prepare for the future.
Adobe has created a new set of resources and developed a new edtech integration. We also offer free products that help teachers bring creativity and digital literacy into their daily lesson plans and assignments.
Adobe and Khan Academy courses -We have co-designed this course in partnership with Khan Academy, bringing together Adobe’s creative tools in 100 flexible and adaptable learning resources with world-class content from Khan Academy. Each activity provides an opportunity for students to delve deeper into their learning, to practice essential skills such as digital literacy and to nurture their creativity and self-expression.
Adobe Creative Educator Community – We have developed this free program to help teachers in each subject area and grade level learn the best ways to bring creativity into their classroom. When teachers join, they have the opportunity to engage in curated professional development materials, virtual and personalized learning programs and connect with like-minded peers around the world. To recognize their professional development, we give badges to complete each level of the program.
Adtech Integration – We are working with our partners to make learning with technology as smooth and seamless as possible. Adobe Spark and Creative Cloud apps now integrate with the Adtech tools that teachers use every day – Smart, Classlink, Canvas, Blackboard, Google Classroom, Google Drive, Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft Teams, Flipgrid and more.
Free, intuitive apps that enhance creativity and drive digital literacy -We have developed a powerful but easy-to-use set of apps with students and teachers in mind. Adobe Spark, Premier Rush and Photoshop Express enable novice-level creators to create graphics, images, web pages or videos that they can be proud of in minutes. And students can easily use Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print PDF documents and fill out PDF forms.