You invest your life into your job. Day in, and day out, you don’t quit. You bring your “A-Game” because what you do matters. Your job matters, because you are a world changer. Because you are an elementary educator.
You hold the future in your hands when you show up to teach, and you don’t hold that responsibility lightly.
But the weight of responsibility weighs on you as you consider how to make your educational scope relevant to the world your pupils are growing up in.
How do you take the mounds of vital information that you want to share with your students, and break it down so they can understand and apply it?
In particular, what are the key trends that are shaping elementary learning and how do you integrate them into your institution’s teaching material?
Follow along with me as we discuss 4 particular e-learning trends that will significantly alter how elementary students are interacting with course content and drastically impact the learning environment of 2018 and beyond.
Micro-Learning for Mega Impact
As digital natives, elementary students are accustomed to immediately whipping out their tablet or other devices whenever they have a question or area of curiosity that needs to be satisfied. Creating engaging content for your students does not have to work against their natural propensity to use the internet. In fact, their learning is stronger because of it!
When your elementary student runs into a concept that is exciting or maybe confusing, instead of waiting for their teacher to have the time to answer their question, micro-learning places the power back in the student’s hands. By utilizing an LMS that is loaded with micro-learning applications, students are able to take charge of their learning and become the stewards of their own education.
Your students don’t need you to tell them what to learn, they need you to equip them with the tools for learning.
And that is where micro-learning steps into the gap, and opens the door for unlimited learning applications at the click of a button.
Accessibility for All
Education is not truly accessible until it is accessible for all learners. If there are students who are still waiting on the outskirts of education because they are not able to access their educational content, then we have failed all our students. Integrating e-learning into the very fibers of your classroom experience allows for students from all walks of life to interact with each other and your learning content in a dynamic way.
In 2018 we are well aware of the leaps and bounds that have been made fostering educational accessibility, such as talking e-readers, VR experiences or video magnifiers. When we take the core experience of learning and through various e-learning applications are able to open the doors of education, we create barrier-free experiences for all. This creates a rich and powerful experience for every student in your learning community.
Gamification, Because Learning is Fun!
A successful educator is one who speaks the native language of their students. In an elementary classroom peopled with individuals from across the globe, it is impossible to speak the cultural language of every home represented in the class. However, every elementary student speaks the universal language of games.
Whether it is a simple game of Hide-and-Seek, a classic board game such as chess or an electronic game such as Fortnite, children seek out the thrill of solving puzzles, competition and the sheer enjoyment of playing games. This delightful experience can be transferred to the classroom through gamification.
Educators can use this concept through a simple points system for accomplished tasks (reading charts for example) or take it to the next level through an established game-based simulation. As students race to accomplish the next activity and move their avatar past their classmates’, their learning becomes a game and not a chore.
Flipped Classrooms Empower Learners
The factory-model classroom with the teacher standing at the front of the class lecturing while students sit quietly in rows of desks has been thrown on its head with the advent of the flipped classroom. In this model, the rows of desks have been replaced with collaborative circles and common workspaces with the teacher operating as a facilitator of learning instead of the fount of knowledge.
In the flipped classroom, educators use resources such as Khan Academy or the acclaimed TED-Ed platform to present information outside of the classroom and then to use their class time to process and collaborate together on the information they received after completing their assigned study through these resources. This model of learning is another step in the direction to place ownership for a student’s education on the student.
The landscape of education is changing rapidly with the rise of trends such as gamification, flipped classrooms, accessible education and micro-learning. Yet in these, a common thread runs through the entire scope of education, ownership. Students are not empty vessels that must be filled by capable teachers, but dynamic individuals that must be empowered to take charge of their own learning. What will you do to embrace this rising philosophy in your educational institute?
*Andrea Gray is an educational technology writer for MagicEdtech . Andrea loves creating content that makes encourages individuals to learn and develop. When not writing about the latest and greatest in edtech, Andrea can be found drinking coffee or cuddled up with her children and a great read-aloud.