Next Generation Classroom Management

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There’s no denying that technology will soon become ubiquitous in the classroom. Recently, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski challenged schools and companies to get digital textbooks in students' hands within five years. With the push to go digital, it’s only a matter of time before 1:1 implementation is widely adopted in our schools.

With 1:1 implementation comes the challenges of managing a classroom full of students with their own devices. Traditionally, people think of classroom management solutions as a means to control content students access during class. You frequently hear phrases like “screen locks” and “restricting access” when discussing the management of 1:1 devices. While these are all functions critical to maintaining an orderly 1:1 classroom, I’d like to propose a different way of viewing classroom management – as a leveler and an enabler.

I have had the privilege of implementing our classroom management software in a variety of school environments - from small, affluent, private schools to large, public schools with fewer resources. These interactions hammered home the reality that students in the latter environment simply don’t have the same access to technology and content as the students from more affluent backgrounds. We should look at classroom management programs in partnership with 1:1 classrooms as a means to avail these students of digital content that they would otherwise not have access to. Instead of saying “what content should we block from students during class”, we should be saying “what content can we push to them to engage them?”.

The sheer volume of information on the internet is both a boon and a bane. As educators, you have the opportunity to decide what content your students experience during class. For some students, it may well be the only digital content they have access to. Technology exists in the form of classroom management programs like ClassPolicy that allow you to easily embed digital content in your lessons. Moving forward, content can and should be differentiated depending on students’ ability to provide truly individualized learning. Take advantage of technology to empower yourself and engage your students.

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