Improving Student Learning Outcomes

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brushes 2Why innovate?

While we might have many reasons to explore innovation in our classrooms and schools, such as competitive advantage, meeting parent expectations or keeping up with neighbouring schools. The only reason we actually need is to pursue innovation to improve student learning outcomes.

Learning outcomes that are not possible without modern technology

In the last post in this series Addressing Our Compromises by using Virtual Learning I challenged the view that schooling and curriculum hadn't changed in the last hundred years. In fact, we change our learning and teaching programs and approaches regularly in order to respond to new ideas and new student learning needs. In recent years we've seen many schools introduce thinking skills, social and emotional intelligence and other initiatives in order to meet specific student learning needs.

The need for our students to develop 21st century skills can be a major driver for innovating with modern technology. The very nature of collaboration, for example, has been redefined by modern technology, and collaboration is a key skill that students will need in their future work and social lives. Moving beyond 21st century skills, what other new student learning outcomes are not possible without modern technology, yet will be increasingly seen as essential for our students.

Learning outcomes that are greatly improved by modern technology

Existing learning outcomes can also be improved by innovating with modern technology.

But how?

Increased Depth

Modern technology leads to increased learning outcomes by enabling our students to explore topics and ideas in a level of depth that is not possible without it. By moving beyond the confines and restrictions of the text book and teacher knowledge our students are able to use modern technology to deep dive into learning in ways otherwise not possible. Modern technology breaches the information gap.

Increased Breadth

Similarly modern technology leads to increased learning outcomes by enabling our students to achieve learning that covers a broader scope than the traditional curated curriculum. Teachers often explore the edges of curriculum based on their own interests and preferences, modern technology enables students to do the same.

Increased Relevance

Modern technology leads to increased learning outcomes by enabling our students to explore ideas and topics of interest and relevance to themselves. This allows learning to escape from the classroom and the curriculum to their homes and after class hours, enabling students passions and interests to directly positively impact their learning.

How have you used modern technology to achieve increased learning outcomes for your students? I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

This is the third post in series of post on the reasons for adopting virtual learning environments in your school. If you haven't already read it the first post is Build On Your Strengths and the second is Addressing Our Compromises by using Virtual Learning.

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