How many of us have heard the terms “distance teaching,” “online learning,” “virtual classroom,” “blended learning”, or “hybrid learning” more in the past few months than they have in the past few years? Teachers, how many of you had to use multiple sites, systems, and platforms to close out the year? Besides the challenges of teaching from home, many teachers also had to deal with the online programs that had been implemented at the beginning of the school year and “flip the switch” for the rest of the school year. Not to mention the difficulties of helping their students virtually, or through other means when remote learning was not possible (due to lack of internet access and/or web-enabled devices). I’m sure we can all agree that the end of the school year couldn’t have come soon enough.
Yet, there is still the next school year to plan for… but how? With the uncertainties of coronavirus spread, school leaders are trying to figure out how best to facilitate learning, with preparations that everyone can be comfortable with. Whereas in the past, planning for a new school year was focused on curriculum, incorporating new strategies, and preparing for end-of-year assessments, this start will be focused on health safety protocols, accommodations for teachers, students, and support staff in high-risk groups, and implementing online learning. The World Health Organization (WHO) has published technical guidelines for schools as they plan for the fall.
Although the stress that comes with every start of the school year is expected, this coming one is especially stressful, and understandably so. The big question is What will happen to learning if an outbreak occurs?
Instead of viewing this as a time of doubt, the new year can be seen as an opportunity to pilot a blended learning program that combines the best of what happens in the physical classroom – active participation, differentiated instruction, immediate feedback, data reporting – with cloud-based services, digital content, and instruction online. Flexibility and the opportunity for self-paced learning is also key, allowing teachers to focus on individual needs while helping students to take responsibility for their learning. As school leadership teams search for the “perfect” solution, they need to take into account a platform that is easy to implement and use, has everything at a teacher’s and student’s fingertips, and can be modified for different learning environments (physical, virtual, and/or a combination of both).
MimioConnect® is a new blended learning platform designed to make it easier for teachers to teach and students to learn. The MimioConnect platform helps teachers and students connect to learning from anywhere and with any web-enabled device, an excellent choice to maintain continuity of learning when disruptions occur. What are some other features of this dynamic teaching and learning platform?
- When presenting lessons live, students can fully participate via screen sharing and collaboration, make private help requests, and participate via whiteboard annotations. Teachers can poll students for understanding, and both students and teachers receive immediate feedback on these checks for understanding. This certainly leads to targeted instruction or redirect in real-time.
- Teachers can assign lessons for extension, reteach, or any combination of blended learning approaches such as Flipped Classroom and Enriched Virtual model. Students can complete assignments at their own pace from anywhere, allowing them to take ownership of their learning which can lead to greater learning improvements and stronger self-confidence.
- MimioConnect integrates seamlessly with G Suite for Education (Google Classroom), Microsoft 365, Schoology, Canvas and other top Learning Management Systems. Teachers can also import resources such as IWB files, and Promethean ActivInspire, SMART Notebook, and MimioStudio™ lessons and files.
- Teachers can create or enhance lessons by using resources such as PDFs, PPTs, and Google Slides, incorporating images, YouTube videos, and other digital content. Teachers can also easily access digital lessons in the MimioConnect Lesson Library.
Whatever the learning model schools take in the new school year, MimioConnect can serve as the complete solution for schools looking for a blended learning platform that mixes the advantages of traditional, “brick and mortar” learning to the “bricks and clicks” learning that appears to be the new educational norm.
To learn more about how this platform can make a difference for learning, or to schedule a demo, click the link: MimioConnect - A Blended Learning Platform.