Collaborative learning at Desert Sands Unified School District
Amelia Earhart Elementary School is one of 33 schools in the Desert Sands Unified School District in La Quinta, CA that prepare students for life outside of the classroom with wireless technology. Here’s their story.
Giving students the best start means preparing them for the future. Technology is already a large part of their lives, and has the potential to aid in the learning process. With the internet providing access to a vast library of reference and devices, communication is easier than ever before.
What we’re really facing with these kids is the technology skillset that they’re going to need that we’re trying to instill in them. So by using Airtame, LFDs, and the Chromebooks on a daily basis, I believe that they’ll be able to get those skills. Kathy Beach, Teacher at Amelia Earhart Elementary
Giving students the tech advantage
Studies show that not only do students easily embrace tech, but those students who do not learn technology skills are likely to be at a disadvantage in the workplace. For this reason, schools like Amelia Earhart Elementary implement wireless technology and devices into their learning environments from the very start.
Additionally, visual and audio presentations appeal to a wider range of learning styles, making information easier to absorb, and making transition time like “open your books to page 291” non-existent. This means more efficient learning in less time.
The goal is to use technology in a way that encourages learning and engagement among students. In order to make sure learning computer literacy is seamless, devices like Airtame are designed to connect easily with a single click. By simplifying the tech, teachers can present information to their classes, and students can collaborate with ease.
Students use Airtame to present their science projects and share PowerPoint presentations with their class, and teachers use them for interactive learning exercises, demos, and to access digital versions of textbooks.
Students at Amelia Earhart elementary have classroom internet access throughout their educational journey, and learn how to use Microsoft Office (i.e., PowerPoint, Excel) Microsoft Edge, and other applications like Adobe Photoshop as they reach middle school.
Video conferencing, networking and virtual classroom technology have removed physical boundaries that previously limited educational opportunities. Teachers can now access a wider knowledge base and engage more in their lessons by using devices like Airtame to present the information.
The beauty of technology is that it allows students to connect with others in a way that has never been done before. It takes a lesson plan and makes it come alive, because teachers can complement what is being learned with supplemental presentations.
Students can now have a live video discussion with a forest ranger when they are learning about the different types of trees without ever leaving the digital classroom. This means more virtual “field trips”, more visiting experts, and teachers from different regions to meet with and share their knowledge with students.
Having this level of access to professionals and mentors makes the process of learning more interactive, and the audience for learning a global audience.
Teachers use technology to maintain real-life relationships and get information from other sources beyond the textbook, so the classroom becomes part of a larger hive mind. Students can see what it’s like to be a marine biologist, by actually talking to one. Students can visit the streets of Rome by projecting Google Earth onto their classroom wall.
Technology makes classroom discussion and collaboration easy. Before, a student would demonstrate their knowledge by doing examples on the chalkboard in front of the class.
Now, that same student can project their content onto the screen and have that same level of engagement at a faster pace. Instead of one student using the board, now all students have access to the board, so they can quickly take turns sharing their work in a relatively short period of time.
Keeping students engaged
This way of working also keeps students accountable for being present in class, and makes group projects more dynamic by giving students a way to present their work beyond the old cut-and-paste display boards.
It’s really important for kids to learn to work with others, because that’s how it’s going to be for the rest of their lives.Tina Burr, Glenn Middle School
While hands-on work remains an important part of learning, the limitless potential of a wireless classroom is changing the way teachers teach and students learn. Equipped with wireless tech, the classroom is a thriving center for collaboration.