Best practices to drive productivity
More adaptive. New approaches. Focus on engagement. In all the lessons K-12 administrators have learned the past two-plus years, the aforementioned strategies continue to drive the new dynamics in today’s classrooms. While it is no secret that students have slid behind the curve in the continuing fallout of the pandemic, the race to get back on track is on.
To nobody’s surprise, technology—across the board—is leading the charge in the efforts to reconnect administrators, teachers, students and parents back to a quasi-semi educational journey. The reconnection—that engagement—remains one of the leading metrics of student success, i.e., how students engage, where they engage and how often.
According to “The State of Teaching & Learning in K-12 Education” study by Instructure and Hanover Research, 92% of K-12 educators believe engagement is the most important factor in student success. That means more schools are leaning on technology to help streamline everything from personalized learning plans, strategies to measure engagement, and ways for teachers to recreate core classroom experiences for absent students.
According to “The State of Teaching & Learning in K-12 Education” study by Instructure and Hanover Research, 92% of K-12 educators believe engagement is the most important factor in student success.
But to make it all work, Chris Malone, M.Ed., says there must be a “buy-in” from the entire administration to implement new technologies, new strategies, or both. Without that buy-in, the implementation will work for some, but not for others.
“Student success drives everything that we do,” says Malone, ACTC, ACSP, an Apple Teacher and the chief technology officer for Grand Prairie ISD in Godley, Texas. “We strive to build our technology around the idea that it is the best tool for the job. I feel that instruction should drive technology and not the opposite. You have to make sure that the new technologies are designed to help the staff and not add more work for them.”
The following are some best practice strategies K-12 administrators can use to help bolster the educational productivity in their classrooms.
No. 1 — Time
The biggest challenge of a good implementation is having a lack of time to plan. If teachers do not take the necessary time to plan strategy and find the “gotchas,” the success of the initiative, project or strategy can suffer greatly. Time and planning can make or break a project.
No. 2 — Compliance
Finding solutions and vendors that can help you reach your goals from the start is integral. If you have to take extra steps—and time—to comply with regulations because a product or vendor did not work, challenges most likely will ensue. Find a partner you can build a great relationship with: one who can make sure what you choose—and why—works.
No. 3 — Buy-in
It is worth repeating. Making sure everyone is on the same page—from the top, down—is the key to implementing new strategies, new technologies and new practices. The goal of any K-12 administrator is to make sure their teachers and staff are not chasing down approvals, explanations, etc.
No. 4 — Funding
Investing in areas such as technology and staff remains a top priority for today’s school districts. Everything has its genesis rooted in money: equipment, internet connection, learning space, etc. If your district does not have the proper funding and/or a plan to do so, it can play a major role in hampering teacher preparedness and student engagement.
No. 5 — Learning Modalities
Today, more than ever, students need flexibility in the way they learn. For example, hybrid teaching and learning is here to stay, so the technology you use is critical to supporting classroom activities, both inside and outside the school environment.