Moving Away from the Front of the Class

4 April 2023 | By Juliana Finegan

A powerful expansion of educational technology is reshaping the classroom, offering schools an incredible array of options to tailor education and meet the evolving needs of today’s diverse learners. In the K-12 sector, public schools spent more than $35.8 billion on educational technology, including hardware, software, and digital curriculum in 2020, according to a survey of more than 32,827 education professionals from the Learning Counsel. 

Combined with blended and personalized learning implementation, technology-led instruction has continued to gain momentum. The pandemic only accelerated the use of technology in schools, such as with the rise of 1:1 devices, leading many educators to embrace a blended learning approach, as Liz Arney shared during her interview on the Educator Pineapple Podcast

By now, most educators realize the days of giving one-sided lectures while students sit back and listen passively are gone. Today, we know students learn best when they discover facts and perspectives on their own — a possibility propelled by the observations of dedicated educators and the advances in educational technology.  

Yet, even with high-speed bandwidth and the influx of tech tools available, Arney noted educators and teachers often feel vulnerable about using tech to its full potential. This hesitation can often create access barriers, which can be mitigated with training and differentiated support. 

According to Arney, there’s a big disconnect between the technology being used to teach students, and using the technology purposefully to impact learning.  Scrolling through Instagram, for example, is quite different than taking a coding course or facilitating research. 

“It’s really about how you leverage technology to solve problems,” Arney added. 

The other way to encourage technology use in blended learning is through good old-fashioned imagination. 

“I think there is a way in which until we see it, we just can’t imagine what it looks like,” Arney said. “I totally understand why some teachers don’t get it. They need to see what it looks like, and then they’re with you.”    

Listen to the full episode of the “Educator Pineapple Podcast” here featuring Liz Arney, Independent Education Consultant and author of Go Blended! A Handbook for Blending Technology in Schools 

A new era of education is here. 

Want to learn more about how today’s educators are leveraging educational technology to design flexible, personalized learning experiences for all learners? Download the latest guide from Vivi: “Moving Away from the Front of Class.”