Transforming the Classroom for Today’s Techy Students


Transforming the Classroom for Today’s Techy StudentsLet’s face it. Even the youngest children can search their pressing questions on a computer. Good ol’ Google has made knowledge acquisition as easy as click, click, click. In today’s digital and technological environment, with our techy students, the future of the teacher-run classroom might be on its way to becoming obsolete. Or is it?

Student behavior is notoriously more challenging for the educator. Students quickly bore in the traditional classroom where the teacher is the lead and disseminator of information. For students used to quick changing, full color images flying at them from their iPads, frontal teaching no longer flies for their acquirement of knowledge.

Forbes notes that more than 500,000 teachers around the globe use 100,000 interactive, professionally-produced, free videos to teach various subjects. These videos have generated over 500 million views on YouTube. Can the average teacher presented lesson compete?   

So, what is the purpose of schools today? Many believe in this morphing world that education is to develop critical thinkers and people who can work as a team and respect each other. In addition, as we are bombarded with new information on a moment to moment basis, learning how to sift through the endless chatter is a skill most of us can benefit from learning.

Many believe that the best way for schools to remain central to children’s growth is to rethink the classroom. By developing more group activities and encouraging the practical use of information through projects (project based learning), attention can be improved and information is seen as having practical applications.

Another important aspect to assure that teachers remain relevant is the inspiration that teachers bring to the classroom. When a teacher is excited about a topic, students pick up on that energy and can get excited as well. A computer program simply can not generate those same feelings. 

In a world filled with people more focused on their iPhone than the person sitting next to them, teachers must also provide positive interpersonal relationships and encouragement. They must teach their students to care about other human beings. It is known that many wayward children found a positive path in life when one sensitive teacher took a special interest in their success. Google can never replace those interactions. 

Additionally, even the most interactive software can not come close to the subtle and expert ways that a good teacher can adjust a lesson to meet a student’s needs.

How is one to test the success of lessons learned in this new environment? Besides showing a project developed through the use of the knowledge gained, students can give over a “Ted Talks” like lesson. Let them give a timed talk about the process they went through in order to make the information relevant. 

Part of the changes required in today’s classrooms is redesigning of the classroom environment. More color can be included to make the school feel more alive without becoming overly stimulating. Good choices are green, grey and orange with some white and occasional blue walls. Providing shaded outdoor spaces with a proper floor can be a healthful place to learn as well.

Having flexible furniture such as chairs and tables or desks on wheels allows for efficient movement of furniture for paired or group learning. All this leads to a positive atmosphere where student creativity is encouraged and the building of a sense of belonging to a group and community is a reality. 

The day of the passive listener staring at the all-knowing teacher is over. Teachers must transition from knowledge deliverers to knowledge facilitators in order to remain relevant and engage our techy students. Have you incorporated any of these ideas into your classroom? We’d love to hear from you.

One Response to Transforming the Classroom for Today’s Techy Students

  1. Vital Parts says:

    I also feel that teaching needs to modernize as a whole, because currently it is only a handful of teachers that are pushing a modern style of teaching.

    I also feel that the fluidity of the surroundings plays a part, having flexible furniture like you said would help this drastically.

    Thanks for the informative post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *