This is the fourth in our series of posts about the changing landscape in education.
In the video below, our Director of Digital Solutions, Michael Rogers, discusses what’s next in digital development. I’ve added a few more insights below.
At Victory, we see technology in education as the art and science of creating digital learning experiences. When technology is easy to use, easy to learn, and easy to understand, it disappears. We no longer see it as a tool; rather, it is the very fabric of a holistic educational experience.
We see more demand for games, simulations, and scenario-based activities that motivate students to experiment, fail, try again, and learn. Why? In large part this is driven by the changing standards. Across the board, from the C3 Framework for social studies to CCSS for math and ELA to NGSS for science, the standards focus on developing practices students need for college and/or careers. For a deeper understanding, see this NSTA presentation which compares practices across the math, ELA, and science standards.
It Takes a Plan
As we see it, effective digital experiences must:
- support the natural impulse for learning through play and exploration
- structure the learning experience with motivating contexts and challenging goals.
We have seen many digital products that allow students to play and explore, but that alone does not ensure a successful experience. It is essential that developers have a clear purpose in mind for each interactive, usually framed by learning expectations tied to precise standards. Ironically, it takes a structured approach to develop interactives that successfully foster unstructured exploration.
NextGen Digital Experiences
Here are rationales behind some of the structures we use to build NextGen digital experiences:
- Multi-leveled tasks—Students are encouraged by success. By progressing through multi-leveled tasks, students gain confidence with a series of small successes.
- Complex tasks with multiple correct (and incorrect) approaches—When asking students to respond to complex interactions, allow them to choose tools, allow them to make mistakes, and allow them to use a variety of approaches that each have benefits and drawbacks. This mirrors the reality of careers we want to prepare students for.
- Content authoring tools—If students are allowed to create, they will be creative. Empowering students to author also develops communication skills, because students who take ownership are more motivated to collaborate, share, and critique.
Are you as optimistic as we are about the impact of technology on education? Feel free to use the comments to join in the conversation!