For many schools, the idea of a completely digital classroom is still just a vision. However, FutureSource estimates half of all K-12 students will have access to a 1:1 device by the next academic year. With this 1:1 computing trend growing in schools, more educators are looking at ways to transform their classrooms into paperless spaces of learning.
Here are some easy ways teachers can create digital classrooms for their students:
1. Choose the right 1:1 digital device
Digital devices encourage interaction in the classroom, and enable collaboration and mobility. They also improve learning environments, promote sustainability and decrease expenses in the long run.
Since its launch in May last year, Microsoft’s Surface 3 tablet has been a success with teachers and students across the world. Increasing numbers of schools have adopted the Surface 3 as their 1:1 computing student device citing its portability, the tablet and laptop form factor, and the Surface pen’s ability to move to a paperless classroom with digital ink, as reasons why this device is a wonderful tool for the classroom.
The K-12 focused, United Arab Emirates-based Mohammad Bin Rashid Smart Learning Programme was among the first educational institutions to see the benefits the device can offer the classroom and they have now deployed more than 10,000 Surface devices to empower more students.
2. Go paperless with digital inking
A recent study by the IDC showed that writing by hand is critical to the learning process for many students. The study also investigated how handwriting is used by educators as a teaching tool, with 90% of teachers agreeing that it allows them to increase the quality of their curriculum, and 2 out of 3 teachers saying it saves time when preparing materials and grading homework.
Devices with digital inking capabilities can lead to better learning outcomes. They feel just like an actual pen so it’s easy for students to draw, take notes, or write music. With students being able to write and draw directly on their screens, convert their handwriting to text, and even highlight in PDFs and Kindle eBooks, digital inking changes the way students learn and retain information, and it opens up a world of creativity and productivity.
3. Choose the right apps & teaching tools
For teachers and educators, going digital may seem like a daunting task at first, but choosing the right apps and teaching tools will help ease the transition.
The Surface 3 comes with Windows 10, so students and teachers can get up and running quickly with all their favourite touch apps and desktop software, including OneNote. This program allows you to organize notes, files, articles and pictures in a single digital notebook, as well as Drawboard PD, a top PDF app that replaces pen and paper.
With the recently announced new Learning Tools for OneNote, which improves reading and writing experiences for all students—including students with learning differences like dyslexia, classrooms will have even more access to solutions that benefit learning.
4. Get trained on how to use technology in the classroom
Teachers committed to helping empower their students to do and achieve more, need only make one or two small adjustments to find that digital learning is within their grasp. With the right resources, the vision of a digital classroom is a reality.
See our Microsoft Partners in Learning website to connect and collaborate around the world and gain easy access to lessons created by educators for educators.