Tag Archives: innovative classroom

Innovative Classroom Strategies

Innovation is a hot topic in education, and teachers are constantly being asked to be innovative in their classrooms. But what exactly is classroom innovation?

In her recent blog post on innovation in education, Beth Holland describes innovation as “something that is not only novel and an improvement, but also impactful and meaningful.” For her, innovation in education means, “students have the opportunity to assume new roles and responsibilities as active learners; that they participate in meaningful, authentic learning opportunities; and that they wrestle with complexity.”

Here are some innovative techniques teachers are using to change the dynamic of the classroom and more actively engage students in their learning:

Promoting Learning via Flexible Spaces

classroom innovation

Shifting around the furniture in a classroom, coupled with a reorganization of the space is an easy way to enable more creative thinking and deeper engagement. Long Island’s Baldwin schools are successfully using this technique to bring more innovative instruction to the district.

Interested teachers submit an application outlining their instructional goals and the classroom design needed to support them. When an application is accepted, a classroom is developed to meet the needs of a specific teacher and their students. The result is that every redesigned classroom in the district looks different.

Ann Marie Lynam, a seventh-grade social studies teacher in the district, needed a multi-functional classroom with a mobile layout to address the diverse needs of her students. Her redesigned classroom has no front, everything is on wheels, and students have a number of different seating options:

  • A raised, kidney-shaped table that seats six for small-group teaching
  • Classroom desks arranged in groups to facilitate discussion on class assignments
  • Students’ choice of either a comfortable ottoman or sofa when working in a small group.

Lynam was blown away by how the redesign impacted student interaction. The room setup encouraged conversation, and students who never spoke up were now talking animatedly with classmates. The group seating created a situation in which students could serve as a resource for one another.

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EdTech and the Future of Education

Interview with Haris Papamichael (Part II)

Interview with Haris Papamichael about Ed Tech

This is a continuation of our interview with Haris to get his take on how technology is impacting education today.
As the Director of Educational Technology at Victory, Haris oversees all the educational technology projects at Victory from concept definition through planning and release. In order to best deliver quality products to learning companies, Haris stays on top of the constantly changing technology trends.

Rebecca: Currently many states and districts have requirements for online courses. How do you think this will impact the concept of “school”?

Haris: There will certainly be greater emphasis on online learning, as each year we’ve seen an increase in the number of online learning courses. That is no longer just a trend within higher education. Teachers are growing more comfortable acting as a facilitator. This means that there will be more collaboration and independent learning programs as students are allowed to plot their academic course of study.

The traditional role of the teacher will not disappear. Although traditional teaching, or direct instruction, is still a predominant model, there are now many alternative instructional methods, such as flipped classroom, blended learning, project based, and constructive to name a few. I think technology is a big component and driver of all of these different methodologies.
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The Impact of Technology on Teachers, Students, and Instruction

Interview with Haris Papamichael (Part I)

Interview with Haris Papamichael about Ed Tech

We recently sat down with Haris to get his take on how technology is impacting education today.
As the Director of Educational Technology at Victory, Haris oversees all the educational technology projects at Victory from concept definition through planning and release. In order to best deliver quality products to learning companies, Haris stays on top of the constantly changing technology trends.

Rebecca: What are the most urgent problems we face that could be solved with educational technology?

Haris: Looking at the landscape of education, I have been consistently seeing issues with overcrowded classrooms, supporting creative teaching, and keeping students engaged. Each of these is a complex issue, but the solutions all can be enhanced with educational technology.
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