Media Conversion in a Traditional Classroom
Let’s talk about media conversion! When I was a student, teachers made learning more fun by using the newest and best aids. Resources like a slide projector, overhead projector, and arguably the best day, typing days were some of the highlights in my elementary.
These instructional aids helped increase student’s understanding and excitement to learn.
Ultimately the ’90s came to an end and thankfully the technology has gotten better. Classroom resources are more valuable and engagement has increased even more. Many classrooms are undergoing media conversion.
These conversions are the transition from analog to digital with the sole purpose of providing more relevant instruction to all students.
These digital resources allow teachers to engage their students and challenge them to think more critically about the content being taught.
Media conversion has opened the doors for a more rich and valuable education.
Along with higher engagement, students are becoming more digitally literate and proactive 21st Century Learners.
Maximizing Engagement with Technology
With TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat (not to mention the millions of other apps demanding student’s attention), it can be difficult to get kids excited about formulas in math and the periodic table.
Obviously, it is not the teacher’s job to perform to get their students to put down their phones.
Media conversion allows for more exciting and engaging teaching. Since student understanding is the goal, using technology can be a helpful tool in any classroom.
From group projects to lessons, and assessments, technology can be included at any phase of the learning process.
By using educational apps, like Kahoot, students can enjoy the learning process while teachers are gathering important data about what students know.
Since the classroom is largely data-driven nowadays, collecting real-time information from students is the best way to help students understand on the spot.
A simple 5-question pop quiz will not give teachers that data as quickly or as clearly as technology-based apps can.
Through media conversions like this, teachers can work smarter and more effectively for their students. For example, instead of pouring over traditional book reports, a teacher may opt for a digital storyboard to assess understanding.
At-Home Resources for Media Conversion
There are millions of resources available for parents and teachers alike. In light of COVID-19, even more organizations have undergone a media conversion to be more available to students. Here is a shortlist of some of my favorite resources:
- Peardeck: This interactive slideshow presentation allows teachers to design lectures for students. Students will have their access which can include questions checking for understanding, links to external websites, and even a place to ask the teacher questions.
- Quizlet: Quizlet can be used at home or in the classroom in replacement of the traditional flashcard memorization. Quizlet will save your “deck” and quiz you on your commonly missed questions.
- ArgoPrep: A one-stop for all things enrichment, ArgoPrep provides world-class test prep and academic resources to boost student comprehension. Plus, ArgoPrep’s media conversion allows users access to their complete award-winning digital K-8 library!
- ClassCraft: Convert your classroom into a fully immersive video game! Using Classcraft’s online portal, students will work through assignments, quizzes, and activities, while forgetting that they’re learning in the process.
- Newsela: Fully stocked with real-world news stories on relevant topics, Newsela allows you to adjust the Lexile range (That’s just a fancy way of saying your child’s grade level) as needed. Each article includes short writing prompts and quizzes aligned to CCSS.
Spend the Day on a Digital Field Trip
If you are looking for a digital field trip to provide value and engagement to a current topic your student is learning consider using one of these resources:
- Spend an afternoon learning about one of the exhibits at the MoMA.
- Interact with one of the hundreds of exhibits from Google Arts & Culture.
- Explore 360° views of cities around the world at 360cities.
- Take a virtual tour around the Great Wall of China.
- Or, take a look at a real-time video of a famous London landmark.
Giving students (or your children) the chance to explore the world without leaving their couch is one of the greatest benefits of media conversion.
For example, while your child is trying to figure out where they have been randomly dropped, they are also developing research and observation skills.
Risks and Rewards of Technology in Education
There are many people out there who are still skeptical of using technology in the classroom. As such, media conversion doesn’t happen naturally for everybody.
There are some risks in bringing technology into the classrooms. Any quick google search will explain the cons of technology in the classroom.
An article from the International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning explains that technology requires a lot of self-motivation. It also explains that students lose the understanding that comes from face-to-face learning.
The article goes on to discuss the risk of cheating, plagiarism, and student’s becoming overwhelmed with how much information is on the internet.
If a student has low motivation or craves socializing for understanding (Check out our detailed explanation of the learning types!) they might find that they don’t learn as well sitting in front of a computer screen.
Skills, like citing work, writing, and having motivation, are important and students should be learning them before they graduate high school.
Even though the use of technology increases the risk of cheating, plagiarism, and becoming overwhelmed, it also prepares students for their future.
Technology Use Develops Critical Thinking Skills
Teachers are experts at managing and teaching best practices for all students. The fear that teachers will just skip over plagiarism, citing work, and the dangers of cheating, is unlikely in any classroom, traditional or digital.
In fact, with all of the online citation websites and machines, teachers can easily instruct students on giving credit to sources.
Additionally, the technology-based classroom will rely less on memorization of facts. As a result, it will require students to apply more analysis to their work.
For example, a surface question asks students to recite basic facts. A virtual classroom will ask students to analyze, apply, or research complex thoughts about a subject.
The coolest part about this shift? Students love the chance to show their knowledge as opposed to just repeating facts.
In my classroom, I am always excited to share some of my love for literature with my students. It never gets old seeing my students react when they hear how old Romeo and Juliet were or Hester Prynne’s sins and punishment.
But what made me most excited was getting to see student’s critical thinking and reasoning increase as they analyzed texts more closely.
It was nice to see that they could write a 5-paragraph essay, but it was thrilling to see them be able to express their thoughts in writing.
Media conversion allows for students to step out of the memorization that often comes from a traditional classroom.
As a result, it requires students to be more logical, analytical, and adaptive 21st Century learners.
Laying the Groundwork for Media Conversion
In a recent study, it was found that 87% of CIOs believed that by giving their employees access to more digital platforms that overall the company would perform better long-term.
Due to COVID-19, many students and employees are being asked to fully transition to work from home exclusively online.
While COVID-19 has produced some internet gold in the form of Zoom meeting fails, it has also proven that full online integration isn’t as scary as we may have once expected.
The fact is: virtual and blended classrooms are helping students prepare for their future careers.
Digital literacy will increase student’s abilities to problem solve, analyze, and execute tasks in the digital age.
Through media conversion, education is creating a more “real-life” experience for students.
This can include the prep for online college coursework, standardized testing, and workforce development.
Many teachers are hesitant to make a transition to online learning. Many teachers see the hurdle of learning online platforms too great to add value to their teaching.
For many educators, online learning is the gateway to a better and more well-rounded education. These teachers are using the internet to reinvent the classroom experience.
With the dawn of COVID-19 whether teachers like it or not, many have been forced into a full media conversion.
However, the benefits outweigh the risks, and many will find that online education provides more valuable data and interactive lessons.
With the countless resources available to parents and educators, transitioning into an online learning model can be rich and rewarding.
Additionally, by using resources such as ArgoPrep, students can have a more personal and rewarding education.
Students are not going to escape technology when they enter the workforce. Media Conversion provides students the ability to self-direct, analyze, and problem solve.
Technology prepares students to be more employable and higher achieving!
Talk about college and career readiness skills!