Evolving Pedagogies and the Wireless Classroom

Pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching) is constantly evolving as new ways of teaching emerge and instructors refine their techniques.  Perhaps the most significant change to pedagogies in recent times has been due to the impact of the wireless classroom.  The wireless classroom, a technology heavy environment that should encourage engagement and enhanced non-standard media utilization, affects every aspect of teaching from lecture style to homework.

There are four overarching categories into which most classroom interactions may be classified:

  • One to Many or Lecture. This is the traditional style in which an instructor presents information to a group of students and the students take notes.
  • Round Table. Although the instructor is still the guiding force in the discussion, students interact freely with the teacher while solving a problem or working through an activity.
  • Peer to Peer. Entirely student driven, the instructor acts as an observer and will provide help individual teams upon request rather than give a lecture or guide the discussion.
  • Flipped. Reliant on technology outside of the classroom, this pedagogy has students do homework before rather than after a class by watching lectures and solving problems online before participating in an in-class discussion about the topic.

The wireless classroom impacts and enhances every classroom interaction, as shown in the infographic.  An instructor that uses a classic lecture style may easily share multiple pieces of content to a screen and switch between them quickly using their own device or even the display itself if it’s touch enabled.  Round table discussions and peer-to-peer interactions gain context when students can effortlessly share their in-class work by snapping a picture on their phone and sharing the image to a shared display.  If a display is moderated, the instructor may see and approve content before it is shared, keeping the benefits of a wireless classroom while eliminating the potential risk of inappropriate content.  Collaborative solutions like Solstice in a wireless classroom even enhance the experience of a flipped classroom by allowing students to share completed assignments and data from their own devices on which the tasks were originally completed, removing the need to upload files to a certain place or worse, print out results.

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