The walls of the classroom are expanding as we uncover more of the exciting opportunities technology can bring to student learning. Australian schools are at the forefront of this movement, championing innovation and excellence in this digital revolution. According to a survey conducted on behalf of Jacaranda in 2016, 95% of teachers are already used digital resources in some capacity in their classroom, with 63% of schools predicted they will be using online-only resources by 2020.
Here at Jacaranda, we truly believe in the benefits of learning through a digital medium and are proud that our digital resources have been used in over 6,000 Australian schools, by over 1.3 million students. We are deeply passionate about providing the best and most innovative resources which support schools to achieve measurable teaching and learning goals. To help you start or progress your digital learning journey, here are some practical ideas you can use with our most powerful digital learning tool, the Jacaranda learnON platform.
Watch the full video below or keep reading to learn how you can start or progress your digital journey with learnON.
Congratulations on taking the first step towards incorporating digital learning in your classroom! Like trying most new things, we understand the first step is always the most daunting, so rather than going all-in with digital resources, we suggest starting small and using the learnON platform alongside your print, PDF or eBook resources. It is all about using it in a meaningful way, not just using it for the sake of it.
So what could your first step look like? Watch the video below or keep reading for a few ideas to get you started:
1. Use video to help introduce a topic
Video is proven to help engage learners and give them a quick foundation of knowledge that you can then build on throughout the lesson.
In every title in learnON, you will find a range of videos designed to unpack the trickier concepts. You might like to project the video during class and ask students to repeat what they learned in their own words. Or, you could ask them to watch it as homework as a quick way to flip the classroom.
Students can replay videos at their own pace, effectively having a ‘teacher’ at their fingertips.
2. Demonstrate tricky concepts with interactivities
You’ve seen it before: students are looking at a printed map and when you try to unpack the data, not everyone can fully visualise the connections. Or you can feel the class time getting away from you as you draw iterations of a graph on the whiteboard. This is where the real power of interactivities come in.
Interactivities are short, online activities that are designed to enhance understanding through a hands-on experience. They are a quick way to get students to interact with a concept in a way a piece of paper or drawing cannot. Interactivities bring concepts to life in a meaningful way that encourages and promotes deep learning.
A maths example: in this example students are provided with a visual representation of proper fractions. This crucial building block of knowledge is presented in a way that students will deeply understand the concept of a proper fraction before moving on to the next concept.
The interactivity is designed so that students can engage with the content through many random samples before moving on. There is also an opportunity for teachers to use the interactivity in class to promote discussion and extension.
A geography example: using the interactivity on the left, you can visually demonstrate the relationship between the graph data by switching layers on and off.
For example, you might ask your students to explain why the southern east coast of Australia experiences the most major bushfires.
With all the layers on, it might be difficult to decipher, but when you take all the layers off except ones related to bushfires, the why becomes clear.
3. Browse through an extra pool of teaching resources
We understand teachers are becoming increasingly time-poor and a printed resource can only store a finite amount of support resources. But in a digital platform, hundreds of extra ready-made teacher support materials can be ready and waiting.
In any given learnON title, there are over 150 additional teacher support materials, designed to save you time and give you endless learning paths for your classroom. You will find resources like: teaching advice, worksheets, activities, code puzzles, curriculum documents, tests and answers and differentiation resources. The list goes on and on. Here are some ways you can use these resources:
Using the code puzzles: these puzzles are a great way to make learning concepts fun and build student problem-solving skills. You might like to put students in teams of three and see which team can solve the puzzle quickest. This will help engage students and get them ready for learning.
Using the curriculum documents: these documents give you a bird’s-eye view of precisely where each area of the curriculum is covered in the resource. It acts as a handy guide for teachers to know that they are effectively and comprehensively covering the curriculum.
Sounds great, right? Here is where you can find them:
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Bonus tip: with so many resources, it is hard to know what you have actually got. That’s why in every learnON title we have included a resources overview document. This includes every additional resource you have access to, along with the location, topic, format, description and more! Find it in this About this course section menu item and then the resources panel.
See where below:
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Taking the next steps
At this stage, you may have been dipping in and out of your learnON title and have seen how it can support your teaching and engage your students. Now it’s time to take the next step. In this phase of your digital learning journey, you might like to get students to start answering questions online or create a virtual classroom to enable some extra functionalities.
Watch the video below or keep reading for some great ways to take the next step in learnON:
1. Save time in manual marking with immediate feedback
Feedback is an important step in learning, but marking all student work from every test, assessment and homework set is a near-impossible task. Even if you’re able to, it can quickly spill into your weekends and holidays. That’s why our resources don’t just tell a student if they get the question right or wrong.
In all subjects, students will see worked solutions or exemplary responses to better understand the logic behind the answer. This also helps students overcome misconceptions as they occur and supports them to progress through the content independently.
In learnON, students get immediate feedback for every question and can monitor their own progress, saving you time and supporting students learning. This instant and detailed information help students take ownership of their learning – encouraging them to become more engaged and active learners.
Being able to view their learning data is great for students, but it is even more important for teachers. When teachers connect to their students, they too get deep insights into student and cohort performance – read the next section to learn how you can connect.
2. Connect to your students to unlock powerful functionalities
When students complete work online, depending on the platform, it can often feel like you lose visibility into their learning. learnON gives teachers and students greater visibility into learning, helping make the student experience more personalised.
Setting up your classes in learnON is an easy next step to take and will create an online classroom where you and your students are seamlessly connected. In this virtual classroom, you can quickly gain deep insights into student progress, assign work and access students results in just a few clicks.
By creating classes in learnON, you unlock the most powerful teaching and learning functionalities such as:
Create custom tests
Using the online testmaker in learnON, you can create custom tests using any question in the entire resource. Within the testmaker, you have the ability to filter questions by:
• Difficulty (easy, medium, hard): great for differentiation and catering to student abilities
• Marking type (automarked, manually marked): you may like to choose auto-marked questions to save time
• Proficiency strand: for example, Fluency, Understanding, Reasoning and Problem-solving in Mathematics
• Differentiation: for example, Practice, Consolidate or Master in Mathematics.
Once you’ve created a test in the learnON testmaker, you can assign it to your entire class, individual students or student groups.
You also have the flexibility to choose different due dates for different students. This means if you know a student is going to be away all week, you can still assign them the homework, but make their due date a week later than the rest of the class.
You can set assignments as practice (best for class or homework) or assessment (best for assessment tasks). You will get the student results either way, but these two test types will help you filter student data later on when you’re collating results for report writing.
Track student progress
Once students start completing questions or assigned tests in learnON, you will get instant visibility into their progress in the reports section. The great thing about our reports section is you can get both an overall view of student and class performance, or drill all the way down to the topic or sub-topic level in just a few clicks.
For example, if you taught your geography class about biomes the week before and asked students to complete homework over the weekend, you can filter down to that sub-topic and see which students understood the concept and who may have struggled. With this information, you can assign extra study and revision to support those students and ensure they are keeping up with the rest of the class.
Harnessing the full-potential
When you harness the full potential of digital learning, you can save time, implement new teaching strategies and differentiate for student abilities, amongst many more benefits.
So how can you harness the full potential? Watch the video below or keep reading to see what you can achieve with learnON:
1. Save time in report writing and parent teacher interviews
Report writing can feel like the stuff of nightmares for many teachers, and takes up hours and hours of your time, a lot of which is after school or on weekends. Part of the reason it takes so long is needing to collate data from different places to get insights into student progress. In learnON, all students results are tracked and stored and can be viewed and downloaded in just a few clicks.
learnON is a handy tool for report writing, as you can very quickly and easily get granular insights into student performance by tracking their understanding and results all the way down to the sub-topic level.
Depending on the subject, you can also filter student data by difficulty level, proficiency strand and differentiation. This would help you see if your student is doing well with the easy and medium question, but for example, stumbling on the hard questions.
Parent teacher interviews
It is also a great tool for parent teacher interviews. You can keep student data safe by only showing that parent’s child’s information using the filters. With that student’s data up on the screen, you can talk through their academic strengths and weaknesses efficiently and without much preparation involved.
2. Flipping the classroom
This may feel like just a buzzword, but there is a reason this teaching method is widely used at the moment – because it’s effective and allows for better class collaboration and more time for active learning. If you’ve ever considered, or are currently flipping your classroom, learnON is the perfect tool to support you.
Flipped classroom ideas
A flipped classroom involves learners completing pre- and post-work out of class to allow for more active and engaged students during class. Here is a simple example of how you can use learnON to flip your classroom.
Before class: Ask your students to watch a video, read specific sections or assign them a pre-test to check their understanding.
During class: Discuss the video and topic. Ask students to share what they know with a partner and then open it up for class discussion. You may also like to dive deeper into the concept by demonstrating an interactivity and discussing the results.
After class: Assign students a post-test to test their knowledge and view their progress.
3. Tailor assignments by student ability
The student learning data is already pouring into learnON – what next? Well as you know, there are many levels of student abilities and it can be difficult to cater to them all. With learnON, it doesn’t need to be! You can take your tests to the next level by tailoring them for different student groups. This is a great way to quickly and easily cater to the different levels of student ability in your classes.
For example, you might have identified a group of students who are nailing the easy and medium questions. Rather than send them the next class-wide test full of the same difficulty level, you can create a test with more hard questions to challenge them and take their learning further. The same can be done for students who are struggling to progress through medium questions and might need more easy questions to help them grasp the basics before moving onto harder concepts. This will help ensure all students experience success regardless of ability.
We hope this post gives you some new ideas for how to start or progress your digital learning journey. If you have any other ideas or tips for using learnON, we would love to hear them – let us know!
If you would like to see learnON for yourself or book a sales demonstration, reach out to your local Jacaranda Education Consultant today.