Traditional classroom management strategies are teacher/student-focused. They aim to build relationships, set boundaries and find the strengths and weaknesses of the students to help them learn better. The human element will remain, of course, and behavioral and social skills will always be an important part of the educational process, but in the digital classroom, those management strategies are part of a new approach.
First and foremost, it's important to start every day making sure all the smart classroom technology is working, and if something is down, to have a contingency plan. Second, engage the students early in the school year to establish smart classroom behaviors. For example, what protocols should be used when a student needs help? Can they ask a classmate online or only ask the teacher? How do you make corrections and comments in a collaborative project?
Third, keep students engaged with each other, both online and offline. Teachers also need to make regular one-on-one time with students. Recognize when students need a break from the screens and move to another type of project.
Today, even the youngest schoolchildren are familiar with technology—perhaps more so than their teachers. Teachers will have to remain vigilant to know when students are actually learning or taking advantage of their tech skills. The adjustment for smart classroom management may take a while, but it has the potential to create an even better learning environment overall.
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