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Smart classroom
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Author: Sue Poremba

The 2020-21 school year proved two important points to school administrators and parents. First, efficient classroom management is necessary to provide a good learning environment for students. And second, digital classrooms may be in their infancy, but they've shown to be very effective when the traditional learning structure takes a sudden shift.

We accept that many homes have AI components, allowing for smart home management, and now, the same advancements can help enable smart classroom management and technology.

What does a smart classroom look like?

A smart classroom will have a computer on every desk—usually a laptop that students carry instead of books, although some younger grades may use tablets. The vast majority of the curriculum will go through online sources. Teachers use technology to share lesson plans and grade work in real time.

According to TeachThought, smart classroom technology has eight elements:

  • Recognition of both digital and physical spaces
  • No finite beginnings and endings to a lesson
  • Real-time feedback loops from teacher to student
  • Multiple layers of technology, from Wi-Fi to apps
  • Non-linear workflow patterns
  • A vast amount of available data
  • A more individualized learning environment
  • Opportunities to take education in a whole new direction

What is smart classroom management?

In a traditional classroom setting, management involves creating an environment that is most productive for both students and teachers to facilitate solid learning opportunities. Smart classroom management means teachers may need to be a bit more creative in how they keep students focused on learning.

Students can work more independently when using smart classroom technology. As TEACH Magazine notes, smart classroom management would include "components such as classroom organization, instructional strategies, technology availability and time."

Smart technology aids classroom management by keeping students actively engaged. Not every student is wired to learn passively or sit quietly. A digital classroom lets them learn by doing, actively clicking on links, interacting with lessons, using the internet to their advantage and more.

But smart classroom management also means developing a plan when technology creates new headaches. Smart classroom technology isn't immune to security problems. School computers can still get hacked and taken over by ransomware, students can stealthily bully classmates, and there needs to be a contingency plan if the internet is down. For any at-home online learning, whether homework, projects or virtual classrooms, students' situations aren't equal, and teachers must come up with a strategy to address this.

New best practices for smart classroom management

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.

Discover how Verizon's K-12 Education Solutions can help your classroom create the future of learning.

  • FAQ

What is classroom management? +

Classroom management is the skills, techniques and tools teachers use to make the classroom run efficiently and create a positive learning environment for students, so everyone can thrive academically and socially.

What is a smart classroom? +

A smart classroom is equipped with a variety of technologies that are used directly for teaching and learning processes. Smart classroom technology can include laptops and/or tablets, IoT devices, e-books, software packages, digital whiteboards and more.

What are the most effective smart classroom management strategies? +

Use current e-books and online content rather than older textbooks, personalize instruction for each student, encourage them to work with each other in various settings, find easy-to-use technology for students and offer a mix of digital and offline instruction.