In the United States, over 94% of school districts now have high-speed internet access. More than 39,000,000 students at 74,000 schools now count the World Wide Web as a primary educational tool.
Increased access to the Internet is a boon for student learning, inching up graduation rates and encouraging parental involvement in the classroom. Here are four specific ways high-speed Internet boosts student learning all over the U.S.
Personalized Learning Initiatives
No two students learn exactly the same way, and the web makes it easier for teachers to cater to the distinct needs of every student. The concept of “personalized learning” is supported by online platforms that respond directly to students’ learning styles, interests, and prior knowledge. While it’s impossible for teachers to prepare a dozen lesson plans a day, personalized learning programs accessed through handheld tablets or in a computer lab have the ability to meet individual students where they are, which in turn has been shown to close academic achievement gaps.
Immersive Learning Experiences through Video
Video lessons have the potential to drastically improve students’ ability to learn. Students are watching more and more educational videos per month, and today’s video experiences are a far cry from The Magic School Bus. Great educational videos are immersive, meaning students are engaged and entertained while they learn.
The three components of effective educational videos include cognitive load (the lesson at hand), non-cognitive engagement elements (the entertainment element), and active learning features (designed to drive home lessons in real-time.) And of course, the fourth, silent component of all effective web-based educational videos is internet access fast enough to support streaming.
Connected Classrooms Facilitate Cooperation
Group projects are notoriously difficult for students, but high-speed internet access fosters a new brand of cooperation that students actually enjoy. Personalized, team-driven activities online mirror some of the elements that make multi-player games so popular: teamwork, competition, and achievement. Studies have shown that even in tough subjects like math, cooperative learning initiatives improve student performance on almost every level. Web-based cooperative learning platforms make it simpler and easier for teachers to introduce these tech-centric lessons into their classrooms.
Up-to-the-Minute Parental Progress Tracking
Parental involvement, particularly at the elementary level, has long been known to directly impact student achievement. Not only do involved parents feel more able to support learning initiatives at home, their presence indirectly improves student behavior and even increases job satisfaction for teachers. Online-based performance tracking allows parents a real-time window into student performance at a very granular level which in turn opens up lines of communication with both the student and teacher. When parents (and teachers) are supported by online data capture, students achieve more.
Smoothwall and Safer School Internet Access
Smoothwall is changing the way students use the Internet. Our unparalleled filtering software gives teachers and administrators the confidence they need to fully embrace the benefits of the web for student learning. Content-aware filtering instantly blocks off-limits content at a page-by-page level while ensuring students have access to the online educational materials they need.
As students age, the use of high-speed internet in schools becomes more student-led and less program-specific. This kind of freedom is important – it teaches students how to navigate the web – but it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Schools have a responsibility to keep students safe online, and Smoothwall is the answer.
Would your school like to learn more about Smoothwall’s groundbreaking network security tools? Reach out today to schedule your free evaluation.
Our specially developed technologies deliver real-time Dynamic Content Analysis™ of web pages, all without impacting on the users’ experience.