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Triumph Learning Isider

To those advocating supportive learning environments—school administrators, educators, and parents—how valued and respected is student input in decision making? Do students have a voice?

Contemporary learners have evolved in the landscape of our changing times. Students want collaborative learning, and aren’t satisfied to strictly be receivers of data.

In “Five things students say they want from education,” from eSchool News, students say these are the top things they want in their schools:

  • Real-world application and relevancy outside of the classroom
  • Choice in classes they have to take and what they do in class
  • Innovation, fun, creative learning
  • Teacher mentors who engage their learning rather than telling them what they should learn
  • Interactive technology

Really, then, students crave alternative approaches offered alongside traditional educational delivery. Let’s break down three of the points students say they want:

Interactive Technology

In their 2012 survey, CDW (a provider of education technological solutions like tablets and desktops) reports that high school students are interested in hands-on projects, independent study, virtual learning, and one-on-one tutoring. With this kind of approach, lectures become available for students to view outside of the classroom, while more time in class is spent on hands-on learning and group projects.

Teachers Who are Mentors

What’s the difference between a teacher who just doles out information, and one who’s ‘”involved?” Musings on Digital Media’s post says teachers will need to provide the following:

  • Engaging lessons plans
  • Clear standards and objectives
  • Informative and timely feedback—verbal or comments on student work
  • High-Quality Formative and Summative
  • Assessment tied directly to standards

Real-World Application and Relevancy Outside of the Classroom

In the 2012 Education Center for Applied Research (ECAR) Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, students say the blended-learning methodology best support how they learn . This academic hybrid combines face-to-face classroom methods with online-mediated activities, incorporating web-based communication (i.e., mobile devices, email, blogs, social networks, webcasts and podcasts, e-readers).

ECAR recommends emerging educational leaders promote strategies to deliver instruction and curricular content to tablets and smartphones, prioritize the development of mobile-friendly resources, bridge technological gaps, and use email and course or learning management systems for formal communication.

Students want to be engaged by educational proponents who direct curriculum, school resources, supportive administration, academic training, and school climate— actually express a vested interest in their academic development.