With the rise of online learning, one of the biggest challenges for educators is ensuring that students are engaged and focused during class.
However, this can seem like a daunting task to teachers without the right tools at hand.
Let me assure you that they exist, and you’ll find out more about them in this article on the wonders of student engagement software.
In this blog post we’re going to cover Student Engagement Software and how it may positively impact classrooms:
- Student Engagement in the Digital Classroom
- How to Create Focused Digital Classrooms
- What is Student Engagement Software
- Improve learning with Student Engagement Software
Whether they are learning in class or joining class remotely on their devices, the threat of distraction is always just a few clicks away. The fields of fun are just a browser window away. The tool to curb students from opening that tab is called student engagement software.
Generally utilising a number of tools, brought together as a single solution that IT administrators and educators can use to guide learning in their school.
Student Engagement in the Digital Classroom
After the pandemic, the amount of digital devices in classrooms has skyrocketed. Whether they are Chromebooks, iPads, macOS devices for Android tablets, or a mix of these devices, schools have to ensure the devices are used for learning. When learning with these devices, students ought to be engaged and focused on their lessons, as well as homework.
In the traditional classroom, there are an array of cues and techniques that teachers can use to ensure their students stay focused and learn when they ought to. First and foremost, body language is a great indicator of student behaviour. A simple tour of the classroom to see what is on students’ screens is another classic.
However, as digital natives, students are adept at quickly changing browser tabs or closing their chosen distraction to quickly return to the task at hand as well as apparent innocence.
This is nothing new, prior to the pandemic, digital classrooms were fraught with this type of behaviour. There are endless sources of distraction online for students and given free rein, there’s a good chance they will find one that tickles their fancy.
When I was in school we had laptops for learning, but there was not a single preventative measure taken by the school to keep us focused. Something I found quite confusing but wasn’t going to address.
Generally, that were caught off-task were simply too slow to alt+tab back to the class task at hand…
How to Create Focused Digital Classrooms
In the modern digital classroom, there are ample software solutions that promise educators the tools they require to keep students focused and on-task during lessons.
Whether these come in the form of standard mobile device management (MDM) solution, which is more maintenance and device care oriented, or a classroom management toolset that offers teachers more sophisticated tools to guide their lessons. Some solutions offer web filtering too – which offers a means of more direct control for IT administrators and educators to implement limitations to what devices can access online.
Further to these tools, Learning Management Systems (LMS) are effective tools for delivering learning content to students and ensuring that all that is required is easily accessible and actionable for both students and teachers.
Regarding the functional use of devices, some schools elect to simply use their Google Workspace for Education licence or Apple School Manager licence to set limitations and restrictions on device use. However, these are a far cry from the more purpose-built software solutions that exist to keep students on task and distraction-free.
Anything created by Google and Apple is going to significantly impact your learning environment, and offer tremendous functionality and value. However, when used in isolation, IT administrators and teachers are not able to have full control over their schools’ devices.
Through the integration of either Apple School Manager or Google Workspace for Education with your device management solution, both management of devices and teaching with them is greatly elevated.
While Google and Apple services focus on bringing students online, purpose-built solutions such as mobile device management, classroom management, and web filtering empower educators to get the best out of their lessons time and their investments.
These tools can be placed under the umbrella term of student engagement software. A collection of digital tools that grant IT administrators and educators the means they require to eliminate distraction, maintain and update mobile devices, and ensure that teachers have all that they require for their digital classrooms.
Let’s unpack this a bit more shall we?
So, What is Student Engagement Software?
First off, let’s start with some further definitions of the terms we’ve covered here:
Mobile Device Management
Also known as MDM, is a piece of software for the administration of mobile devices. Whether those devices are smartphones, tablets, or laptops.
MDM software empowers IT administrators, to manage both devices and users in a manner that is both consistent and scalable. (Scalable in the sense of hundreds to hundreds of thousands of devices.) This is incredibly important the larger the number of users and devices.
Some of the features include tracking lost devices, updating and installing applications en masse, applying time or location-based restrictions, setting device permissions and generally maintaining devices.
Once up-to-date and running effectively, the devices move into the classroom and it’s time for learning. What then?
Classroom Management Software
Enter classroom management software. The Teachers Toolkit!
With such tools, educators are able to create focused and productive classrooms. (Who wouldn’t want that?) Classroom management software offers teachers tools that allow them to impact devices in their classrooms directly and in a very real way.
More specifically, teachers will be able to view all the device screens in their class from their device, intervene directly on devices to close a distracting browser tab, and share content easily with the class, among many other fantastic features.
If you’d like to find out more, you can read more about the benefits of classroom management software on our blog.
Now that students have the class material and you’re able to keep an eye on them…how do teachers keep distractions at bay when they’re focusing on a single student?
This is where web filtering and online restrictions come into the picture.
As big and informative as the internet may be, it can be an endless means of distraction. With an effective web filter, IT teams, as well as teachers, are able to determine what content is and is not accessible during school.
Filtering out content that is not relevant to a lesson or the school environment brings focus to students and ensures they behave appropriately online.
However, instead of just blanket blocking large parts of the internet, nuanced web filters can block particular types of content, whether that’s based on categories, different keywords or applications – or even limit access to only particular content on Youtube.
Improve learning with Student Engagement Software
Used together, these tools create a platform for student engagement that ensures schools get the best out of their digital learning environments and maximise student engagement in class.
To find out more about a Student Engagement Software solution for your school, have a look at our Campus solution.
As a solution that brings all of the above into play within learning environments around the world, Campus ensures that schools can drive learning in their classrooms.
If you’d like to find out more about how to implement student engagement software within your learning environment, fill in a contact request here and we’ll be in touch.
Team Mobile Guardian