Lumen Touch Is Building a Digital Community

At Lumen™ Touch, we are always looking forward. We know that technology is shifting fast, so we will never stop endeavoring to improve our platforms and growing to meet the needs of our school districts. We believe our customers always deserve the best and latest technology. However, today’s student information systems are replete with challenges.

  • Cybersecurity threats: Ransomware and phishing attempts against schools have risen dramatically in the last few years, leaving schools vulnerable to data breaches and the risk of file encryption.
  • Add-ons: Many student information systems on the market are cobbled together and lack a cohesive design.
  • Outdated systems: Legacy systems prevent schools from truly benefiting from available technology that can make managing the entire education process easier and more efficient.

The Future of Education Requires a Smart, Connected School District

With the right technology, a school district can manage everything from teaching and learning to reporting and communication to engagement and security. A smart, connected school district requires:

  • A comprehensive school management tool that includes:
    • Online registration
    • Attendance
    • Discipline
    • Nutrition services
    • Health and wellness
    • Truancy
    • Transportation
    • Fees, fines, and point of sale
  • A secure database with backup and recovery built in
  • A comprehensive teaching and learning system that includes:
    • Curriculum and assessment
    • Scheduling
    • Grade reports and transcripts
    • Learning management system
    • After school programs
    • Diploma tracking
  • Real-time reporting
    • Any data, anywhere
    • State reporting
    • Customized reports
    • Real-time goal tracking
  • Communication tools
    • Customized user portals
    • Instant messaging
    • Email
    • Personalized content
  • Comprehensive support, including train the trainer

The Future of Education is Bright (SUITE)

When you go grocery shopping, it’s a lot easier when you can get everything you need at one store. It saves time. It’s more efficient. And it’s more cost-effective. When it comes to shopping for edtech for your school, there can be even more cost savings and efficiencies to be had by choosing an all-in-one system.

Bright SUITE is a one-stop-shop for schools, incorporating everything a district needs, from a learning management system to student information systems to health-and-safety monitoring and reporting. With special modules for special education, a full library, and modules for teacher professional development, Bright SUITE is an all-in-one enterprise management solution that not only allows districts to save money, but it also creates a secure and connected school district. Real-time data lets educators make the best decisions for all students.

Why do schools choose Bright SUITE by Lumen Touch?

Bright SUITE is Secure

Lumen Touch prides itself in being on the cutting edge of security, providing better-than-industry-standard cybersecurity, managed IT, and 24/7 monitoring.

Bright SUITE is Efficient

Our applications are designed to be user friendly. We make updates and improvements using feedback from the actual system users: you.

Bright SUITE is Personalized

All in one does not mean one size fits all. Our system is flexible and can be customized, so that it can work for a school district with 20 students as well as it works for one with 250,000.

If you’re interested in learning more about Bright SUITE by Lumen Touch, download the case study here, and get in touch.

Education Is Headed for the Metaverse

You can’t avoid hearing about the metaverse these days – this relatively new conception is impacting how we envision the future of retail, travel, social media, and of course, education. Still in its infancy, when and how the metaverse will revolutionize education is difficult to predict. But the vision is there.

How Will the Metaverse Impact Education?

There is no question that the metaverse will impact education. What we experienced during the height of the pandemic, with students and teachers being forced into virtual spaces for learning, has only highlighted how important it is to embrace technology. And as jobs of the future require more technical knowledge, we must ensure that students have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art technology, to better prepare them to be part of the modern workforce. But because the metaverse is still under construction, so to speak, an opportunity exists for education leaders to help ensure the metaverse serves schools and students properly.

Educators Can Lead the Way

In an exciting look at education in the metaverse from Brookings, the authors point out, “Today, as the metaverse infrastructure is still under construction, researchers, educators, policymakers, and digital designers have a chance to lead the way rather than get caught in the undertow.” They paint a picture of interactive, multidisciplinary, cross-curricular education that immerses students directly into the environment about which they are learning. The authors of the Brookings research note that, “the interaction is inherently social with live people and live moment to moment, emotionally laden interactions. And notice that the teachers are still crucial to this experience.”

Experiences in the Metaverse Affect Our Brains Differently

Why is the metaverse such an important consideration for education? Because the learning is active, rather than passive. The learning creates memories for the students of actually being in a place. The Brookings research used ancient Greece as an example, but any historical location could have just as easily been used, or an astronomical phenomenon, or a field trip somewhere that a school could never afford to budget (The Louvre, for example). Stephen Fromkin writes in a Fast Company article, “Interactions in the metaverse give us the impression that we are having real experiences and creating real memories – because we are.”

But What About Measurable Outcomes?

We will hopefully move well beyond standardized testing and measure student success in more practical ways. One form of measurement is engagement. Imagine students being excited about education, being able to interact with figures from history, and being able to step into places from a distance – to touch, feel, and look around while there. A good example of rudimentary AI that is paving the way for education in the metaverse is the Digital Einstein Experience. Try it out. With a simple permission to use your microphone, you can have a conversation with Einstein, and he will respond to your questions.

The metaverse is coming. It is an inevitability. How it will impact education is still up in the air, but we have a huge opportunity to help guide the process to ensure we are meeting the needs of students, teachers, and districts as it becomes more commonplace.

Lumen Touch Empowers the Future of Learning

Connecting every student to opportunity: Those are powerful words, and they are the commitment we’ve made that drives the development of our solutions. But to truly connect every student to opportunity, we need to make it easier for teachers, IT leaders, and administrators to focus on meeting students’ needs and avoid being cluttered with things like managing roster data, monitoring cybersecurity, tracking health, and administering exams. Lumen Touch clears the path so that schools can focus on creating the future of learning.

Managing Roster Data and Ensuring Student Data Privacy with Bright PASSPORT™

The time and labor costs of data entry are something schools don’t calculate until they realize how much time they’re saving by utilizing a single sign-on system that includes a library of fully vetted edtech solutions designed to meet all the needs of every classroom.

Because of the enormous risk involved in sharing roster and other personal student data with multiple edtech vendors, schools must consider how to remain in compliance with student privacy laws and also ensure that the vendors with whom they share data are also using strenuous measures to protect that information. Bright PASSPORT – a centralized, secure method of sharing student data, governs how schools share personally identifiable information (PII), such as student roster data. Rather than allow teachers or school districts to implement apps for their classrooms, Bright PASSPORT provides for districts a library of approved apps that meet the required security standards.

Monitor Cybersecurity with Bright LITE™

Lumen Touch has always provided 24/7 monitoring and managed services support to our schools, but in order to strengthen your cybersecurity, you need to know where your security gaps are.  That’s why Lumen Touch is offering a service for schools called Bright LITE.  Our customized service offering provides individuals and organizations with the necessary information and education to efficiently evaluate both the risks and opportunities they face.

Manage Health and Safety with Bright CARE™

The laborious task of managing health and safety has been thrust into the spotlight in schools, as districts have been forced to manage mask and vaccination requirements, enforce social distancing, and establish isolation protocols. While schools have always needed a health and safety solution for regularly mandated vaccines, allergy management, and trouble-free Medicaid billing for services provided through the schools, the pandemic certainly has made this a much larger priority.

Lumen Touch partnered with Tesseract to offer even more tools through Bright CARE. Bright CARE is a comprehensive student health and medical record management system developed by Lumen Touch. For schools that would benefit, this system can be implemented as a standalone application.

Supporting Educator Professional Development

Bright PATH™ connects educators to dynamic learning opportunities with highly effective learning programs that help streamline professional development. By offering customizable courses and units of study to fit the learning needs of leaders, teachers, and support staff, professional development has never been so easy. As educator professional training and advancement through micro-credentialing gains momentum, Bright PATH provides the sophisticated solution that school administrators need to improve retention rates. Bright PATH provides:

  • Just-in-time learning – anywhere, anytime
  • Proven best practices for instructors
  • One-stop shopping for all members of the education community
  • Easy progress monitoring of content learning
  • Streamlining of all professional development
  • Résumé builder, through Master Teacher
  • Free, innovative global content

Make Teachers’ Jobs Easier with Bright SUITE™

Lumen Touch Bright SUITE™ is the total Lumen Touch offering, bringing many advantages including tremendous cost- and time-saving efficiencies. It includes a truly personalized and flexible management system that can meet the unique needs of your individual district while still encompassing characteristic school needs, from special education to student information to library and resources management to student individual plans of study to complete health and wellness management.  Bright SUITE allows students and teachers to embrace technology, to accelerate the trajectory of learning and enhance the well-being of each student. With Bright SUITE, your district will be connecting all students to opportunities!

To learn more about how Lumen Touch empowers the future of learning, get in touch. Email us at mailto:sales@lumentouch.com, call us at 816.880.0066, or visit www.lumentouch.com.

Is Education Focused on the Wrong Skills?

Most students don’t like school. And it’s not the fault of teachers but rather of the insistence that we teach the same old tired things to students who already have access to vast and immediate information on a variety of subjects. What students do need to learn are critical thinking skills that will prepare them for opportunities that lie ahead.

The 2021 NACE survey on the most-needed attributes employers are looking for include the following:

  • Ability to work in a team
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Analytical and quantitative skills
  • Communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Technical skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Strong work ethic

Not one of the employers surveyed listed the date or contents of the Gettysburg address, or the year in which Hawaii became a state, as critical knowledge.

We Need to Move Education from the Industrial Revolution to the Technological Revolution

Garrett Smiley, co-founder and CEO of Sora Schools, a network of future-focused schools, wrote in a recent Forbes article,

There is cognitive dissonance of obsessing over the knowledge of facts during a child’s school years while simultaneously dismissing their importance shortly thereafter. As a result, students are left to believe they’re not made for school when, in reality, schools were not made for them. An educational system built for the Industrial Revolution no longer fits our modern-day needs.

Smiley offers some basic, common-sense ways we can improve education, suggesting we focus on the needs of the students, encourage them to “chase [their] wild dreams,” and scrap our grading system and our obsessive focus on teaching to tests and measuring worth (of teachers and students) through standardized test results.

We couldn’t agree more.

Connecting All Students to Opportunity through Technology and Leadership

Our mission, connecting all students to opportunity through technology and leadership, is more than just words. In fact, everything we do and every decision we make, from the solutions we develop to the strategic partnerships we form to the community support we provide, is in line with our mission. We firmly believe that connecting students to opportunity is a fundamentally important goal. We believe that these pillars of technology and leadership are what will help guide us through the education revolution that is so desperately needed.

We need more voices like Garrett Smiley’s who recognize the undue burden placed on teachers, often put there by legislators who have never spent a day in a classroom outside their own time as students back in the days of chalkboards.

The Future of Education Is Now

The students now in school will grow up in a world unlike that which any of us have ever known. What we do now to prepare them is essential. It’s time to upend education and focus on what students need to know to survive and thrive in a fast-paced, tech-driven world.

Redefining Education in the K-12 Setting

The ongoing pandemic has forced a reckoning in education on three fronts: equity, teacher retention, and technology. We must address all three of these areas as we redefine education – and we must redefine education if we want to continue meeting student, teacher, and community needs. We’ve discussed equity and retention in previous blogs, so we’ll focus mostly on using technology to redefine K-12 education here.

Why Equity Is Necessary for Redefining Education

In order for education to serve our communities, the issue of equity must be addressed. Not only should broadband be accessible to every home, and devices be made available to every student, but we must also address digital competency. Improving digital competency may seem like an odd thing to worry about within this digital native generation, but when more than 10 million US students are still without adequate internet at home, their ability to achieve digitally competency is compromised. This often extends to their parents as well, which gives local schools a perfect opportunity to provide adult education programs.

Teacher Retention Is Crucial to Student Academic Success

Teachers are more stressed than ever. But they’re not quitting in droves – yet. The Great Resignation that has impacted most other industries has yet to materialize in education, likely because the very people who choose to become educators tend to lean in and try to do more, until they burn out completely.  But you can still retain top educators and prevent them from not just leaving your school, but from leaving the profession as well.

To prevent the Great Resignation from affecting schools, districts need to recognize that teachers want what everyone else is looking for: professional support and development, a voice in the direction of their careers, and flexibility. These expectations will likely vary from one school district to another, but things like job sharing and matching the right teachers to in-class and online teaching opportunities will be critical. And using technology to empower teachers will be essential.

Technology Is the Future of Education

Technology will be a part of the future of education in ways we can’t even predict yet. While edtech and other technologies might have been temporary stopgap measures in the beginning of the pandemic, they are now the new norm for many schools, whether education is being delivered in-person, online, or in hybrid environments.

Lumen Touch All-in-One Management Solution

Our approach moves away from legacy systems such as SISs and towards the new world of student and enterprise management, with a strong focus on individual plans of study, project-based learning, and predictive analytics on a single secure platform.

We are one of the few companies that offer an all-in-one solution, which includes:

  • a comprehensive SIS (Bright STUDENT)
  • a special education product (Bright SPED)
  • full library and inventory management (Bright RESOURCE)
  • a student college and career management system (Bright SUCCESS)
  • an early education system (Bright STEPS)
  • a full health management system (Bright CARE)
  • a professional development management system (Bright PATH)
  • a full data management and dashboarding product (Bright INSIGHT)
  • Medicaid billing (Bright MEDICAID)
  • a full communication and learning system that incorporates social media and the ability to translate dialogue in over 70 languages (Bright SPACE)

More recently, we added a cybersecurity and auditing service module, and COVID-19 tracking and contact tracing modules.

Infrastructure Is Part of the Tech Solution

From cloud hosting to comprehensive learning management systems, the IT infrastructure of every school needs to be modernized. Infrastructure in K-12 schools should support learning, professional development, classroom management, health and safety, SEL and SPED, and communication and engagement. It should be developed to accommodate a wide variety of learning modes – online, in person, and hybrid. Robust and comprehensive cloud-based infrastructure in the K-12 education environment ensures that students, teachers, parents, and administrators have the ability to improve engagement, enhance communication, foster collaboration, and open worlds of opportunity in learning.

Lumen Touch is at the innovative forefront of developing the kind of technology that truly benefits teachers, students, and school districts. We have been providing our integrated all-in-one management technology to school districts for 18 years. To learn more about our solution, get in touch.

Teacher Retention: Keeping Valued Educators in the Profession

There is a teacher retention crisis. This situation is not one that is new, and it is not entirely due to the pandemic. In fact, in the two years before the pandemic, 55% of teachers were leaving after only two years in the profession because of stress and low pay. And at present, 92% of teachers surveyed by EdWeek say the stress has only become worse since the pandemic.

Why Teachers Are Leaving

The top reason that teachers are leaving the profession is stress. And teachers are more than twice as likely to leave as a result of stress than they are for low pay or any other reason. Other struggles at the top of the list include poor school management, lack of respect, lack of voice in the direction of education, and overwhelming duties. The stories of what teachers are enduring are heartbreaking and frustrating. TALIS 2018, a major international survey of more than 260,000 teachers and 15,000 school leaders, found that only about one-third of them feel appreciated.

What Teachers Need Now

Teachers are spending an average of 70-80 hours a week working – and less than half of that time is spent with the students. The biggest change that must happen to improve retention is to remove the burden of such an unbalanced workload. Reducing the workload and number of hours required to do their job is the first step. Increasing pay is the next. But teachers – the actual education experts to whom we entrust our children – should also have input on safety policies, and most certainly should have a voice in the direction of the curriculum and how resources are allocated.

TALIS 2018 identified many other ways to support teachers, including these policy goals:

  • provide novice teachers and newly appointed school leaders with tailor-made support
  • make the most of teachers’ time to support quality teaching and the use of effective teaching practices
  • foster a school and classroom climate conducive to student learning and well-being
  • develop a collaborative culture within schools
  • foster mentoring and peer feedback as key attributes of professional work
  • make the most of school leaders’ time to foster instructional leadership
  • improve working conditions

How EdTech Can Improve Teacher Retention

EdTech can play a significant role in improving teacher retention. Not only can automated grading and testing reduce the workload with which teachers are burdened, but it can also make it easier for teachers to engage with students and spend one-on-one time with those in need. As well, teachers can enjoy the ability to personalize education to meet the students’ individual needs.

Lumen™ Touch Empowers Teachers

Bright LEARNING™ is a powerful resource that puts teachers back in control of achieving standards, by aligning student achievement and standards-based grading. This resource provides teachers with a “command center” from which they can map standards to curriculum, assess students, and evaluate progress easily and simply. With an integrated gradebook and lesson planner, teachers save time, aggravation, and stress while better meeting mandates – and having more class time to truly engage with students on a more personal level.

At Lumen Touch, we know that there are no simple answers to solving the big challenges that face educators. But there are systems you can implement that can make a difference. Bright LEARNING is one such system. To learn more, get in touch.

Leveling the Playing Field: Education Equity

The pandemic has affected us all, from school districts to educators to those of us who serve the education industry. And without a doubt, students have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. But the impact was uneven. A large study has confirmed that which most educators have probably noted anecdotally: marginalized students and impoverished students were impacted far more severely by losing access to the classroom.

Key Findings: Addressing the Digital Divide

Oxford University Press (OUP) published a report, Addressing the Deepening Digital Divide, which “captures the views of 1,557 school and English-language teachers from 92 countries.” One of the key findings was that across the globe, “limited digital skills” are virtually as significant of a problem as is the lack of physical access to technology.

According to the report, 68% of students had poor digital access – either no access to internet or to an internet-abled device. But 56% of the teachers surveyed reported that a lack of digital competency was a barrier for themselves and students.  And 58% of disadvantaged students received less support at home, in part because their parents also lacked the digital competency to provide support.

The Future of Education Requires Digital Competency and Digital Equity

Those students who lack both the means to access digital devices and learn how to effectively use them for education are being left behind. If we truly want to advance education in ways that prepare students not just for the future workplace but to adequately function in an increasingly digital world, we must focus on improving digital skills while addressing equity issues.

  • Broadband should be like any other utility and delivered seamlessly to every home
  • Schools should work to provide approved devices to every child
  • Schools should work with their communities to offer adult education programs to help improve parents’ digital skills
  • Education policies should be overhauled in recognition of the new realities of teaching and learning

OUP Recommendations

The world of education continues to undergo significant digital transformation, and yet so many learners are being left behind because of the digital divide. As our research shows, it isn’t just about ensuring people have access to the relevant devices, or improving connectivity; unless we fill skills gaps and make sure teachers, learners, and parents know how to use digital tools effectively, the digital divide will only continue to grow. ~ Nigel Portwood, CEO, Oxford University Press.

With a call for immediate action from governments around the world, OUP has appealed for:

  • A greater focus on independent learning
  • Building digital competency skills
  • Targeting resources at both ends of the digital divide

Read the full OUP report here.

The Future of Teaching

Every day, we see stories about teachers who are hanging on by a thread, and we hear stories from teachers who can confirm the same and who are, worse yet, actively seeking other opportunities and will leave their careers in education. It’s not that they don’t want to be teachers, but the challenges of these past few years – on top of the many other pressures teachers face in the classrooms – have become insurmountable for some. We need to look at both how to better support educators and reduce attrition as well as look at how the education system can change to accommodate the drop in availability.

Teacher Shortages Are Growing

Throughout the country, the number of people entering the teaching profession is dropping significantly. According to the National Center for Education, education majors accounted for more than 10% of the degree candidates in 1990-1991. That number fell to 4.2% in the 2018-2019 school year. The pandemic has reduced those numbers even further. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are teacher shortages in nearly every state for nearly every subject. A quickly generated report on general math resulted in a nine page list of teacher shortages from Wyoming to Puerto Rico.

Supporting Teachers More Effectively

Teacher turnover is damaging to students. According to research by Eric A. Hanushek, Steven G. Rivkin, and Jeffrey C. Schiman, the following impacts occur:

  • Teacher turnover negatively affects achievement despite adverse selection of leavers.
  • Experience loss and grade reassignment account for the negative turnover effects.
  • Negative turnover effects are concentrated in lower-achievement schools.

Reducing teacher attrition, then, has a direct impact on student success.

There are a number of ways we can support our teachers more effectively:

Invest in educators. Increase salaries and offer additional pay when they’re forced to manage both in-class and online students. Pay off their student loans. Cover the costs of all of their supplies; don’t make them beg the internet community to “clear the lists.”

Listen to educators. Listen to your teachers – at the school level, the district level, the state level, and the federal level. Put teachers on the committees that make decisions about policy, health, safety, and, yes, curriculum.

Provide tools for educators. Invest in technology that makes it easier for teachers to do their jobs. This means that at the state and national levels, governments need to free their budgets to invest in equity – broadband for every household, for example. At the district level, districts need to invest in smart technology that makes it easier for teachers to manage not just their teaching responsibilities but all of the other tasks they have, such as SPED reporting and SEL.

Addressing the Tech Skills Gap

There’s a huge tech skills gap. Our partners at Global Grid for Learning have identified some of the risks of not addressing this gap and the threat it represents to our economic stability:

  • Our ability to compete globally could be threatened.
  • Ransomware and phishing attacks are growing more sophisticated, resulting in the need for technically capable workers to thwart the threats to our schools, infrastructures, and businesses.
  • As AI, AR, and VR become commonplace in retail, education, healthcare, and other industries, the demand for technically proficient workers will continue to grow.

Radically Alter the Education System

It’s time for an academic overhaul. We’ve been using the same basic education system for more than a century, and we’re not keeping up. Larry Ferlazzo explores this in his two-part series on Futures Thinking. We need to change how we assess, what we teach, and how we prepare students for the workforce of the future. Lumen™ Touch is at the forefront of the education revolution. What do you want to see for the future of teaching?

Assessments, Learning Loss, and the Future of Learning

A lot of people in the education industry are talking about how the pandemic fundamentally changed education, simply because it was being delivered through a different medium.

We disagree.

If the means by which we expect students to learn is not allowed to change, then change doesn’t happen just because we vary the medium through which education is delivered. In fact, most educators, often bound by the curriculum requirements of their districts, are still teaching the same subjects in the same way with the same assessments. Just because they’re doing it online instead of in person doesn’t mean anything has fundamentally changed – and fundamental changes to education are what we really need.

We Need to Stop Focusing on Failure

If a student is excelling in music and art while failing math and science, then that doesn’t mean they’re failing as a student. It means they demonstrate exceptional skill in areas that can lead to innovation. In order to foster the true passion and talent in every student, we need to make a fundamental change in how we assess success. This point has been brought to bear on how we evaluate learning loss as a result of the pandemic. Dr. Yong Zhao explains during an interview with Dr. Wendy Oliver, published on EdisonLearning:

The pandemic has created a very unhappy environment for a lot of children. They’re isolated, they’re not going to school, and they’re not talking to friends. But at the same time, we probably should pay attention to see how they have grown. Human beings learn from experiences. These experiences have changed our children in different ways. Perhaps now they are better at handling adverse situations. They are now better at making friends online, which is essential in today’s life. Maybe your children are becoming more independent in learning? These are the types of things he stresses we really need to focus on.

Right Now, We Assess Failure and Focus on Failure

From early on in our students’ educational journeys, we focus on measuring failure. We conduct spelling and math tests and mark what they get wrong. We focus on how far beneath the average they are and we assume that wherever they are at that moment academically is where they will remain. This places an undue burden on the students and the teachers when they are forced to approach education in this way. Instead, we should be focused on the successes and strengths students have. When we focus on successes and strengths and take the time to understand a student’s passions and interests, we can find ways to improve their subject matter expertise by teaching through their passions.

Every Student Deserves to Have an IEP

Right now, the only students who qualify for an IEP (Individualized Education Program) are those students who have a disability that is recognized by the federal government. But shouldn’t every student have an individualized learning plan that is customized to meet their needs and help them achieve the best outcome?

We must be particularly cautious as we come out of the pandemic, as there is a push to assess students and determine what they’ve lost by learning from home. Brian Moon explores this in terms of the unbounded concern over learning loss. He points out that part of the problem stems from education focusing on the wrong question: “How do we help students perform better on standardized tests?” By doing this, we are forcing teachers to teach to the test and focus on teaching what students need to know to pass tests instead of engaging their minds.

Moon suggests a new question: “How do we use assessment to accelerate, deepen, and showcase individual student learning?”

How Do We Use Assessment to Accelerate, Deepen, and Showcase Individual Student Learning?

That is the question that needs to be explored as we redefine education in the twenty-first century. But in doing so, let’s focus on Moon’s point:

We need not categorize students as deficient in order to justify improving the efficiency, depth, and meaning of their learning experiences. Assessment scores are finite, but learning is limitless. When we center student growth – rather than points or percentiles – as the goal of education, we expand the possibilities for how schools can provide value.

The Future of Learning

The future of learning should be individualized. Assessments should not be used to penalize students but rather to help encourage learning. And what students learn should be modernized and revolutionized so that the students moving through the education system today are prepared to live, work, and engage in the society of tomorrow. Learn more about how Lumen Touch is contributing to the future of learning.

Are Virtual Classrooms the Future of Learning?

Students may be returning to the classroom in the fall, but technology has certainly changed not just our ability to deliver instruction but also the innovation surrounding effective education. Virtual classrooms will not go away. The possibilities are limitless! Here are some great examples of how technology is creating optimal learning experiences:

UCI Professor Goes Virtual

Grown tired of Zoom, Christina Lopes, a professor at University of California, Irvine (UCI), developed a virtual space for her students to obtain hands-on experience in her course, How Computers Work. According to a Newswise article, she helped to create a new program called OpenSimulator. Instead of sitting in a classroom learning from a textbook, students are able to see the code come to life.

Virtual Innovation Is Disrupting Every Industry

From virtual meetings, where the CEO of a company appears as a hologram in various locations around the world, to tradeshows where buyers are able to examine virtual versions of the equipment they are interested in buying, virtual and augmented reality are changing how we perceive the world and how we interact with one another. Virtual environments are enhancing virtually every industry, and education is no exception. Virtual classrooms can help educators meet the needs of more students. What started as a way to reach students when schools closed during the pandemic has revolutionized education in a way that can hopefully continue even as students return to the classroom.

Virtual Classrooms Help Bring Education into the Future

We know that a radical revolution in education is necessary in order to prepare students for the future of work. Teaching to the test and basing student advancement on their ability to regurgitate facts is no longer enough to prepare students for the workforce of the future. Virtual classrooms allow students to accelerate their tech skills, improve their soft skills, and learn how to leverage technology for their benefit.

Virtual Learning and Classrooms Can Co-Exist

No matter how students receive instruction, educators are paramount to the overall success and progress a student makes. Virtual classrooms may never fully replace in-person instruction. But virtual classrooms can be used to enhance the in-classroom experience, by allowing students to pursue individualized and customized areas of learning, thereby giving every student the opportunity to have a richer education. Virtual classrooms can also allow two teachers from different districts, states, or even countries to collaborate to deliver a richer, more diverse curriculum.

Virtual education is not the enemy of the classroom – it is an enhancement to it. And for students who have difficulty being in school every day, either due to illness, disability, or the circumstances of their home life, it can bring additional equity to your district.