Teachers have always been expected to plan, prepare and teach lessons to improve student knowledge and skills. Today, they must also have a good understanding of technology and the digital tools modern classroom management requires.
Classroom management, in this case, refers to how educators can use technology solutions to help support workflow and classroom organization. In much the same way as behavior management can support individuals, classroom management can help ensure the smooth running of classroom sessions.
Why is classroom management important?
Effective classroom management offers benefits for both educators and their students.
We know that for some teachers, a lack of confidence can be a barrier to the effective use of technology in the classroom. If teachers lack confidence in this area, they may believe that students knowing more than they do will show them up. Or, they may fear not being able to monitor students' technology use well enough to keep them out of trouble.
Even beyond these fears, teachers don’t want their focus to be on what technology they use in the classroom. They want technology to be just another tool like any other equipment. The more technology can be managed for specific uses at a given time, the less of a distraction it can be.
The goal: smart classroom management. Teachers set up activities in a way that works for them and trust that it is in place when students are ready to learn. With the right content and access in place, there’s no need for teachers to provide additional tech instruction.
The result: Teachers don’t have to provide tech support in the middle of lessons.
What does modern classroom management mean?
When modern classroom management includes digital management, for some teachers it can feel overwhelming. But effective digital management can simplify the teacher workload.
As educators incorporate modern devices like iPads into the classroom, implementing these key technologies can help:
- Mobile Device Management (MDM) software. It’s crucial to enroll students and staff into classroom management software such as Jamf School or Jamf Pro. This enables admins to assign students to a classroom so that educators can have everything ready to go before the lessons begin.
- Apple School Manager. This free web-based service for IT admins supports the creation of student and staff accounts that sync with your MDM.
Once in place, teachers can manage classrooms through two complementary methods:
- Apple Classroom: This Apple application enables teachers to view student devices and the apps they’re using, as well as their screens. It supports teacher input and enables them to share content with the rest of the class.
- Jamf Teacher: This Jamf app enables teachers to focus student attention on specific tools while restricting access to those not needed in a session. Teachers can toggle on or off restrictions on features such as spellchecking and autocorrect. They can allow specific apps and websites, remove those not needed and keep students where they need to be.
These tools help focus learning while keeping the technology invisible. Students don't waste time searching for the right app or website and can get straight into their learning. It also supports student feedback – when a student can easily share their screen, feedback can be more timely.
What does effective classroom management look like?
- It doesn’t interfere with a teacher’s lesson flow. Instead, it enhances lessons and offers new opportunities to engage learners.
- It should be simple, effective and require minimal setup— not add to the teacher’s workload.
- It should provide students with a measure of predefined independence, so they are able to find resources proactively.
- It should cut down on classroom wait times and educator workloads; for example, by printing resources or creating QR codes for website access.
Why is classroom management important?
Without effective management in place, teachers and students pay the price.
Poor classroom management can lead to distracted students and less confident teachers. It can prevent technology from doing its job to support learning. Without effective management software, teachers can't benefit from technology-supported feedback and collaboration.
It also impacts differentiation in the classroom. The inability to access extension activities is a lost opportunity for students who want to explore content independently. And learners who need a bit more time or a different approach to absorbing information can not only become frustrated if forced to proceed at the same pace and in the same way as the rest of the class, but they can even fall behind.
Effective classroom management can lead to a new approach to how a classroom functions.
Sometimes it can even mean that the traditional view of a classroom is no more.
When devices are connected to the teacher, not the classroom, students can work in places that enhance their own learning. Those learners who need a quiet space can find one and be in contact with their teachers with access to all the content they may need.
Students who need to move, interact and explore away from the classroom can also do so while still remaining in contact with the instructor with subject matter materials at their fingertips
Teachers can set up groups based on these learning differences to allow student access to the support that works best for them.
Support doesn’t stop there. It can continue beyond the school with home-based learning.
Guiding technology use: management philosophy
As with any technology deployment, it’s important to lead with a purpose and have a clear vision from the outset that all staff can follow. This provides students equity, regardless of their ages or the teacher they have.
Good classroom management helps keep learners organized and shows teachers the real potential for technology. It also provides consistently applied and supported feedback and assessment opportunities that support learning.
And as with all things new, staff need training to feel confident and competent in using technology. This can often start with how they can manage it in their own spaces.
Where to begin: Apple School Manager
As already discussed, signing up for Apple School Manager is an important starting point for smart classroom management.
It allows schools to create the classes and groups that Jamf will ultimately use to set up a solid classroom management experience.
After setting up Managed Apple IDs, it allows students –who can now work in new ways made possible by classroom management tools– to collaborate on work with each other, even when not in the same physical space.
See how Apple School Manager and Jamf School transform classrooms.
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