During an unprecedented year of virtual, hybrid and in-person learning, technology became a crucial component of the classroom. Educators taught via Zoom, Teams, and Google Meet; recorded lessons, and test-drove new apps to better connect with their students from afar.
Now, as teachers prepare for the future, many will apply what they learned and incorporate more technology into their classrooms in the coming year. It’s a transformative shift that’s happening around the world, says Betty Garcia-Hill, global education technologist at HP.
“The idea is that the classroom is no longer [contained in] four walls,” she says. “Technology enables collaboration and group-based learning, while opening the doors for kids to be global citizens, creative thinkers, and problem-solvers.”
While COVID-19 sped up the trend toward more digital learning, new technology has long been recognized as a powerful vehicle for filling gaps through personalized learning, equipping students to enter a high-tech workforce, and giving educators opportunities to create more engaging learning environments.
To accomplish this, teachers need support to continue using tech in creative ways, including training on best practices and meaningful uses of technology. With this goal in mind, HP supports a group of HP Teaching Fellows each year, as part of Reinvent the Classroom, a collaboration between Digital Promise, HP, Microsoft, and Intel. Fellows receive free professional learning and opportunities for networking, presenting, and sharing thought leadership.
Here, five of the 25 HP Teaching Fellows from 2021 reflect on their experiences over the past year and look ahead at what’s to come.
What did this past year teach you about you and your students?
Jessica Holmes Masters, formerly a library media specialist at Westridge Elementary in Frankfort, Kentucky, who’s now at Franklin County High School: Virtual learning gave me a window into students’ worlds. I got to see their home environment. I developed more understanding of my students and felt like our bond was stronger when they came back in person because I truly was an extension of their home.