Blog 5 Must-haves to Future Proof the Students of Today By Bel Clohesy The learning landscape is evolving rapidly. To future proof the students of today, having the right virtual learning environment is critical. So, what does this virtual learning environment look like? Let’s take a look at the 5 must-haves to future proof your students. #1 Engage student voice First and foremost, student voice is highly critical to future proof learners of today. This is because active participation gives students the ability to shape their own learning journey and pursue inquiry that interests them. Using a bespoke LMS is therefore key as this enables educators to choose from features that promote student voice and allows students to have an active role in their learning. For instance, features like Polls, Surveys, Social Stream, Forums, and integrated blogs allow students to share what it is they want to learn. Educators can also create individualised learning programmes by customising assessments, the pace of learning and ensure they cater to the needs of their learners. Being active participants in their education supports students in finding their own passion and taking ownership of their future learning. #2 Enable Collaboration Collaboration is becoming an increasingly important aspect of both the educational and professional worlds. There are numerous examples of how an idea has progressed further just through a conversation with someone else. In such a landscape, collaborative tools are a must to future proof students of today. For instance, collaborative tools such as Collab Docs, Wiki, Polls, Surveys and Forms and personalised student portfolios are instrumental in building vital communication skills and the ability to foster meaningful interactions. The intention of collaborative tools is to enhance working together for a shared goal. This means multiple students can work on the same doc at the same time, even from remote locations (collab docs), they can design their own courses (Wiki), and they are able to celebrate their learning somewhere where teachers and family members have visibility (student portfolio). Example of Calendar in Schoolbox As we see in the contemporary working world, with agile models such as hot-desking, huddle teams, and Scrum Methodology, the need for people to collaborate is stronger than ever. #3 See what’s happening in one place The life of a student is complex. Aside from social dynamics and learning commitments, balancing extracurricular activities can add layers. Your school, therefore, needs the capability to integrate individualised calendars into the learning journey. This way, school organised events relevant to each student are displayed across their instance. Add to this the ability for the student to add personal events or track upcoming tasks or homework, and they are set to balance all their commitments in one place! Example of Calendar in Schoolbox With the fast pace of today’s world, this level of organisation is an essential skill for students of today to reach their full potential in the future. #4 Integration of learning tools With the assistance of LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability), it’s possible to integrate a number of learning tools that can be used to further the education and often collaboration, which occurs inside a virtual learning environment. Some of these integrated systems include Google Drive, Microsoft Office 365 Education and OneNote, Prezi and Slideshare. For the purposes of work, each of these tools takes its place as software leaders within the working world. By ensuring students can access and navigate such platforms within the single sign-on capability of our LMS means that they are able to develop contemporary skills and capabilities that would be necessary for them to succeed in the future. #5 Anytime access from anywhere As people begin to work from home more often, or sometimes even WFPT (working from public transport) , the need to access content and information in one central location on any device is paramount. Therefore, a virtual platform that allows sign in and access through mobile devices connected to the Internet is a must. Not only does this give students more time to focus on learning, it prioritises connectedness and inclusivity. Two key components for the wellbeing of each individual. Example of mobile view on Schoolbox news We don’t know what the future holds. However, by investing in an evolving and contemporary virtual learning environment, your school will be able to help future proof each of your students for what may come. Schoolbox provides a range of adaptable approaches that help to achieve a holistic approach to each individual, as well as building skills and dispositions that will help them continue to grow and become lifelong learners. Take a look at what Schoolbox can do to create a virtual learning environment to future proof your students: Enhancing Communication with the Schoolbox Community Portal Setting up Class Pages with Schoolbox is as Easy as ABC Enhancing Student Wellbeing with 21st Century Education Technology Bel Clohesy has been a teacher for over 17 years, with expertise in teaching students from Kindergarten to Year 8. With a strong foundation in digital technology, Bel’s priority is ensuring an enhanced teaching and learning experience for K–12 schools.