Creating Stronger Student Engagement in the Classroom

If you’ve been in a classroom recently, you may have noticed something different. Teachers are going beyond growing bean sprouts on windowsills and making papier mâché volcanoes to engage their students.

As technology becomes more and more a part of everyday life, it’s also turned into an essential part of the classroom. Avaya collaborated with one school district in Texas seeking to build a networking infrastructure to support its students, by creating an environment to support mobile student engagement. And quite frankly, what we created is just plain cool.

BYOD? No Problem!

At Pearland Independent School District, we collaborated with administrators to create a network that would connect teachers and students. Pearland, a city within the borders of Houston, is a community that’s passionate about its students. We outfitted the district with high-speed Wi-Fi and co-developed a plan to institute a “bring your own device” (BYOD) program for about 12,000 devices.

Students now have the ability to bring Wi-Fi-enabled devices, like tablets and smartphones, from home on certain days and into some classrooms. Students can connect with their desktops, home folders, and all of their work no matter where they are. We worked hard to ensure that this new network would scale with the district for years to come.

Teachers incorporate this technology into their lessons through SMART Boards, class websites, and email to make their teaching come alive. Because the technology supports the staff and creates a secure network, educators are able to take advantage of applications and tools designed to make learning more engaging.

Specifically, at Alexander Middle School, teachers have access to a cart stocked with Apple iPad tablets and a cart with laptops to further foster classroom activities.

All of this new technology means that students are able dive deeper into the material and creatively engage with what they’re learning. Teachers are able to tailor their lessons to different learning styles, resulting in better long-term performance for their students by allowing them to engage directly with their schoolwork.

Infrastructure Is Essential

Ultimately, we needed to make sure that Pearland Independent School District was prepared for the future, and we did that by introducing a scalable network infrastructure.

According to a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 77 percent of teachers report lack of technical support as either a minor or major challenge to incorporating digital technology in the classroom.

This is an area where Avaya shines. We made it easy for the Pearland Independent School District to use networking technology to engage students in their lessons. With a system that runs like clockwork, the district can focus on hiring teachers instead of IT administrators.

That’s our goal: to make things easy for everyone involved and to engage students. Avaya focuses on what’s important to educators and students alike, and create technology solutions that make it simple for students to engage with their lessons and for educators to save time.

While kids might think using an iPad in their math class is cool, we’re more focused on the fact that they’re more engaged with their lesson in the long run. Although, truth be told, we don’t mind being cool, too.