The world has radically changed in unprecedented ways. Educators navigate uncharted waters that continually fluctuate as a result of COVID-19 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Even with all of these challenges, opportunities have arisen to take education in a different and better direction to create a new normal that better meets learners' needs. Teachers have risen to the occasion like never before. With increases in technology and adapting to both remote and hybrid learning, we have seen them become nimble while embracing innovative pathways to create a more equitable learning experience.
As someone who has actively worked in schools physically and virtually throughout the pandemic, I have seen some of the most extraordinary examples of sound pedagogy. I will even go out on a limb and state that what I have seen the past couple of months is significantly better at scale than what was observed prior to COVID-19's emergence. Now don't get me wrong. There were definitely excellent practices taking place in classrooms across the globe. However, they were more isolated than widespread. All of that has changed in many schools.
If you are an avid reader of this blog, you have seen examples of what I am talking about in terms of the use of time, differentiation, purposeful integration of technology, and educator collaboration. My role has not only been to provide strategies and ongoing coaching but also to make recommendations on solutions that can make the lives of teachers, administrators, and students easier in the process. Hāpara is one such solution if you are using Google Workspace (formerly G-Suite). They offer a suite of tools for differentiation, promoting digital citizenship, establishing productive workflows, providing feedback, and allowing learners to work at their own pace.
Below you can see all that Hāpara does:
- Highlights: Encourages a gradual release of responsibility approach to monitoring digital learning to grow digital citizenship and develop critical competencies amongst learners. Highlights give teachers a window into what learners are working on in their Chrome browsers and provides the ability to provide formative feedback and positive reinforcement while also facilitating guided practice.
- Teacher Dashboard: Simplifies teacher workflows in Google Workspace by organizing all student Drive files into one convenient dashboard. This makes it easier for teachers to access student work and provide timely, consistent, formative feedback.
- Workspace: Consider this the place to organize all of those Google apps and tools. Hāpara workspace is a home base for learning that teachers can use to facilitate instruction, automate differentiation, personalize tasks and provide a collaborative experience. Educators can benefit from thousands of publicly shared Workspaces aligned to the local curriculum and customize them to meet their learners' needs.
- Student Dashboard: A one-stop hub where learners can find their Google Classroom assignments, Drive files, announcements, and communications from their teachers. Student Dashboard can establish a path to developing more vital executive function skills, greater autonomy, and increased student agency.
- Private Library: Allows schools and districts to secure their Hāpara Workspaces in private library collections. Only those within the school or district can see these Workspaces, and they cannot be shared publicly. This has the benefit of protecting licensed content so that copyright is not violated by sharing outside of the organization.
- Classroom Dashboard: Provides schools and districts visibility into Google Classroom engagement metrics to make better-informed learning decisions. The valuable data provides insight into how Google Classroom is being used, whether or not students are engaged in learning, and developing a coaching and professional learning plan to ensure student success.
- Digital Backpack: A flexible solution for equitable distribution of textbooks, resources, and other content.
The resiliency of educators during the pandemic has not gone unnoticed. We need to continue to celebrate all that they have and continue to accomplish while also moving forward with pedagogical change that will transform classrooms in ways that future-proof learning. One way to ensure lasting success is to streamline workflows for teachers and students alike. In this case, Hāpara fits the bill for Google users.