Impact Georgia Magazine - Regaining Momentum Spring 2021 - Page 20


Educational Software Training

As traditional education techniques have shifted due to the 2020 pandemic , teachers have worked hard to provide alternative learning opportunities for their students . At the Georgia Department of Corrections , educational instructors worked diligently to find new and creative ways to keep offenders engaged and on track when they discovered a program called ‘ SMART Software Learning Suite .’ This Software enables teachers to transform static content into interactive learning experiences with engaging lessons , assessments , collaborative workspaces , and game-based activities .
Throughout the state , instructors were excited to hear of the new program and underwent a virtual training session to learn how to utilize all the program offers . During the training session , teachers were able to join in on the Software themselves and walk through the program with an instructor ’ s guidance . The training allowed teachers to view the Software as students and demonstrated how they could utilize the Software in their lesson plans . The trainers instructed the teachers on how to take documents like PDFs , PowerPoint files , Google Slides , Google Docs , and Google Sheets to create new interactive lessons on a Chromebook . Teachers also learned how to design lessons in a virtual classroom that could be shared directly with offenders through the Software .
The learning suite gives instructors many options for preparing lessons . They can become creative and transform a regular assignment into an interactive lesson or collaborative group work . With the SMART Learning Suite , students engage in learning through shared workspaces , team-based activities , and brainstorming activities . The new program provides offenders with exciting and creative ways to learn , review lessons , and complete assessments all in one program . Unlike traditional classroom settings , this new learning style is virtual ; however , all of the lessons and activities within the program are monitored and controlled by the teacher . The Education Unit ’ s goal is to continue growing the SMART Software Learning Suite assignments and provide courses to move offenders toward their goal of obtaining a GED .