HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - On the surface, education seems to have remained the same for centuries - teachers standing and lecturing with students sitting and listening, well, most of them.
While it looks the same, though, technology has profoundly changed the learning landscape.
"Technology is so big and so relevant in everything now," said Instructional Technology Specialist Vickey Sullivan.
This revolution is so much more than just students' cell phones interrupting class. The tools students use promote communication and collaboration.
"They aren't just doing paper and pencil work, but they are up, moving around and they are involved the in the lesson," said principal Jessica Byrd.
These innovations are expanding classrooms themselves, allowing online and virtual learning for students.
"The research shows that virtual reality really does help raise test scores. Why? Because they're engaged, they're paying attention, they're not distracted," said principal Rachelle Gardner.
Teachers' roles are even evolving, from sage on the stage to guide on the side, serving more as a coach in the classroom.
"So many teachers are like, 'I'm going to read this PowerPoint for 30 minutes' and expect us to retain the information," said student Emma Rose Dodson.
Today, teachers support and guide student activities more than ever.
Even as these modern marvels evolve learning, the mission behind it remains.
"If I can change one kid, I feel like I'm successful," said teacher Jonathan Bailey.
WHNT News 19 takes action for these innovative educators with our "Tools for Teachers" program. For nearly a decade, we have awarded dozens of north Alabama teachers $319 to provide for their classrooms. The program is paused for the summer, but it will return at the start of this next school year. To learn how you can nominate a teacher, click here.