When it comes to using technology in the classroom, many teachers felt left behind. The good news is that teaching strategies with technology don't have to be hard or impossible. These tools are often a great way to encourage learning in a fun and interactive way. If you're not familiar with how to use tech teaching, consider these strategies.
5 Great Teaching Strategies for Technology in the Classroom
Look for Social Solutions
One of the best ways that technology can be used today is to increase interaction between people. Finding ways for students to interact and learn with each other is a great way to bring social learning into the classroom. Consider apps that allow for collaboration and feedback. Scratchwork and Collabrify Suite are tools that can be used to create, edit, and provide feedback at the same time. This is also a method that teachers can use to engage students in the classroom. They can use partnering, questioning, and share-aloud sessions into situations when students are going to be working on devices.
One great example of this is using Google Docs. This is a platform where multiple people can be involved editing a document at the same time. Engaging each other in the writing process during the process is an amazing feature.
Only Use Technology that Adds Value
All teachers know that technology can add value to the classroom or take it away. It's only effective to use technology when it actually enhances learning in a way that can't be done without technology. For example, some tools are great to explain complicated concepts in a way that makes it easier to understand them. It's best to use applications that engage with higher level cognitive skills for the best results.
Think about math software such as CueThink and how it helps students work together on math problems. It focuses on the process of doing math rather than just being mindless practice. In addition to this specific app, using technology to ask probing questions, visible thinking, and reflective notebooks is important when using more basic practicing software.
Make the Learning Mean Something
Learning is always best when it can be connected to the real world. Using applications that allow teachers to learn with others outside of the classroom is a great option. For example, the app iNaturalist allows students to explore the species that exist in their own hometown. They can then share their own analysis with people around the world. Other tools allow students to take part in field-based activities that they can then share with classmates.
One simple example of this would have to be participating in a virtual trip to a local aquarium. This could be an instructive lesson on the lives of the animals there and the students can ask questions about the aquarium and then learn how the different species react to their environment. This can all occur without ever having to leave the classroom.
Reduce Your Slides
Slideshows have become such a common part of student life that they go by unnoticed. This is one of the quickest ways to lose students though. When you use slides it often stifles students from engaging in the creative process. It can also remove critical thinking from the lesson and instead turn the classroom into snoozefest. While you shouldn't have to ban slideshows in order to improve engagement, there are good reasons to avoid them for the most part.
There are many apps which can be used to provide the same information as a slideshow but offer more engaging content and information. Think about how an app that's interactive and allows students to go through it at their own pace is much more engaging and interesting. It's even fairly easy to convert the average powerpoint presentation into one of these apps. You'll wonder why you didn't do this before.
Teaching strategies with technology don't require the average teacher to be a tech whiz. In fact, most of the strategies used today simply require teachers to spend a little extra time at first but often they become second nature over time. If you're looking for better ways to engage your students in the classroom, technology is the way to go. Consider these methods to get a head start on getting your students a great education.