Now more than ever technology is at the forefront of modern education. But it can be difficult to know just how to take advantage of all the resources we have at our fingertips. The aim of this article is to provide a general overview of some of the key strategic applications of technology in the classroom.
Virtual Field Trips
This is an ideal means of overcoming the logistical issues that can limit school travel. Well-designed apps enable your class to explore famous historical locations without stepping out of the classroom. This can have a whole host of uses as part of a lesson plan, including history and geography. More generally, this can also be used to preview field trips virtually. It's a great way of generating enthusiasm among the class and enabling teaching staff to sufficiently prepare.
There is no sure fire way of keeping a class interested, but a good bet is to vary delivery styles. Incorporating multimedia elements into a basic, text-based slideshow can make a world of difference. Now podcast clips, news footage, internet videos, pictographs and movie and TV clips all have their part to play in engaging students with their learning.
Encourage Class Collaboration
Group assignments are a great way to encourage collaboration among classmates, but they are not always the most practical of teaching methods. However, by using a shared wiki page your students will be able to increase their digital knowledge whilst putting together a tangible end product. There are plenty of different programs to get you started, and once the project is up and running your students will most likely be considerably more engaged than they would with a conventional pen and paper assignment.
It is also a valuable example of the transferable skills which classroom tech can provide. Specifically, it enhances both verbal and written communication among your class groups, whilst generating two-way conversations and encouraging students to take an active role in their own learning. Practical resources for real-time collaboration and feedback include Collabrify Suite and Scratchwork; these are well worth checking out.
There's no escaping the fact that social media is now firmly entrenched as one of the key means of communication among students. So why not take advantage of that? There are plenty of ways that social media can be used as a teaching tool. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be a valuable resource for both communicating with students and monitoring their progress. They are also a great way to keep parents and guardians abreast of progress.
Educational games are an invaluable tool for learning, because they not only tap into the popularity of mobile game devices, but they also enhance a student's education by encouraging them to compete amongst themselves and to take ownership of their learning and development.
These are just a few of the innovative strategies for teaching with technology. By factoring them into your lesson plans, your students will reap the long term benefits of the technical revolution.