In this digital age, more and more schools are seeing technology being introduced into the classroom. Whether it be through the use of tablets, educational gaming, like MinecraftEE, online resources or digital portfolios, teachers must adjust their pedagogical methods to stay current with the shift in technology.
The advantages of using tech in the classroom
Not only are teachers learning to apply these new technologies, but students are also using them to facilitate their own learning processes. Because technology can serve as an interactive learning tool, it makes learning more engaging and fun for students. Students may lose motivation or become withdrawn if they think a lesson is boring or too challenging. Technological tools like virtual games, lessons and interactive worksheets provide students with an individualistic approach to learning. They become explorers, researchers, problem solvers and creative thinkers.
Students gain important life skills by working with technology in the classroom. Aside from the obvious technological skillsets needed in many jobs nowadays, students also gain advantages, such as heightened motivation and productivity, critical thinking and research skills. Technology can also help to improve students’ communication and collaboration.
Students can better retain the information they are learning. When using technology, students are likely to find information on their own — with a bit of guidance from the teacher. For example, if a student is tasked to do a report on tree frogs, they could find their own online resources, interactive worksheets, digital photos and even real-time satellite images of habitats. The access to such an abundance of information will help your students stay interested and driven.
A class of students has a wide range of learning capabilities. Tech allows students to learn in the most efficient way for them, at their own pace. Most applications and interactive sites focus on individual learning. Therefore, students have the ability to learn according to their own capabilities and speed that best suits their needs. Meanwhile, teachers can spend more time with students who may need a bit more support.
Where to begin
There’s an abundance of free, or little to no cost, digital and online resources available for students. Teachers should choose those that best fit your lessons, difficulty, and general interests of your class. Here are some great tools that teachers should pay attention to:
Apps are a great way for students to have fun while learning. Apps allow students to explore, discover, collaborate and create. Apps also allow students to share their inventions, creations and knowledge with their class, and sometimes on a wider scale.
There are many free interactive sites to explore art, science and many other core subjects, through various pedagogical methods. The Metropolitan, for example, has a section dedicated to kids with audio books and talks, an interactive map of the museum with useful information and video instructions for students to complete their own projects. Many sites even have a section dedicated to teachers, with interactive handouts and instructions to guide classes.
Many online and social platforms contain a wealth of information and opportunities to collaborate. However, open platforms must be monitored and are not accessible to younger students. Creatubbles is a great way for students to safely share their creations, engage with other creations and interact with students, teachers and creators in over 50 countries, around the world. Creatubbles caters to lessons on any subject, and teachers will find it interesting and simple to plan projects around the platform. For example, here’s some fun ways to spruce up lessons for your language classes.
Though, there might be an instinct to ban games from the classroom, gaming has given rise to a tremendous about of educational opportunities. From virtual worlds, like Minecraft to coding games, like CodeCombat, educational gaming allows students to come up with creative solutions, gain a deep understanding of the task and recognize their own motivations — all while simply having fun.
Are there any interesting ways that you’re using tech in your classroom? Let us know about your projects in the comments section below. Also, be sure to upload all of your tech creations on Creatubbles to share with kids all over the globe.