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Gone are the days when education was confined to four walls and a blackboard. Children today are quick learners. They are exposed to so many technological tools and advancements that depriving them of technology in class would be a waste. To add to this, if we don’t get our children accustomed to technological means of learning, they will fall behind because the world is moving very fast towards super-advanced times.
When we talk about technology, we don’t mean only PowerPoint Presentations. Even these are a thing of the past! We are talking about social media, podcasts, video streaming, and screen mirroring! You can use all these tools and more to convert a boring class into an interesting session for all students. So, why not make the best out of tech?
Let’s take a closer look now:
Start with an Online Calendar
While we recommend the use of technology, we don’t advise you to rush into it and try everything new. Children need to ease into it. Start with an online calendar, thus. You can create a Google Calendar and highlight important dates and your teaching schedule. Children and parents alike will be informed about the timetable and come prepared for it. This will also help them stay organized. Many institutes use Edmodo for the same reason.
Listening is an essential communication skill; making it an integral part of learning will help kids tremendously. Find relevant podcasts of interviews and lectures such as Dream Big, Wow in the World, Science Friday, and Games On, and play them in class. This will be a refreshing change from the old-fashioned lecture-delivery.
Try Video Streaming with Miracast
Even toddlers today are hooked to YouTube. Why not turn this into a good thing and use their interest to liven up lessons? Through screen mirroring you can actually share YouTube videos from your phone with your class. Shortlist interesting and educational videos, and make this a part of your teaching routine.
You can use a Miracast to stream any videos on the big screen. It is a neat little device that’s easy to use. Just connect it and get started!
Create a Blog
Blogging and social media are not likely to fade away. So, instead of shunning them, use them to engage your students. A class blog is a brilliant idea. You can have children share their articles, thoughts, comments, etc. and make it an interactive platform. Also, students will love sharing their blog on social media, making them sensitive to the digital world not just personally but academically as well. You can use Blogger or WordPress according to the grade you are teaching.
Introduce Educational Games
All kids love playing games. Why not download a few educational games, then? For example, if you are teaching them math, you can download games that require counting, addition, subtraction, etc. If you are teaching English, you will find a plethora of games in that niche as well. Download Cool Math, TIME For Kids, and BBC History For Kids and make classes fun and educational at the same time.
Presentations may be old school, but they are still great learning tools. Instead of making the same old presentations over and over again, make them engaging by adding graphs, video lessons, and sound effects. Such multimedia bring life into presentations and make them stand out.
Use Classroom Management Tools
Classroom management tools make the environment productive and positive not just for the students but also for the teachers. Managing classrooms is quite difficult for teachers, especially the ones who have just started their careers. These tools make it easy and are also quite affordable. Some good examples are Engrade, Teacher Kit, and Teacher Vision. Explore the tools that are ideal for you and use them to make life as a teacher easy! You can get started with the free one if you are tentative about spending money initially.
The best way to create a healthy learning atmosphere is to interact and engage. Children may be shy and too conscious to share their thoughts during the class but a platform such as Poll Everywhere can collect their feedback and you can work together to make the learning sessions better. This will also empower students and encourage them to discuss their difficulties with you.
Simulations are excellent for students of all ages. Even college students can benefit greatly from simulations. Check out simulation games and activities online based on the field of study and bring them to the classroom.
Invite a Guest Online
Use the power of Skype, Facetime, and Google Hangout to invite a guest lecturer from any part of the world. This would be a superb way to engage students without incurring too much operational cost.
Children are significantly less likely to forget lessons that they learn through interesting means. These days, it is very easy to download games, softwares, and other tools to help learn. So, why not use them all and bring technology into day-to-day learning? Tech is simply beautiful and significantly enhances the process of learning. We think all teachers must incorporate it into their teaching.
Aforementioned are only a few of the many ways of using technology in the classroom effectively. Do you use any other means or can you think of any other ways to use tech? Do let us know in comments! We would love to add your suggestions to our list!