Technology Tips for Improving Your Teaching Method
Technology Tips for Improving Your Teaching Method
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Teaching is extremely rewarding. You help students understand the world through engaging lessons and discussion. What they learn in your class is taken to their next level of education. In the past, much of this was done through paper planners, textbooks, and chalkboards. Today’s educators use available technology to assist them with daily lessons. In fact, over 60% of K-12 teachers use these tools daily. If you’re not doing this, here are some technology tips to improve your teaching methods.
View Online Videos
Sites like YouTube are a great resource when it comes to enhancing subjects. They offer videos on practically anything related to History, Math, English, and Science. They even feature interviews with newsmakers and historic individuals. For instance, a talk with Albert Einstein on becoming a U.S. citizen. Beyond YouTube, other digital locations present relevant information on the past and present. CNN 10 broadcasts a daily 10-minute newscast for middle and high-school students. Meanwhile, The History Channel has resources like videos and podcasts related to past and present events. There is so much educational content on the internet that can be extremely beneficial for your students. Remember, if you don’t want to take up too much time during class for educational videos, you can always assign a homework topic that requires them to watch it at home. This way they are still consuming great resources online without disrupting class time.
Clickers, also known as a classroom response system, increase student engagement. These electronic devices allow participants to register their answers to multiple-choice questions. These are quickly compiled for instantaneous results. The best thing about clickers is they allow students that rarely participate to show what they can do. There’s no need to raise their hand or go up to the board. It will also show you who might not be paying attention during class as the response system will show how many people have voted. Those students who do not choose an answer at all may be getting distracted. This allows you to find out ways to help them pay more attention in class and understand the material better. As a result, these students may start to gain confidence in the classroom. This leads them to open up for further discussion.
Apply Gamification In Lessons
Studies have shown the introduction of gamification aspects in learning has several benefits. For one, it generates a sense of fun as students interact with the online environments. For another, it creates a healthy addiction to learning as the users attempt to level up with their increased knowledge. You shouldn’t gamify every aspect of your curriculum. Doing this reduces student interactions. What gamification is best for is working through complicated tasks. For instance, solving higher-level math problems. You can also find many educational games online if you are looking for something new to try out. Try out a few different games to see which ones your classes enjoy the most.
Incorporate Virtual Field Trips
Though the pandemic has caused much strife across the globe, it also increased the online presence of museums, national parks, and even government institutions. To maintain the safety of your students it’s best to hold off on a real field trip to a local venue. Instead, plan a series of small virtual adventures. One day it could be a stop at the San Diego Zoo for its live cameras. On another day plan a virtual stop at the two dozen online galleries of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are so many high-quality virtual trips you can find online. This can create more interest in the topics you are studying as well without having to gather up the funds and time to actually go to these places. This is an excellent option for schools that may be on a budget.
Implement Digital Textbooks
Standard textbooks don’t have the staying power they once did. The rapid changes in the world require regular updates to the material to stay relevant. Hence, it’s best to replace physical versions with digital textbooks. Of course, you must ensure the items you need are available online. A popular textbook such as R for Data Science is interactive and very beneficial for students to use. On top of being much easier to use, these types of textbooks are editable. It allows the reader to highlight important information. Students also click on links to hear audio snippets and view videos.
Smartboards go several steps above a blackboard. When connected to a computer, it permits you to create presentations both ahead of time and during class. With either lightpens or touchscreen technology, you have the power to do almost anything. There are other advantages to a smartboard, besides the lack of chalk dust. It’s a low-maintenance tool with a vast array of applications. Furthermore, it improves student-teacher interaction. A child’s love of all things tech increases their engagement levels. Students will also enjoy using the smartboard more than a typical board. A smartboard may be a bit pricey but it will last and is worth the investment. Your school can always start out with just a few to see if the students and teachers like them before buying anymore. You may even be able to get a discount for buying them in bulk. Remember, educational investments are always worth the money.
These tips for improving your teaching method don’t work unless an important ingredient is added: preparation. What makes for good lessons is the power to understand the concepts behind the subjects. From there, you develop a plan to add certain technology choices. Don’t completely rely on these tools, unless your class is completely online. Face-to-face interactions, including discussions, are still important to a student’s development. These help them become pro-active thinkers and team workers as they grow and enter a profession.
In the end, limit the number of online videos and virtual field trips. Yet, incorporate digital textbooks and smartboard operations as much as possible. These two pieces of technology help spur further thought and interaction.