6 Great Ways to Integrate Technology into the Classroom
By Lauren Groff
Following that same lesson plan year after year might seem like a way to keep life simple. But your students are moving on, and so should you. By integrating technology into the classroom, you can actually find new resources for imparting lessons on your students, and boost engagement at the same time. Thanks to a global pandemic, educators relied more on technological tools in 2020 than ever before. Capitalize on your new technological momentum with these six great tips.
1) Take A Virtual Field Trip
In the time of a pandemic, travel has been impractical. And even in normal times, field trips are highly complex to organize, entailing parental consent and financial contributions. Yet field trips are great ways to broaden your students’ horizons, so they shouldn’t be given up on entirely. Fortunately, 2020’s lockdowns have left a legacy of fascinating virtual experiences to be explored online.
Museums, cathedrals and historical sites across the globe are now offering the opportunity for virtual tours – project it on the big screen, and take your class around the world! Even Google Streetview offers the opportunity for exploring cities and parks in far-flung places. These tools can be integrated into almost any lesson about science, art, the religions of the world or other cultures.
2) Gamified Learning
Motivating kids to learn can be a challenge, but when you turn learning into a game? Kids get engrossed in mini-challenges, leaderboards and big rewards, and barely even notice they’re learning. “Language learning apps like Duolingo and Babbel have mastered this gamification process and created fun and engaging formats for previously monotonous exercises,” says Lori Nelson, an educator at Essayroo and Boomessays. “Not only does gamification encourage learning, it reinforces it as students that are having fun are also concentrating, meaning they’ll have better recall of the information they absorb.”
3) Encourage Your Students to Create Digital Content
Creative projects are a great way to get your students to start applying the knowledge they’re acquiring in your classroom, and for today’s technologically-literate students, creating digital content that revolves around current topics is the best way to do it. Your students could be writing regular blogs about class activity or editing short movies based on the period of history you’re studying. Encouraging your student’s creative side demonstrates respect for them as individuals and can foster great class morale.
4) Bring in Virtual Guests
Bring your subjects to life by inviting guest speakers on whatever topics your class is focusing on at present. Thanks to Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and the ever-present Zoom, it’s never been easier to liven up your classroom. Getting people with real experience of your subject, whether it’s physics or anthropology, to talk to your students reminds your pupils that it isn’t all just academic.
5) Planning with the Shared Calendar
Make sure your students never miss another deadline by creating an online, shared calendar with all the important dates of the semester. A calendar can become a hub for class information, and everything from guest speakers to class quizzes can be placed in the calendar for all to see. You can even open these spaces up to parents, encouraging additional oversight and support for your students.
6) Gathering Student Feedback
No two classes are the same, so you can’t guarantee that the lessons that hit home last year will work with this year’s crop of students. Gaining student feedback so you can reflect on your successes and update anything that missed its mark is a vital part of the pedagogical process, and will make you a better educator over time.
Hand-out questionnaires can only tell you so much about students’ attitudes to your classes, and creating digital feedback forms allow you to ask dynamic questions which change based on your students’ responses earlier in the questionnaire. “It also gives students more space for qualitative feedback,” says Russell Corbin, a writer at Paper Fellows and OXEssays. “This helps students to feel listened to, and provides you with better information about what works.”
Good educators are always trying to keep up with their students’ expectations, and when it comes to technology this dynamic is never more apparent. There are so many ways you can surprise and entertain your students by integrating technology. From gamified classes to virtual speakers, get creative with the technological tools at your disposal.
About the author
Bio: Lauren Groff is an educator at Coursework Help and Personal Statement Help. Lauren writes contemporary pedagogy and is engaged in cutting-edge research around the subject of education. She is also a blogger at PhD Writing Service.
This article was originally published by The Learning Counsel, a research institute and news media hub focused on providing context for the shift in education to digital curriculum.