Gone are the days of the teacher standing at the front of the class and lecturing for hours on end. Instead, it has been replaced by discussion in a teacher led classroom where students are able to ask questions and collaborate on ideas with others. In a society with attention spans growing shorter by the day, it is essential to keep the students as actively involved as possible.
There is a way to keep students immersed in learning as the years proceed. In today’s classroom, it is more important than ever to include the use of technology in all lesson plans. This may be one of the times that the newer teachers have the advantage over the veteran educators. Younger teachers have been using technology almost all of their lives. This definitely comes into play when instructing others.
The number of schools that now have a computer device for every student (also known as 1:1) has grown immensely over the last five years. Whether it be a laptop, iPad, or the ever-popular chromebook, students have some device in the classroom with them. It isn’t difficult to create ways to use them for every content area.
However, if you are a veteran teacher and do not quite feel comfortable with incorporating technology into everything you do in the classroom, maybe these tips below will help you out a bit. It does not mean starting from scratch and rewriting your lesson plans that you have perfected throughout the years. It just means updating them a bit here and there.
Numerous classrooms currently are equipped with Smartboards and projectors. But even if the classroom only has a projector, that will work just as well. While a Smartboard can be handy to use much like a huge touch screen, a projector equipped with an Apple tv or Chromecast can also be perfect for the classroom.
A projector allows for anything found on the internet to be displayed for the entire class at once. There are numerous educational videos on every subject out there. It may take some time to find the ones you love the best, but once you do, you can use it year after year. Plus, it would be very simple to add links on your own classroom website to this material so the students could study it at home also.
Just doing a quick Google search can find you thousands of interactive whiteboard lessons. Why recreate the wheel when there are many great lesson plans already out there created by other talented educators? The students love these hands-on lessons and the chance to participate in front of the class. These lessons can be downloaded many times onto your computer as well. It’s like finding undiscovered educational gold!
Google Docs will change how you do many things in the classroom. It is a free web-based app where you can create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. It is designed to save constantly on its own, so there is no need to stop working to continually hit save. Plus, it uses up no storage on your computer device. It is saved and stored online. By Google Docs storing this like they do, you can access it anywhere you have an internet connection on any device. If the students are working on something in the classroom, they can continue working on it at home on a totally different computer. It is a complete game changer!
Instead of giving out the usual homework or tests, you can instead have students create a presentation summarizing the lesson that they learned. Then they can actually present their work to the rest of the class using the projector/Smartboard. Google Docs could also be used to assign writing projects for the students in any content area. And then when they are finished, all they have to do is click on the share option and send it off to their teacher. This can be done with primary students all the way through to college students.
There has never been more fun apps for creating videos than there is right now. Everyone is familiar with iMovie, but there are other ones just as good. Plus, letting your students choose which one they would like to use the most would provide them with more ownership of their project.
Giving the students the ability to make videographies, documentaries, student films, and amazing presentations is something that will really get their creative juices flowing. They can insert pictures into their movies, add in their own written dialogue and voiceover, throw in some special effects, put some credits at the end, and many other interesting things.
If you are not familiar with these movie/video apps, start off with an easy project. Have students each pick out an important historical figure. Then by using Google Docs, they will do all the research on this person and create a paper on them. End the assignment by having them do their own movie/video with them using that paper that they wrote in Google Docs as their guide. The students can then watch three or four of these videos every day until all of them are watched as a class together. The key is to watch them as a group and discuss the positives and negatives of each video and each different app. They will all learn a lot by this collaboration. Plus, the educator will learn just as much in the process!
Written by Ryan Crawley
Contact us today to learn more about how our tutors can help your child!