By now, hopefully, you have embraced technology as an educator and have figured out ways to use it properly in the classroom. But there are those educators that still have a fear of what they do not know, so they avoid using computer devices and technology because of their lack of technological skills. Listed below are three ways a teacher can utilize technology both in and out of the classroom for the benefit of their students.
Use Search Engines Along with Textbooks
In the past, the textbook was where students and the teacher gained most of their knowledge on a particular subject. The problem with that is you are putting your trust in a book publisher to know exactly what your students need to learn instead of taking the driver’s seat yourself.
Through search engines, an educator will find an immense amount of information online. Much more than one textbook can contain. With the help of your school’s curriculum map, you can make your own packets for every topic that you cover in class. This might mean using information from the textbook and combining it with facts that you have found online. You can even mix in other types of media like pictures, videos, and audio. Instead of having to print out copies for every student during the school year, you could simply send them an attachment for it in an email. You can have more of a hand in determining what the students are learning and you will be saving trees at the same time.
Guest Speakers: Video Conference with Anyone in the World
The days of being restricted to local presenters and speakers in your classroom are over. Instead of relying on the local historian to talk about the Civil War with the students, you can now have your class video conference with Civil War experts that are located across the country and get their own professional views on the topic. How great would it be to discuss in class the battle of Gettysburg and then the next day have a class video conference with someone that does Gettysburg tours for a living? Might as well put that projector or Smartboard to use and make it available for video conferencing. The toughest part is establishing relationships with these individuals and asking them to partake in a video conference with your class on a certain topic. However, once you inform them it is for your students, they are more likely to agree.
Virtual Field Trips to Anywhere in the World
With school budget cuts seemingly happening more often than ever before, class field trips are a rarity nowadays. When I was in school, we would usually take about three field trips a year. Now that I am a teacher, it appears it has been limited to mainly just one field trip a year instead. This is a shame as getting out of the classroom and seeing these places that you have been studying can be an eye-opening event for many students. It brings a bit of enthusiasm to the students for learning where it might have previously been lacking.
Now virtual trips can take the place of these missing field trips and not cost the school one dime extra. The class can still take a virtual trip there like they would encounter on the bus. All they have to do is use Google Maps and Google’s Streetview Guy to get a sense of exactly where they are heading.
Want to take a virtual field trip to see the President at the White House? It is easy to do through a virtual trip online. Would you like to visit the world’s most complete aquariums with all the different sea creatures? Not a problem. Those sea creatures will feel like they are in the classroom with you. Your class can check out the pyramids, the Smithsonian Museum, Mount Rushmore, the Empire State Building, and just about any place you can think of. Plus, many of these virtual field trips can be viewed in 3D so the students can really feel like they are there in person.
If you need more ideas on how to incorporate technology in and out of the classroom, iAchieve has you covered. We offer workshops and professional development that will soon make you the tech guru at your school!
Written by Ryan Crawley