Nowadays young people are engaging with technology more than ever before – it exists in every part of life, from the MP3 tracks students listen to on their journey into school, to the device they use at home to chat to their friends. Excluding tech from teaching would be almost nonsensical. Incorporating it within everyday lessons encourages youths to use devices and software responsibly and captures their interest in the most relevant way possible. Here are our five ways teachers can incorporate technology into the classroom:
1. Interactive Whiteboards
An interactive whiteboard is a great tool, offering a shared learning experience with boundless teaching possibilities. Using Google Earth is just one example, through which students can engage with virtual tours of entire areas across the globe – great for geography.
Aside from this, teachers can instruct students in rudimentary image, sound and video editing, allowing students to creatively record work processes and present them to the class. Best of all, interactive boards are accommodating to all ages and every type of learning style.
2. Mobile Devices
Tablets in the classroom are becoming an increasingly popular tool, offering students regular experience with sophisticated technology and a creative, visual method of learning with lots of productive benefits. Blogs, for example, are a great way to get kids writing, enhancing their enjoyment of a subject without it feeling forced or pressured. Group activities are more collaborative, taking place without the barrier of a keyboard, mouse and large screen. Furthermore, these devices are portable, so there’s no way homework can “get lost”!
3. Social Media
Many social networking services are blocked in schools but with careful planning and management, they can be used responsibly to provide valuable opportunities for collaborative learning.
Facebook groups can be used for assignments, whilst classes can use Facebook to keep an up-to-date calendar, helpful for events and event news. Staff can share positive updates when a class has performed well and instigate friendly discussions. Besides this, parents can get involved as social media acts as something tangible for parents to see, without them having to do any private investigating into their child’s performance.
Pinterest is also a great social network for students to find useful resources to help with organisation and subject ideas
4. Video conferencing for language learning
With the UK’s poor reputation for learning languages, technology is an answer to our unwillingness to take on a second tongue. Through the use of applications like Skype, students can engage with students on the other side of the world and eradicate any feelings of embarrassment as early as possible. It allows them to build confidence at a young age to use their language skills in social situations. Webcams are changing the concept of ‘pen pals’ as we know it and can even act as a homework tool, as students can record themselves and assess their performance independently.
5. Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality, or virtual reality (VR) as it’s better known, is soon to be regular part of our lives and is currently growing in popularity. Apps such as Aurasma are being used more and more in teaching to give students a sense of VR.
Using a camera device, image recognition triggers heaps of information within seconds, identifying anything from news stories to movie sets, offering a faster and more convenient way to access information. Students can hover their device over an appliance, for example, and instructions on how to use it will immediately come into play. Also maths equations come to life with step-by-step process videos helping them to understand how to work out the equations, as well as students’ work becoming animated. It’s coming soon… so get ready!