Teach With Tech: 6 Technologies That Increase Student Engagement
Kids today have a shorter attention span than ever. As teachers, it’s a daily challenge for teachers to keep students engaged with their lesson plans and steer impressionable minds away from distractions aplenty. Fortunately, there are many ways to increase engagement. From posting high-impact and educational decorations from providers like Sproutbrite to commencing the school day with a mind warmup to getting idle students moving, the ceiling of opportunity is virtually untouchable.
If your student engagement strategies have fallen flat, consider harnessing the power of technology. In today’s day and age, technology is an everyday presence in a child’s life, so educational technologies can help students learn and increase their engagement. When used in tandem with more traditional student engagement strategies, tech tools can be instrumental in keeping students focused and learning.
How can you futurize your classroom? Check out the six technologies below purported to increase student engagement.
Nearpod is one of the best new applications for educators. It allows you to take all of the slideshows you already have on hand and make them interactive. A boring slideshow becomes exciting when students are prompted to take a quiz or share their thoughts.
You can add interactive elements to just about anything. You’ll also gain access to a library of creations by other teachers for easy lesson planning.
Sometimes you need to do a quick assessment. The attention of understimulated minds is difficult to capture with old-fashioned pen and paper quizzes, not to mention divvying out a paper pop quiz will only render you responsible for a heaping stack of grading. You can always use online quizzes, like Google Classroom, but an app like Kahoot makes assessment much more interactive.
You create an assessment, and students use their devices to answer. You can do a quiz in real-time, letting kids check themselves and compare their answers as you go. You can also conduct polls and set up trivia-style games.
Getting kids to enjoy writing is often a challenge. Storybird is one of the many websites that has emerged to help teachers make writers more exciting for kids. The site presents students with writing prompts based on fun artworks.
There are also challenges, quizzes, and a curriculum to help teachers create a full writing course. Students also get the chance to share and collaborate with others.
Virtual reality may be out of reach for many classrooms due to the expense, but you can often get a used headset for a reasonable price. VR is one of the most motivating technologies for students because it engages their senses in a way no other technology can.
While the field is still slowly growing, there are many experiences students can have. For example, they can dissect a frog, visit ancient Rome, and fly an airplane.
AR is another powerful option for the classroom. It allows students to go beyond just looking at something online. They can see things in their environment and from many angles. For example, instead of reading about the Battle of Gettysburg, students can experience it in their classroom.
Skype can present a lot of learning possibilities for your classroom. You can connect with experts, such as an author or a scientist. You can also connect with other classrooms, which can be great for learning about other cultures or for language classes.
Before you go
These technology resources and many others will be welcome additions to your classroom. Even if you’re not familiar with or comfortable using new technologies, you can make a big difference with a few small steps towards the learning environment of the future. Using technology not only engages students but prepares them for the future.