If you’re pursuing your masters in education, you may be surprised at the things that you aren’t taught. One of these things is just how much technology has taken over the classroom. In today’s world of instant gratification, students of the digital generation are accessing information at the touch of a fingertip. The unfortunate side effect of the ability to access information so quickly is that these students aren’t digesting much of what they learn. As a teacher, it will be up to you to both incorporate technology into your lesson plans and ensure that your students are retaining information. Here’s how you can accomplish both:
Putting Knowledge into Practice
No matter what lessons you teach your students, allowing them to put their new knowledge into practice will help ensure that they remember what you’ve taught them. Do a bit of your own homework and find apps or computer games that allow your students to practice the lessons they’ve learned. For instance, if you’re teaching children how to spell, find websites that include spelling games. If you’re teaching your students multiplication tables, find educational software that allows your students to practice their numbers.
Stop and Reflect
While there is no one-way of learning, it has been shown that more students retain information when they are given the chance to pause and reflect on the lesson. For instance, after you present your students with a video clip, give them time to discuss what they have seen in small groups. These discussions will help to imprint the information into your students’ long-term memories.
Use Technology Within Your Lesson
Recent studies have shown that students learn well when technology is used as part of a lesson instead of taking over the lesson. Tablets are a great way to utilize this strategy in your lesson planning. When you are teaching students how to construct a research paper, for example, you can use a note-taking application rather than paper note cards. Rather than having students hand in a traditional paper, you can have them conduct research and turn what they’ve learned into a Power Point presentation. By incorporating technology in this manner, your students will become more engaged in their lessons and retain more of what you are trying to teach.
Use a Variety of Visuals
A great teacher is one who can utilize a variety of tools in her lessons in order to impart information. Children learn in different ways so it’s important that you do more than stand in front of your classroom and lecture for hours at a time. Using videos, interactive apps, computer models and other visual models can help a greater number of students digest what you have taught.
Another way to make sure that your students are going to remember what you’ve taught is to turn the tables and make them the teacher. An effective way of turning your students into teachers is to have your students create tutorials on an app like ScreenChomp or Educreations. You can give each student a different math problem and ask him or her to create a tutorial to share with the rest of the class. Tutorials should include the steps taken to solve the problem and the reasoning behind the steps taken.
If you follow the five tips above, you’ll be able to utilize technology to help your students retain information. By helping your students remember important information, you’ll not only help them perform well on assessments, but you’ll be providing them with the building blocks they’ll need for future lessons in higher grades.
Carrie Johnson is an avid education blogger. You can follow her on Twitter @johnson121