Interactive technology has been around for quite a few years in one way shape or form and has been applied to many useful and interesting applications. With the great leaps that have been made in this field with regards to the hardware and the software used to power it over the last few years it surely must be time to not only seriously consider its use in the classroom but to actually implement these ideas.
Studies have shown that students of all ages learn more effectively when they are doing something that they enjoy; this fact is especially relevant when teaching children. Older students have the ability to motivate themselves primarily due to the fact that they can see the positive outcome of a successful education but unfortunately, as we all know, children do not have these skills at an early age. This leads children to become bored and distracted very quickly when confronted with a task that they do not enjoy or have to perform on their own. Interactive technology is not only about one person interacting with the hardware; it is also about group participation with a fun and interesting medium that encourages these group activities.
During these sometimes extensive studies it has been found that while the students consistently enjoy the overall experience the teachers actually find that it saves them time during the course of the day. When it comes to time many teachers worry that they will just be replacing one medium for another and, if they are not experienced in this field, it may even take a little longer to devise and produce digital lessons to use during the course of the day. While it is always a good idea for tech-savvy teachers to devise their own digital lessons to suit the specific needs of the classes they teach there is a vast array of online interactive content that can be accessed with an internet browser which is specifically and professionally designed for the job. Although it can be fairly time consuming to search out new digital material online it is proven to be worth the effort and, it has to be said, Interactive technology is not replacing traditional teaching methods and techniques but complimenting them.
The best general advice given on this issue is simply not to be afraid to experiment and try new things. Below we have listed some of the best ways to enhance the learning experience for children using interactive technology…
Get your children interested in using modern technology – Admittedly this really won`t be a difficult thing to do but, if you have the resources, purchase a form of touch screen technology for your child to use at home. There are a wide range of mediums to choose from and as time goes by the prices will continue to drop. Tablets and touch screen phones are a perfect example of this kind of technology that many people already have in their homes. With the right applications for learning and interacting the children will not only become used to the concept but will look forward to the time that they get to spend using these devices for learning. If your child likes doing this at home they will instantly take to it in the classroom environment and vice versa.
Talk to your children’s school teachers – Ask the teachers what their proposals are for the use of interactive technology in schools and, where possible, offer some constructive feedback with regards to the entire concept.
Download interactive gaming/learning applications for the classroom environment and try them out personally – any parent or teacher will instinctively know if the application will be relevant and or suitable for the children that they are dealing with; with a little research these applications can be modified to suit the specific needs of the individuals involved.
Finally, from the teachers and parents perspective, it is worth mentioning that although the children will inevitably engrossed in the learning experience and seemingly able to do it on their own it is vital that the adult supervisor be involved in the time line of these sessions. The adult supervisor should be a “conductor” of these events and not simply watching as the children progress; interactive technology allows for instant correction of a pupils mistakes on the “master terminal” whilst allowing the rest of the class to progress unimpeded by any verbal distractions that would have otherwise been made.
Paul Knight – I work with Arcstream AV to provide valuable, informative content for the benefit of others.
Arcstream AV is a unique business that provides cutting edge visual effects and interactive experiences for events, attractions and corporate environments.
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