No matter what grade you’re teaching this year, from kindergarten up through 12th grade, you can enhance learning with technology.
Technologies such as desktop and laptop computers, iPads and the Internet can make your classroom more well-rounded and also give your students fun, experiential learning experiences. Even if you’re new to technology yourself or more of a “purist” when it comes to educational theory, keep in mind that type writers, calculators, overhead machines and slide projectors were once important learning aids in the classroom and were also new technologies when originally introduced.
Regardless of what your personal feelings may be about computers and the Internet for education, kids love this stuff and they all enhance learning with technology. Most use them at home on a regular basis, so why not bring them into the classroom as trusted learning aids? With the proper guidance and planning, social media sites such as Facebook, search engines like Google and Yahoo! and tech tools such as iPads and laptops can increase learning achievement for many students and can also serve as an in-class reward for students who have completed their work and have free time on their hands.
Below are some suggestions for incorporating technology into the classroom.
Facebook for Educational Social Sharing will Enhance Learning with Technology
Once you make sure that all your students have access to the Internet while away from the classroom, you can create a Facebook account for your classroom and “friend” all your students. Give each student the opportunity to earn an extra-credit point or five points by posting on Facebook an interesting fact that they learned at school that day. This is a fine way to get students to share their knowledge and it can help you to make sure your students are “getting” their lessons too.
YouTube Scavenger Hunt to Enhance Learning with Technology
For a special activity during the day, at the end of recess or before or after lunch, assign each student or student team (depending on how many tech tools like laptops your classroom has available) to go online to YouTube and to find a video that deals with an educational aspect of the science, history or social studies lesson they have just learned about. This can also work during art or music class (if your school is one of the fortunate ones to still have those curricula) by finding modern versions of songs just learned or artwork by famous artists that mirror the techniques your students are studying. You can even make it a contest if you like.
Blogs are big online these days, with celebrities and businesses blogging about all sorts of topics to gain traffic and branding points. You (or a tech- savvy fellow teacher or friend) can create a blog for your classroom, and assign each student to write a post on a current event topic from time to time. This is a great way to increase a student’s confidence in their writing and critical thinking skills, and it again allows you to see how well your students are doing at understanding their studies and applying them to real-word scenarios. It is am impressive way to enhance learning with technology.
Online Grading Systems Enhance Learning with Technology
Online systems that post grades, attendance and student progress are becoming very hot right now in the education sphere. Using an online system, you can communicate homework assignments and student progress to parents and know that they have received the information. There’s no more “the dog ate my homework” with online systems like MyGradebook.com
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