15 June 2017

6 Engaging Ways to use Technology in the Classroom to Create Lessons That Aren’t Boring

One of the main tasks of any teacher is to not simply deliver the information to the students but to do everything possible to grab and hold their attention. And we’re not talking only about the lesson here. A teacher, who’s able to inspire students to learn, who makes them passionate about their subject, is a good teacher. But what can you do to become one?

Well, that’s a tough question. These days the technologies affect every area of our lives – and education is not an exception here. The teacher has to compete with social media, blogs, forums, and other digital distractions. But do they really have to compete?

One of the best ways to make students interested in your lessons is to make these lessons more modern. You can do so by adding technology to the learning process. However, even this can become a challenge.

Many teachers settle with using videos in their lessons – videos that don’t tell students much more than a lesson does. We encourage you to approach this differently and to go further, allowing students to explore technology in different ways. And here’s how you can do so.

1. Collaboration.

We know that a bit of a healthy competition is good. Group work is also good, even if it’s not about the competition. What’s even better is to add a few digital tools to the whole collaboration process.

For example, you can divide students into groups and give them a home project that has to be completed with the help of various collaboration tools. 

They are free to use corporate messengers like Slack, brainstorm with the help of MindMaps, share their parts of collaboration using Google Drive, check the using of proofreading marks and symbols with the help of different resources, and so on. Encourage them to approach it rather like a work collaboration than like a home assignment.

2. Gamification.

Gamification is used in the modern world a lot – even the stamps you collect to get a free cup of coffee is gamification. Why don’t you bring it into the classroom too, only adding a bit of technology to it? 

For example, you can find a way to connect video games to your lessons: students can test their skills with the help of educational ones. You can also start a competition, encouraging students to google certain facts and rewarding the fastest ones. 

3. Online presence.

While some complain that people spend too much time online these days, you can actually use it to your profit. For example, by assigning certain projects that require online presence and online feedback.

You can tell students to create blogs related to your course and to post their assignments there. You can also encourage them to use other social media for that. For example, if you are teaching a literature course, students can be assigned to create book blogs or Twitter accounts for their favorite book characters.

One of the best things about online presence is that it also allows students to receive feedback both from you and from other people. Moreover, you can encourage them to give feedback to their fellow classmates too, which would be especially easy online. 

4. Communication.

This is especially useful when it comes to language courses but can be also interesting if you’re teaching a different subject. With language it’s easy – you can ask students to use various language apps to communicate with native speakers. With other subjects, it’s a bit more complex.

For example, you can contact a teacher from another country and arrange a Skype call with foreign class. This way students will be able to communicate with foreigners as well as compare their knowledge about a certain subject.

5. Digital projects.

Even if you don’t want to assign a project that requires online presence from students, you can still assign them one that can be done digitally. For example, they can create presentations on different topics, try recording their own video or even come up with a podcast (though this assignment is more of a group one). Encourage them to use GIFs and memes to make these assignments even more fun and enjoyable. 

These days there are so many online tools that allow creating amazing things, starting from digital drawings and ending with eBooks. But don’t forget that you should try these tools first before asking your students to use them. 

6. Interaction. 

Of course, bringing more technology in the classroom doesn’t mean that you should stop interacting with your students. However, you can use technology in this case too – for example, by trying an online whiteboard. You can also try Bounceapp – a tool that allows creating screenshots of web pages and commenting them in groups. 

You can even install one of the many interactive apps designed for smartphones or create a Facebook chat for your class to share some ideas there. Creating unique Twitter hashtag is a good idea too – however, be sure not to push too much when it comes to social media. Some students prefer not to let teachers into their personal life, after all.

Sure, you shouldn’t try implementing all these tools in your educational process at once. This way students will simply end up overloaded with new information and could become tired of this quickly. Take it slow, first testing your ideas yourself and then offering them to students. Monitor their reactions to find out which tools work more effectively than the other. And, of course, always ask students for their feedback if you find it necessary. Maybe your students could even offer you some great ideas on implementing the technology into the learning process too? After all, most of them are so well familiar with everything digital these days. 

Does this concept seem appealing to you or not? Maybe you prefer teaching in a traditional way or maybe you’ve been using technology in your classroom for a long time already? Share your thoughts and experience in the comment section below. We will be glad to read them.

Lori Wade is a freelance content writer for Thriving Writer who is interested in a wide range of spheres from education and online marketing to entrepreneurship. She is also an aspiring tutor striving to bring education to another level like we all do. If you are interested in writing, you can find her on Twitter or Google+ or find her on other social media. Read and take over Lori’s useful insights!


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