Do you hate the sound of nails on a chalkboard? Well don’t worry, chances are that sound will become obsolete in the next few years as more and more schools replace traditional school supplies with creative and more versatile technologies. These days, students are ditching the pad and paper for tablets and Live Scribes.
And it’s not just about hardware, either. Today’s students are also encouraged to use apps and social networking sites to expand their knowledge. Here are just a few of the unique ways technology is being used in the classroom.
Stay on Course With Hashtags
Though hashtags have become the butt of a lot of jokes, there are uses for them outside of a contest to see who can create the most obnoxious hashtag. In fact, hashtags can be a great way to help students share their thoughts, notes and experiences with others. They also offer a great way to organize discussions in themes and now that Facebook has added the functionality, they can be used across several different platforms.
Use Google Hangouts
Remember when attending online class meant signing in to the program to get credit for the class then blowing it off and hanging out with friends the entire session? Google Hangouts can end all of that. With Hangouts, students can use video chat, to get the full classroom experience, even when all students aren’t in the same room. This is a great way to be sure that important interactions and debates aren’t missed when it comes to online learning.
Share Your Screen
Another great tool for educators is screen-sharing technology. There are several apps, including Join.me and Vsee that allow users to share screens with multiple users. That way, students can point out exactly what they have a question about, solve a math problem remotely or simply follow along more closely with the rest of the class.
Bring the Lecture Home with Podcasts
Recording podcasts allows teachers to follow along with their own notes when giving a lecture, so that they can make sure they don’t miss a beat. Recordings also are a great way for teachers to plan their lessons far in advance. They can also help students study or keep up with curriculum if they miss a class or two. Lastly, those students who “zoned out” during the lecture won’t have to worry about missing important information.
Use More Video
It has been said that images and video are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Using video in the classroom allows students to absorb information in a different way, besides just reading an outdated textbook. It’s also a great way to keep students engaged and interested. Lastly, with websites like YouTube, it is easy for students to go back and re-watch information when studying.
Blog About It
Launching a classroom blog is an excellent way to spur conversation on the topics being taught. Rather than share their thoughts with the teacher in a homework assignment, students can contribute to the blog and comment on one another’s posts. This gives a much broader learning experience and encourages interaction even after the last bell rings.
— By Jennifer Thayer