We live in a world that is very different from when I went to school. Students today have instant access to virtually unlimited amounts of information through the Internet. They use gaming systems that respond to their motions; they communicate dynamically and asynchronously through mobile phones and text messaging; and they participate in digital social networks. In such a world, how do we make classroom life more engaging? An obvious though somewhat incomplete answer is to utilize technology in the classroom. Technology has made the outside world more engaging, so why wouldn’t it do the same in the classroom?
When Interactive Technology is Introduced Into a Classroom, You Can Almost Immediately See the Engagement Level of the Students Rise.
But how much of this is due to having a new “toy” in the classroom, and how much of this is sustainable? The answers lie less in the tools being provided, and more in the teaching styles made possible by the technology. Interactive technology, including interactive whiteboards, student response systems, and tablets, opens up new teaching and learning possibilities. But the way in which these tools are used makes all the difference. In the end, it comes down to great teachers.
Since classroom technology was first invented, there has been a push to get it into the classroom. But too often these technologies are introduced with no change to the teaching styles. Interactive technologies offer a real opportunity to increase student engagement in the classroom, but we need to act on that opportunity. We need to create an engaging environment for students, one in which they are not observers to the learning process, but active participants.
Throughout November, Our Blog Will be Focusing on Just That: Engagement.
You will hear from numerous educators, past and present, on how they use technology in the classroom to keep their students focused and excited to learn. We hope that you will enjoy these stories and take a few minutes to share some of your own.