Terrific teachers are given due tribute in May, thanks to Teacher’s Day, and we definitely agree that so many teachers go above and beyond to serve, and should be celebrated for their hard-work and dedication. The role of teachers these days has evolved just as everything else has, and they have to find new ways to engage students who are now more used to screen-time than books. In such an environment, it can be extremely challenging to motivate the young ones of today, but that does not mean it is impossible. Here you will find some tips for integrating technology when teaching K-12 students. See if you can incorporate these into your classes for more active participation and a fun learning environment.
The Benefits of Using Technology in The Classroom
The onset of new techniques and methods in teaching can be unnerving and certainly challenging, but sometimes they work out for the best. This is certainly the case with technology becoming an increasingly common feature in our daily lives. As the saying goes, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Instead of prohibiting the usage of cellphones or tablets, find ways to incorporate them into the lessons. It is a great way to get kids learning actively, for one, as they’ll be more immersed. The Internet itself is such a great database of information that will prove extremely helpful to kids, and with some support and monitoring by teachers, they will be able to learn beyond what textbooks can offer.
The kids aren’t the only ones who will benefit, of course. Teachers too can have much to gain from incorporating technology into lessons plans. Having technology in a teacher’s arsenal will ultimately result in more successful teaching. It doesn’t have to mean that you need very expensive equipment or programs to succeed. One could use free online programs to liven up a lesson, or check out YouTube for some inspiration, as there are many teachers who use online platforms to educate a wider audience. Essentially, understanding how technology can help support your lessons is the best way to start. A successful integration will allow for teachers to have a nice balance of traditional and digital methods.
Where to begin?
An important thing to ensure is that the educators themselves are familiar with technology, though that shouldn’t be a problem in a world where we rely on technology for just about everything these days. Understanding the needs of the students and subject at hand would be the first step, to better align which type of technology will be more suitable. This means that teachers will have to plan prior to the classes. As recommended by Former Governor of West Virginia, Bob Wise, there are three important questions that teachers must ask before planning to incorporate technology in the classroom. These would be, how can technology improve the current teaching environment, what kind of technology will be used and how time will be utilized.
Ease Them In
Slideshows are a fun way to get kids to personalize projects using technology, be it in teams or individually. Giving students the freedom to create their own slideshow teaches them responsibility and also gives them room to be creative while learning. There are also programs online that facilitate the creation of slideshows for free, so that is a great option for those who may not have access to professional programs.
Online work sheets and activities can also be included in classrooms to give kids a different way of solving problems they usually have in textbooks. There are plenty of resources online that can help you to kick-start online problem solving, and a lot of these are available for free! For starters, check out TeAchnology or Education World.
Bring On The Games
Having kids play games will show them that there are so many creative ways to learn that don’t necessarily involve textbooks. When they understand how multi-faceted learning can be, it will be easier to engage their interests. Superkids is a great resource that features classic games in digital format, such as Tic-Tac-Toe or Checkers. A fun and stress free way of learning AND teaching.
Zap Zap Math is another cool way to get your kids learning in a fun way, and it was specifically engineered to be both entertaining and educational. What’s more, we’ve added features that help teachers to be able to educate in a way that eases up their tasks too, like the Web Dashboard tool. This way, teachers will be able to allow their students to play the game in their own time, but keep an eye out to see where they may be facing difficulties, and subsequently help them strengthen their abilities in those areas. It is especially important as teachers have so many students to begin with, and this is just a small way of helping them in their day-to-day tasks.
Take Reading Up A Notch
Reading is important, but exposing kids to audio and digital books will show them the many options there are for them, while providing them with an interactive option that will keep them focused and motivated. Besides that, you can also encourage students to do their own research on any given school topic by conducting their own online search and finding out more information. Whatever they’ve gathered can then be discussed in class, as part of a group activity.
These are just some ways for teachers to incorporate technology in the classroom, and you can be sure that there will be more creative ways that would prove beneficial as well. We hope that our app is able to serve its purpose of introducing kids to a math filled universe that is challenging yet fun. Teachers, if you want to give Zap Zap Math a shot, there’s no better time than the present. Download a copy today via our website and you will instantly unlock 50 games. Then, go here to sign up for the Teacher/Parent Web Dashboard.