By: Tina Rettler and Nancy Woodward, Madison College
Are you looking for ways to make your classroom more active? Do you want to involve your students in their learning? The answer may be to incorporate more technology into your classroom!
Some of the many reasons to include technology are:
- Reach different learning styles – We know that all students learn differently. Some are visual learners while others are kinesthetic learners. That student who has a hard time sitting through a lecture may do very well exploring the content in another way.
- Help students become more comfortable using technology – The more we use technology, the less scary it becomes. Students will need to use technology when they enter the workforce. The more they use it today, the more comfortable they will be tomorrow.
- Increase collaboration – More and more we are seeing team projects in the workplace. Students need to develop skills to work in a group setting. We can model and promote group learning through collaborative technology tools.
- Put learning in the hands of the learner – When students can choose how they interact with the material, they can choose the method that works best for them and the material that is relevant to them.
- Access to more resources than can be provided any other way- We can’t possibly have all of the books, articles, journals, etc. that are available online in print in our classrooms.
- Put those mobile devices to good use – Most students today have a computer in their pocket with their smart phones. Using them for learning can enhance your class and increase their learning.
- Formative assessment can take place throughout the class – Using tools, such as polling, can help us determine right away which concepts students are grasping and which ones they aren’t.
- Remove boredom by adding videos and other multimedia – SoftChalk provides the perfect platform to incorporate more activities in your classroom. Whether it’s a video, matching exercise, crossword puzzle or any one of the online activities in SoftChalk, your students will be interested and engaged.
- Provide more variety, flexibility and choice – Variety, flexibility and choice help students to remain focused and can also make learning fun!
- Prepare students to be critical thinkers – Interacting with the content in different ways will require students to use critical thinking skills.
There are many more benefits to using technology in the classroom. Anthony Chivetta, a high school student in Missouri said it best,
"The need to know the capital of Florida died when my phone learned the answer. Rather, the students of tomorrow need to be able to think creatively. They will need to learn on their own, adapt to new challenges and innovate on-the-fly."
Technology in the classroom just might be the way to help students become 21st century learners and thinkers.
Wondering how to get started incorporating technology in your classroom? Join Madison College’s faculty members, Tina Rettler-Pagel and Nancy Woodward, as they just came off the road presenting at the Online Learning Consortium’s International Conference and the Quality Matters Conference, for a wild ride through a variety of online classroom tools. This session will not train you on how to use each tool but instead will introduce you to the tool and show you practical ways you can use it today in your classroom. Some of the tools presented will include Padlet, Zaption, Animoto, ToonDo and of course, SoftChalk! You will leave the session with ideas that you can put into practice right away.