Learning changes pace when you add interaction. When student can engage with each other, as well as with their learning tools, something exciting takes hold allowing students to push past various barriers that would otherwise restrict the learning process.
Technology is a huge asset for students and teachers to take learning to new heights. Follow these strategies for continued success in your classroom.
Encourage individual student independence.
Seems odd to even suggest allowing students to be independent these days, but for technology to be effective, students work better when they are aren’t pressured to fall into the mold of every other student. Encourage students to work at their own pace, allowing them to almost find their own way. Of course, as the instructor, you should still act as the guide, providing students with effective strategies and tools to help them gain and master their knowledge. As students see small gains in their learning, they will become more confident in the classroom. This will help them personalize their learning and decision-making models, setting them up for success in future learning environments.
Support the use of a variety of tools and technologies.
Incorporating technology in the classroom is a great way to expose students to the world of technology that is available to them. Allow students to experiment with different devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones. In addition, let them explore different tools, apps and websites so they become more and more comfortable with using technology. When supporting the use of a wide range of tools, be sure to remind students what it means to be good digital citizens and set boundaries for them by using tools that discourage and restrict poor use of technology.
Set expectations and explain consequences.
Don’t be discouraged by the negative possibilities technology could bring to the classroom, just be mindful. And being mindful means setting the proper expectations with your students explaining consequences for non-compliers. Your time in the classroom will not be 100% immersed in technology. There will be moments of instruction where the technology is put away and students need to understand how and when to switch between interacting with the tools and technology as well as interacting with the teacher.
Assess, Assess and Re-Assess.
As technology changes, so should your classroom. Assess the outcomes and effectiveness of how the quarter or semester goes and evaluate how you should adjust. Your technology strategy should be a living strategy. If it becomes stagnant, you and your students become at risk. Allow technology to continue to morph your classroom environment as your students continue to grow in their learning.