As a teacher in the classroom, technology is constantly on everyone’s mind. It has become such a big part of our education that it can become distracting if left to be its own. But what does technological use actually look like in the classroom? Here’s how you use technology in your classroom.
1) Using Smart Boards and Airdrops in Your Classroom
Smartboards are a really great way for students to get information on their topic. They can easily have access to Google searches on anything they need in an instant. When you use these boards as lesson plans, students will be able to search for directions on their laptops or tablets. Some schools even allow students to set reminders of when they need information, so they don’t forget.
Another important function is having student discussions during class. Instead of having people who may not be up to date with current events, students can now stay tuned with the school by taking notes on the lectures and participating in discussion groups. This works well for my middle school class. With this set-up, we often get questions about everything, and sometimes have to readjust our expectations. We can also check in on homework assignments without worrying about whether something will get missed. If you’re trying to introduce more modern technologies into your classes, think about which topics might get better with smartboards and other apps. You can always tell your instructors what you want them to know without leaving any work to do.
2) Using Apps Outside Of Scoring Rubrics
Another easy and free way to make sure technology doesn’t take over class time is by using social media applications outside of scoring rubrics to help students understand everything. There’s no shame in connecting through video conferencing if that makes sense for your grade level. My daughter loves her phone and uses it for all things. When she’s feeling down, she likes to go online and find out “what’s wrong” by sending me pictures of herself crying or just asking a question. Then I scroll through Facebook or Twitter to see if there are posts from others who are experiencing similar feelings and then add them to my post folder (which usually ends up being full of memes).
3) Making Use of Projects & Activities From Other Instructors
Did you ever wonder, ‘What would it mean to write my name on those chalkboard markers?’ Well, with some projects, teachers can give a more interesting answer. For example, one activity I used was to watch a movie and remember every time I watched it. Once I had done that, I could tell you what day it was because of their project. Also, if you were given extra points for completing activities from someone else, you could point it out.
When choosing a project for your lessons, ask yourself which ones are the most fun and creative. If nothing interests you, then it probably isn’t right for you. Takeaways may even be easier to come up with if you’ve been taught to write things down. Plus, being able to add in details would be good practice too.
4) Don’t Keep All Technology At Bay
Technology today doesn’t belong in the classroom. We have Wi-Fi, phones, iPods, computers, etc. That doesn’t mean that we should keep it running in our classrooms on purpose. Make sure that whatever you’re looking to share is accessible, and that your students don’t feel ashamed if they don’t see their camera being pointed at their own faces.
5) Set Up Common Resources and Items In Different Plots
I’m not saying have a flash drive, but don’t try to fit everything into the same place! Students should have access to different flash drives in different places throughout the classroom. Even something as simple as a projector can save you a lot of money. One student I teach wrote down his definition on a board for his science project. His friend saw it and started explaining the different types of cells.
They later came to me and told me how much he explained and got it wrong. He showed me how to fix it so they would see the picture correctly and how they could trust it. After all of this talking, he finally shared a video of himself and his friend working on their final product. They all still believe the story that it really is real.
Some tips that I know to do well with are…
Keep a list of items that you can include in the projects. This keeps class time very organized.
Make sure to add your books and folders and other supplies to different places where the group can see them.
Have multiple color sheets for each piece of paper to colorize.
Have a small box for holding papers and a pencil case for keeping pens.
Have a pile of sticky notes around the classroom in case you write anything down while doing research.
If possible, make copies of everything you have written/colored on paper as an attachment.
Always remind yourself and your students that this stuff can be found around all classrooms.
Have two boxes of stationary (or two separate boxes) for your student folders.
If needed, have a bag that contains at least three separate boxes for each student.
Have plenty of other resources at hand. Like pens, coloring paper, notebooks, etc.
Don’t let the screen run the show. Remember, there are only a few screens that will be using class time to study.
Asking permission from anyone who has access to your computer is also a good idea. No judgment, as long as it’s not personal.
Use the appropriate channels to send e-mails and messages to keep track of your class.
6) Have a Board Game Space
One thing that teachers always seem to miss is game planning. Games can provide lots of mental challenges. Why not have a space for games in the classroom where there are a lot of kids? Sometimes, games can get boring, but I love having games at the front desk. By making it a little easier to focus on what your kids are learning, you’re less likely to get stressed out by the noise of the kids playing and more concentrated on the work you have to do.
I have made some amazing discoveries and learned with these kinds of games. So if you’re struggling with reading comprehension through a dictionary, you can simply pick one of these games to play instead of having to scroll through pages after pages of words. These can be both serious word games or lighthearted games that get the kids laughing and smiling. You and your students can learn from each other and laugh together. Yes, this is still teaching them English, but you’re not going to ruin it by forcing things on them. And, the children also learn how important it is to memorize spelling rules and vocabulary on your tests.
7) Try Creative Workout Classes
One great solution for helping combat the stress of school exams is giving your child a workout. When I want my son to study hard, I have him do something fun and rewarding for 30 minutes. Whether it’s jumping rope, skipping rope, mountain climbers, or anything else, I have got him started on new hobbies. Just tell your kid to put on a pair of sneakers and head to the gym and start hitting the pavement or building up the jumping muscles. Be careful though, you should stick to a moderate speed for the sake of safety.
Another option in the same category is creating obstacle courses in your classroom. Maybe you don’t have a whole closet of materials to create your path, but you can use toys instead. For example, it can be just a single door to open or several doors to close to enter it from a certain side of the room. It depends on the number of obstacles and their locations, and they can even become bigger as more doors are added. I did one this summer, and it really helped keep my eyes peeled for an exam at home. What do you think? Any ideas?
8) Create Something New
You always want the best for yourself or your kiddos. Most of us have tried so many ways to improve ourselves, and not all of them have succeeded. Letting creativity flow along with the process helps your child learn things that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Kids will make mistakes, and they sometimes make a mess, but the key is to let them get over it so they can progress to the next step, rather than pushing the problem down. Encourage them to go beyond what they feel they can achieve and let your child enjoy their missteps, regardless of how bad they were.
So when you want to inspire confidence in your child and get excited about learning, try something new. Or even start getting creative like the times you played hide-and-seek with your baby when they first arrived.