“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune” -Jim Rohn
As a student, you were never trained to speak up in school nor at home. If you sat silently without daring to give a single opinion on anything, you may be staying the same even today. There might have been a moment when you wished to speak up, but didn’t have the courage to do so. You might have cursed the school you studied in for not grooming you to talk. You might have wished that you got an opportunity to express yourself and for those who did, you hailed them as heroes…the failure of traditional learning…
That is exactly why educators are leaving behind traditional teaching techniques and are adopting technology involved learning. In traditional learning, knowledge is limited to books but technology involved teaching provides greater opportunities for the students to learn and explore. Apart from that, it allows students to connect on a global level and earn deeper knowledge about a certain subject. To support technology involved learning there are many mobile and web applications, such as smartapps for preschoolers, available. The school apps, which are in the form of games or activities instill interest in students and make learning an easy affair. Apart from apps for learning, there are many applications that also ensure safety of students such as ParentApp and also allow effective interaction between teachers and parents.
The field of education has just begun adopting technology to classrooms and therefore, the students are yet to be acquainted with the changes. As a teacher, it is your responsibility to ensure that students are comfortable in the new classroom environment where Internet is the star.
If you are thinking about ways you can prepare the students for a connected world, here they are:
1. Encourage Students to Speak Up
Every student may differ in terms of character and behaviour. Some may be smart and extra active while others may be shy to even speak a word out. The reserved behaviour won’t help them in future especially while attending an interview. Therefore, it is necessary to motivate the students to speak up. In the Internet connected world, students may find it much easier to speak up since they don’t meet anyone in person but just have to give an opinion. This adds to the confidence of students and hence, the teachers should ensure a positive environment for students to come forward and speak their mind out.
2. Student Blogs
Blogging is being practised in many schools across the globe. It provides students an opportunity to think creatively and write anything related to the currently relevant topics. Blogs are one of the best tools for students to raise their voice and give opinions. Ask students to update their blogs on a regular basis and share the links to the blogs so that other students can go through the blog posts and comment.
3. Ask for Feedback
Just like you have an opinion on the performance of every student you teach, students too have something to say about your teaching. But, they rarely get a chance to voice their opinions. You can ask your students to give their feedback on your teaching via Internet. This can help you to improvise your teaching skills. It is also a way to show that their opinions do matter.
4. Tell them that you don’t have all the Answers
Usually, teachers are considered to be equal to an encyclopedia. They are expected to know about anything and everything on Earth and are expected to answer every question a student asks. Prove them wrong this time and encourage your students to explore and find the answers themselves. This gives the students a better understanding of the subjects themselves and to make use of the connected world to the fullest.
5. Let them Understand the difference between Progress and Performance
Without putting efforts, nobody can achieve anything. Also, in education, performance of students is evaluated on a regular basis. Hence, it is not sufficient for the students to perform well just once. They should make regular progress in their academic performance in terms of grades and understanding of the subject. Technology involved learning provides a better platform for students to explore every subject in depth and for the regular analysis of their performance.
6. Offer Engaging Topics
In traditional learning, teachers don’t usually discuss about a topic further with students once it is taught from the text book. Be different and starts discussing about topics relevant to the subjects students learn. Let them use all kind of technology and Internet to find out more about the subject and have a better understanding of the same.
7. Digital Story Telling
Give this activity a try. It is the modern version of already existing story telling in schools. Ask students to narrate a story based on a particular theme, a historical event or about life on the other corner of the Earth. This helps students to think more and develop their creativity. They also get to learn about different culture and how they are different.