Every new session brings up certain questions in the teacher’s mind and one such question is: what are the possibilities in setting up an interactive and engaging classroom? There is the classroom library, the seating, the wall décor-so many areas to toy with and tinker. The basic idea is to set up a space that will promote independence, age-appropriate skills and learning.
Today’s teachers are working in a brave new world—one where tablets, apps, and interactive whiteboards are all part of the learning environment. But in order to make this technology a meaningful part of the curriculum, it needs to be incorporated in a thoughtful way. Below are a few favorite strategies, activities, and products for creating truly eye-opening technology lessons:
Ideas for the 21st century classroom: A 21st Century classroom is full of new and innovative technology—and teachers everywhere are paving the way for future generations by investing time, energy and creativity to make sure they utilize this technology in the best way possible. The products below create effective and efficient lessons:
• Mobile stand/ Mount and projection display
• Control technology
• Document Camera
• e-Beam interactive solution
• Student Response System
• Classroom portable amplification system
• Installation and Professional Development education on the use of the solution in the classroom
Skills needed to teach online: It’s important that teachers constantly adapt and change with the times– and these days, students everywhere are hopping online to learn and grow. With this in mind, it’s crucial that teachers cultivate the right skills to become outstanding educators– both online and in the classroom.
• Creating a sense of community for online learners
• Making an impact on students
• Conducting an effective, impactful online class
Avoiding back-channel distraction: new technology has a way of drawing students into learning in a way that is both efficient and effective—but it also can be a disruption from the norm in a classroom. One of the biggest fears of many teachers is that as they integrate technology into their lessons—especially hands-on technologies like Tablet PCs or cell phones—the technology will become a distraction for students and teachers. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are five simple ways to keep your students on-task and your lessons on time as you integrate more and more technology into your lessons.
1. Set some ground rules. Just like every other aspect of teaching, by giving your students clear expectations on technology use, you’ll avoid distraction and keep your students on-task.
2. Create a “Screens Down” Cue. Come up with a cue—whether it’s a certain word or you ringing a bell—that means all students need to immediately stop what they’re doing and put their screens facing down on their desks.
3. Give students specific end goals. It’s easy to wander with technology—so by giving your students specific, tangible goals or tasks—instead of just allowing them to fiddle with a particular program or app, you’ll give them the tools they need to learn with that technology.
4. Focus on teamwork. By structuring your lessons so that your students can work in teams to learn the content, they’ll be able to coach each other through learning the technology and will be more likely to stay on task.
5. Use technology that’s easy to set up. The last thing you want to do is spend 30 minutes getting your technology booted while a classroom of students waits. So, look for technology that takes less than 5 minutes to boot up so you can get teaching fast. (Want ideas? An HP Pocket Whiteboard will allow you to make any surface interactive in seconds, and the HP Companion Projector is so small and portable (smaller than a coffee cup) that you can bring it anywhere and set it up in minutes.)
Points like above and many others are a few new discoveries that can be pointers in an effective classroom turnaround for exciting ways that technology can help in succeeding students.