Technology is a fundamental part of our everyday lives. In the last 20 years, at least, I would say that it’s become as essential as drinking water to how we function as a society. The current generation of students, Gen Z, has never known life without the internet, smartphones, or social media. But until 2019, it was still seen as a benefit to education – not essential.
Now, similar to Gen Z always having the Internet, there are younger students just starting school who don’t have an experience of “school” without technology being a core component. So how can teachers integrate technology to engage their students in class? How can they maintain attention and interest levels when technology offers many distractions? In what ways can teachers utilize technology to not only teach but prepare them for what comes next?
If you’re a teacher asking these questions, you’re in the right place. This blog post will discuss how you can use technology to get your students excited about learning!
1. Create personalized learning environments
One of the most exciting things about technology is that it offers so many opportunities to create personalized learning environments for students. Whether it’s virtual reality, distance, or online projects – you can have an entire classroom of students working at their own pace with the same learning objectives.
For example, let’s say you’re a history teacher who wants students to use more technology to convey their understanding of the French Revolution. When I was in school fifteen years ago, this meant everyone had to make a PowerPoint and present it to the class. In 2022, this could mean that some students make a video, write a blog, create a landing page, record interviews with other students or use photography to show understanding of the subject matter. Having students present information using technology in a way they understand is a step forward to keeping them engaged and focused on what they’re learning. Plus, you get to see how their minds work.
2. Use social media to your advantage
Tik Tok, Telegram, Instagram, Youtube, and Discord – are currently the most popular social media apps for students. But how to incorporate social media into your classroom? You can start by using Telegram or Discord to foster community in your classroom and post class updates. Tik Tok and YouTube are great opportunities to make fun educational videos about your lessons and encourage students to create their own. Using social media in an educational context also provides you as the teacher to advise on best practices for using social media and helps monitor how they think about the platforms they share on.
Freshen up old resources with digital designs
You don’t need to be a graphic designer to do this either. Sites like Canva offer free design templates for you to choose from that will give your hardcopy resources new life and your students more accessibility to the content.
The more engaging the content, the more likely it is to be memorized better and understood on an individual level. This can help you reach your audience in ways other forms of communication might not work well for! Learning becomes a personal process with visuals or infographics, allowing us all access to complex concepts without having trouble understanding them at first glance because they are so easy to see.
Build your own personal brand this year
If you don’t already have an online presence as a teacher, consider starting this year. While this doesn’t directly affect your students’ learning experience, it does affect how you can communicate with students and parents, post educational insights about your subject, post announcements, and share resources with other teachers. There are many scheduling tools, so you don’t have to post manually.
These four strategies should give you a good starting point for using technology to engage your students. But there are countless other ways to use technology in the classroom, so don’t be afraid to get creative. Comment below with your suggestions, and let us know how you’re using technology to create engage your students.