Veteran educators are changing up the way that they are used to teaching. The ancient image of a teacher standing in front of the classroom and lecturing seven hours out of the day is a thing of the past. Technology incorporated in the classroom is altering teaching styles across the globe. At the same time, we are enabling the students to learn skills that they need for living in the 21st century.
Quite a number of schools now have a 1:1 technology initiative in their district. This means that every student will have a device to use to complete their work on. Whether it is a laptop, Chromebook, or iPad, each student will be able to use some sort of technology in the classroom.
If you are a teacher that is not on board with the technology in the classroom movement yet, then you are not only preventing yourself from learning new skills, but you are not preparing your students adequately. It can be a bit scary entering the unknown, so find a tech mentor somewhere in your school to educate you on the basics. Listed below are some easy ways to integrate technology with all grade levels and content areas.
Even though this is titled “PowerPoint Presentations”, there are other presentation programs that will do just fine (Google Slides, Keynote, etc…). Presentation slides can simplify subjects to just the most important information. Teaching straight out of the textbook is the surefire way to bore your students and lose your audience. And once you start building all your presentation files to a good amount, you can use them again and again every year. The subjects of History and Science are tailor-made for slide presentations that can narrow down the parts that you would like the students to memorise.
Speaking of the students, have them put together their own slide presentations based on what was covered in the chapter. Students can add photographs, animation, and sound effects to the slides to make things even more interesting. College courses always make the students present on different topics, so might as well start them early and provide them with the knowledge needed to enliven their presentations with technology.
Today’s students have shorter attention spans than ever. Plus, all students learn a bit differently. Interesting video clips can ensure the students’ understanding of a subject a bit better than just out of the textbook alone. Videos are supplemental material that needs to be used in the classroom for several reasons.
Almost every classroom now has a projector and a screen. Finding video clips that go along with your lesson has never been easier. Do a quick internet search for videos on your topic and you will be amazed at some of the quality educational videos that are available for free.
Quite a few classrooms are equipped with a Smartboard or something similar. Basically, in case you are not familiar with Smartboards, they are interactive whiteboards. The screen is a touch screen and connected to the computer on your desk. Plus, you can write on the screen, just like a normal whiteboard. Anything that you find on the internet can be projected on the interactive whiteboard for the whole class. You are no longer attached to your desk when displaying your computer screen. You can be up and teaching in front of the class, instead of having to stay within a couple feet of your desk. Plus, there are thousands of great interactive whiteboard lessons already prepared online. Just do a simple search and you will find educational gold!
It is sometimes simple to find a podcast online about what you are currently teaching in class. There are millions of downloadable podcasts out there. However, the real fun is having your students make their own podcasts on what they are learning in class. Or even an audio class diary for students that are absent or just as a review of what has been covered.
The iMovie application (or something similar) can give the teacher and the students the ability to make videographies, documentaries, student films, and amazing presentations. By inserting pictures into your movie, you can then add in your own dialogue, special effects, credits, and many other interesting things. An easy way to begin using iMovie in the classroom is having the students each pick out an important historical figure. They then do all the research on this person, and end the assignment with their own iMovie documentary on their important figure in history. Displaying each of these documentaries in the class will educate the students, and enable them to see what else they can do with iMovie.