The addition of technology in the modern classroom has opened up an incredible amount of opportunities to increase student engagement... although there are a few skeptics. In fact, some teachers might argue that technology and its many distractions are resulting in less student engagement. But don't count tech out just yet! By appropriately utilizing technology throughout the learning process, students can become more involved in their education than ever before.
Technology gives students more opportunities to work with their peers.
While group work and partner projects are a staple in most classrooms, that's where the collaboration stops. However, with technology, students don’t have to be in the same room to work together, let alone the same building. Tools like Google Docs/Sheets/Slides, forums and wikis let students work together, comment on each other's work and share ideas from anywhere they have internet access.
Technology provides (seemingly) unlimited visuals.
Visuals help clarify and solidify information. Instead of trying to paint a picture through imagery, technology allows students to see and experience ideas firsthand. Technology offers unlimited opportunities for students to put an image to content through image searching, PowerPoint, idea mapping and more.
Technology makes it easier to connect to the real world.
Students are no longer interested in only reading from textbooks, memorizing slides and remembering tedious tidbits of information. They want to be involved in the lesson and shown how the content they're learning makes real life connections in their world. With technology, students have videos, webcams and news resources to connect with the world around them. This makes it easier to apply class material to what is relevant in their lives.
Technology offers a variety of opportunities.
Giving students different ways to show understanding gives them more creativity, freedom and usually yields better results. Technology unleashes their potential by giving them a multitude of platforms to show off their skills. Whether they are blogging, making a video, creating a PowerPoint or designing virtual field trips, pairing technology with projects just makes sense.
The bottom line
Give your students something to remember! Think back to when you were in school; do you remember the information from the hundreds (maybe thousands) of notecards you flipped through, or do you remember the information from the labs and activities you were involved in? Utilize the technology in your environment to enhance student learning, get them moving and create meaningful memories!
Have any stories about technology increasing student engagement in your classroom? Share in the comments below!