Username Or Email   Password   
Forgot  |  Register | FAQ
Home >   
3 Ultimate Strategies for Teachers to Become EdTech Gurus
Thursday, 08/08/2019
( 0 ) ( 0 ) ( 0 )
writing(3).jpg
Photo credit: Julia M Cameron

In this article, we will not try to persuade you that integrating technology in your classroom is a top priority these days. It is quite obvious that the future of education is going to be defined by how well we can adapt online learning to the teacher’s goals and the students’ needs. In the early days of the MOOC revolution, Thomas L. Friedman wrote in his New York Times article that the big breakthroughs are what happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary. And today, our switch to online forms of education is all of a sudden, both possible and urgently needed. Of course, the transition from the energizing face-to-face interaction to somewhat awkward Zoom meetings can be stressful. But, in fact, online education is not as black as it is painted. Here we are offering you the most fundamental and applicable tips for the comprehensive integration of educational technology into your classroom.

1. Use Videos: A Video Is Worth 1,000 Words
A video is the main pillar that supports the edifice of online learning. In one of his TED-talks, the educator and social entrepreneur Salman Khan has shared the essential insights he got from the very first feedback to his videos. Interestingly enough, his cousins, whom he was tutoring in calculus, said that they preferred him on YouTube rather than in person. As he reflected on this news, he realized that there were several reasons for that. They could pause and repeat the video, watch at their own time and pace. What is more, no one was asking them the eternal and ultimately embarrassing question, “Do you understand this?” Educational videos make learning comfortable. This is why Khan believes that videos can be used to reinvent education. Nowadays, when most of us are visual learners, this might very well be the case. 

The best-selling author of “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Looking for Alaska” John Green is an ardent educational vlogger. He argues that many of us learn better outside the real classroom. Together with his brother Hank, Green has founded an educational channel called “vlogbrothers” that has become one of the most popular in the history of YouTube. By the way, this channel has plenty of fun educational videos you can use. These videos will give your students an opportunity to learn in an individualized and self-paced manner. 

If you are creating your own educational videos, do not make them too long: it is better to make a sequence of videos interspersed with questions and interactive exercises. Do not raise the bar too high – a simple video is always better than nothing. Applications like Voki can be used both by teachers and students to create fun animated presentations. It is always helpful to post an annotation, a plan, and some highlights right under the video. Finally, a creative task or a project based on the video would help students memorize the information better and learn to apply it.

2. Gamify with the EdTech Solutions
The best way to make your students hang on every word you say (or type) is to tell them they are going to play a game. Modern educational technologies offer plenty of solutions for effortless and productive gamification. For example, Kahoot! is an educational app that allows its users to create their own interactive learning challenges with pictures and videos. Such cahoots are perfect for encouraging students to cooperate and for revision of the material you have already covered. Another helpful resource is the Education Edition of Minecraft, which is bound to make your students’ eyes glow with surprise and expectation. This website is a real treasure trove that contains lessons, project-based challenges, and a customizable toolkit you can download. It is also a great place to learn about coding and artificial intelligence. If you are not ready to find your way about any additional apps and tools, you can always arrange a digital scavenger hunt asking your students questions and offering them to find answers online. If we cannot keep students from gaming, why don’t we use it as an educational asset?

3. Make Your Class Truly Interactive
Daphne Koller, the co-founder of Coursera, in her TED-talk, quotes a famous gnomic author, Plutarch, who said that “The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.” Active learning is precisely the right match to light up the students’ minds as it significantly improves every metric of the academic performance: attendance, engagement, and test results. One of the ways to make your classes more interactive with the help of technology is to let your students choose. Offer them to pick the digitals tools, apps, and ways to use them to cover the material you are currently working on. You can present the learners with a range of alternative forms of homework, all based on digital creativity. The choice is really wide and can include, for example, a blog, a collage, a commercial, an eBook, a film, a gif animation, a Google Earth tour, an infomercial, a poster, a tag cloud. This will help you foster the students’ initiative and healthy self-esteem.

Another great way to harness the motivational potential of the EdTech solutions is to use technology to support the collaboration of your students. Create a class website and a classroom blog. There is also a variety of online resources. For example, you can use an interactive whiteboard Twiddla to do whiteboarding and co-browsing. Mind mapping tools such as Mindmeister and bubbl.us will help students brainstorm ideas and share them in a visual way. A fun sticky note wall called Padlet makes the online collaboration process come alive. Finally, students can cooperate on their papers or sample essays ordered from the essayservice.com using Google Documents: they can evaluate each others’ papers, comment on them, ask, and answer questions online.

While at times, the digital ocean might seem overwhelming, the EdTech solutions are here to help us make the learning process more interactive, engaging, and productive. Technology empowers teachers and encourages students to take ownership of their studies. The only secret is to get ready to experiment and move forward by trial and error.


5/18/2020
5/18/2020
5/15/2020
5/15/2020
5/15/2020
5/15/2020
5/15/2020
5/15/2020
5/15/2020
4/25/2020
4/22/2020
4/22/2020
4/17/2020
4/17/2020
4/9/2020