7 Things All Teachers Using Tech in Their Classrooms Should Be Doing
As more and more schools are investing in technology, blended learning is becoming increasingly popular. The practice of combining teacher-to-student instruction with technology-based instruction can be a win-win in the classroom. Through blended learning, students get to engage with technology and move at their own pace, while the teacher can use extra time to provide support to struggling students.
Nonetheless, the use of tech in and of itself will not provide great results. Teachers still play an important role in the classroom during blended learning. Take a look at the following 7 things all teachers using tech in their classrooms should be doing.
Keep students on task
Students who know that their teacher is aware of their activity during computer time are much more likely to stay on task. Additionally, by circulating you will know which students are falling behind on an assignment or are having a misunderstanding and can redirect them before they waste valuable class time or get frustrated. Even better than peering over kids’ shoulders, our blended learning platforms make it easy to keep tabs on students. For example, EduTyping includes real-time student monitoring so that you can get distracted students back to work in an instant.
Make use of data
Many blended learning platforms, such as iAcademy, come with a wealth of data on how your students are performing in relation to one another, what trouble areas they are encountering, and where they’re making strides. All this data, though, is only valuable if you do something with it. Get into the routine of checking progress reports and student dashboards regularly, and adjusting course for students who might need more support. Blended learning data is also a great way to build investment in an activity by periodically celebrating those students who have made great progress or broken through a skill barrier.
If you try to troubleshoot every issue that every student has while working on computers, it can feel like one of those whack-a-mole games that never ends. It is exhausting and inefficient because students end up losing valuable learning time as they wait for you to come help them. From the get go, you must teach your students to be self-reliant and seek their own answers. Display posters with basic login information and have a shared class folder online where students know to look for easy troubleshooting guides. You can also implement an “ask three before you ask me” rule where students are encouraged to seek help from peers before they raise their hand for teacher assistance.
Set appropriate deadlines
Students are much more likely to be focused and productive in a blended learning setting if they have clear and appropriate deadlines that they are working towards. Be realistic in setting these deadlines. All iAcademy teacher guides provide an estimate of how long each assignment will take that you can tweak based on your students. Additionally, one of the beauties of blended learning is that not all students need to move at the same pace. Don’t be afraid to customize deadlines based on the needs of the specific learners in your classroom.
Get students excited
Blended learning requires a certain amount of intrinsic motivation on the part of your students. In order for them to get the most out of the experience, they need to be genuinely excited about the content they are learning. Build this intrinsic motivation and excitement by introducing a new course or project to students in a captivating way. Use film clips, a class video call with an expert, or a personal story to engage your students in the content they will be studying. And as a rule of thumb, make sure you show your excitement as well, as it’s bound to be contagious!
Show students the relevance of the subject
One of the most dreaded questions teachers often face is “why do we need to learn this?” Avoid the question before it pops up by helping students see the relevance of what they are learning through a computer platform. An easy way to do this is by using the discussion questions in every iAcademy teacher guide. These thought-provoking questions will push students to assess how they skills they are using can and will help them in the real world.
Make lessons cross-curricular
Making content cross-curricular has multiple benefits for teachers and students. For one, students are proven to be more engaged in the material when they see connections between one subject and another. Secondly, as a teacher, you get more bang for your buck when one activity helps reinforce content and skills in two subjects instead of one. A quick way to get started? Set a custom lesson for your students on EduTyping using a text that reviews or reinforces ideas that they’re learning about in science or social studies.
Follow these tips and you are much more likely to reap the benefits of using technology in the classroom. When used correctly, blended learning will make your life easier all while boosting student outcomes.