Fans of instructional technology know that it can be fun and inviting, and engaged students are far more likely to be learning. I believe that if you can get students involved and motivated effectively enough, you can improve their learning habits over the long term. With that in mind, here are 10 highly engaging uses of technology in the classroom, along with dozens of tools and resources for implementation. Most of these involve free web based tools, so that’s an added bonus!

Interactive Collaboration

The 2014 Gates Foundation report, Teachers Know Best: What Educators Want from Digital Instructional Tools, indicates that teachers want tools “supporting student collaboration and providing interactive experiences”. These types of tools are fun and engaging, and they support 21st century skills like collaboration, communication, and creativity.

Gathering Feedback

The potential to gather structured feedback in moments is a powerful aid to instruction, and thanks to proliferation of Internet enabled devices, it’s never been easier. Hi-tech or lo-tech, it’s easy to gather student input and feedback in today’s classrooms. Here’s a number of tools and techniques for doing so:

1- Surveys/Polls

2- Clickers

3- Plickers

4- More advanced, education-specific tools

5- Twitte

Embedding Questions in Videos

Today’s students consume video like drinking water. As today’s teachers leverage this fact by using video for instructional purposes more than ever, free tools that enable educators to embed questions are powerful aid. When students are asked to consume video content outside of class, how can you help to ensure that they are really engaging with the content? Here’s an excellent approach.

* EduCanon

* EdPuzzle (edpuzzle.com)

* Ed.ted.com

Active Learning

This is a personal favorite of mine. Tech tools can be great for active learning in the classroom. Whether your preference is for Inquiry Based Learning, Constructivist Learning, Experiential Learning, or one of the various other labels for or sub-categories of Active Learning, there are applications and resources available to enable this teaching construct in your classroom.

Social Learning

Bandura’s Social Learning Theory posits that “people learn from one another, via observation, imitation, and modeling”. Of course, the type of socialization that occurs via “social” computer tools is certainly different than face-to-face social interaction, but it still offers opportunities for social learning. Moreover, when it comes to blended and online learning, making an effort to bring social elements into the picture can truly help to fill one of the gaps that digital learning can have when contrasted with face-to-face learning.

 

Using Technology to Help to Ensure Engagement With Digital Content

As digital learning content becomes increasingly commonplace, one challenge we teachers are faced with is how to make sure that students are engaging with content they are consuming. Unlike the traditional textbook, digital content generally lends itself to much easier distraction. One technique to help ensure that this type of content holds students’ attention is to make it interactive, requiring responses and actions during consumption. We’ve already looked at embedding questions in videos as one example. Other techniques can include clicking on simple response requests, embedding discussion forums in content, or using techniques like K-W-L or WSQ. Whatever approach you take, it’s worth considering some sort of measure to help ensure engagement.

Project Based Learning

One very well-known form of Active Learning is Project Based Learning, and technology lends itself to PBL in so many ways. Heck, there’s no need for me to write much more on this when so many others have!

Digital Makerspaces

The Makerspace Movement is of my favorite new ‘trends’ (although I really kind of hate that word) in education. While I fully embrace the many non-digital Maker tools that are available and should be a part of any robust school-base Maker Space, digital tools can also be used to create.

Flip Your Class to Free up Class Time for More Engaged Learning

One of the primary challenges in getting engaged in the classroom can be making the time for it. If a course has a lot of learning content that has to be delivered, many teachers will use class time to that end. Flipped teaching and learning is a technique that addresses the question, “What is the Best use of Valuable Face-to-Face Class Time?” by making more class time available to be used as you see fit. Getting active and engaged is a great way to use that time!

 

 


  • Data management

    The skills and equipment used to organize, secure, store and retrieve information. Data management technology can refer to a wide range of techniques and database systems used for managing information use and allocating access both within a business and between entities.

  • Maker Movement

    The maker movement is a trend in which individuals or groups of individuals create and market products that     are recreated and assembled using unused, discarded or broken electronic, plastic, silicon or virtually any raw material and/or product from a computer-related device.      

  • Thinking and Tweeting About Technology

    Twitter won't change your life, but it might make your job more fun                                 and a little easier.

  • Laptops or Tablets: The Great Debate

    In our tech-savvy world, choosing a laptop or a tablet has quickly cemented itself into one of the great debates.

  • Future-cation:learning With today's powerful technology tool

    With the tidal wave of new technology tools available for teachers and learners, the Powerful technology tools can help channel that flood into a manageable power source for student engagement and motivation in classroom!

  •  Learning Futures What does future of learning look like? What is going to change in the future of our education systems? What role will new media technologies play in the way you and I will share knowledge and skills in the near future?

  • Engaging and meaningful use of technologyThe methods of integrating technology in your lesson plans and courses that provide for an engaging experience for teachers and students.

  • Cloud Computing the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.