The most effective ways to interact with kids using technology in the classroom

 

While some educators still believe books are best, most realise that in the age of the iPad, children can’t be expected to learn solely from text books anymore. They are used to looking up everything they need to know at a touch of a screen. Take away that interactive element, and they’re going to be pretty disengaged.

Specialist education and technology writer, Laura Varley, reports on behalf of Parago, asset management solutions for schools...

How can educators make sure their students are learning effectively and not just texting each other, though? Here some great ways technology and gadgets in the classroom can boost pupils’ learning.

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Using the World Wide Web as a resource

Gone are the days when students had to look at text books to find the answers they needed. The internet is full of great, easily accessible information. Finding the same information in a text book can be time consuming, and there’s a greater chance that it will be outdated. Of course, pupils need to be taught what is and what isn’t a reliable source, but this is a useful skill that they will use throughout their life.

Encourage progression with gamification

From simple mobile games to complex, open-world role playing games, all children love gaming. Video games give children a goal to work towards, help them refine their problem-solving skills and are a lot less passive that other forms of learning.

It’s no surprise, then, that gamification is now hugely popular, both in the workplace and in the classroom. Quizzes and brain teasers, combined with a scoring system, motivation pupils to do their homework each and every week. They can keep track of their progress online, and their teachers can see how well they are performing too.

Interact with augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology which gets more and more impressive as the years go by. Pupils now have access to AR books, which come to life with the help of mobile phone or tablet. AR can make learning more fun, interactive, and enables kids to do things they couldn’t do otherwise. For example, they could virtually explore the human body and look at each and every organ in detail.

Can’t afford to take the whole class on a school trip? Take the trip virtually instead. AR has so many possibilities.

Create with 3D printing

Sometimes students need a physical model to understand something, which is where 3D printers come in. You can create almost anything using a 3D printer – engineering students can use them to print out working prototypes of their projects, or kids doing architecture could use them to produce a miniature version of their building design.

The fact that the children get something physical to take home is bound to motivate them to complete their project. Plus, learning how to use a 3D printer could prove to be a useful skill in the future.

Allow constant access to work with cloud computing

There is always that one student who forgets their homework or leaves their textbook at home. With cloud computing, that’s no longer a problem. All the student’s work and their learning resources are stored in one place, which can be accessed at anytime from anywhere, so long as there’s an internet connection.

Rather than trying to remember all the books they need to bring in that day, students can focus on more important things, such as finishing an important project.

Let students collaborate using multi-touch boards

Working together as a team is an important skill that students need to develop early on. After all, in the real world, collaboration is the norm. Multi-touch boards, which are like flat tablets, are perfect for getting pupils to work together on one project, as more than one child at once can interact with the content on screen. They can drag items, change their size and even type notes.

Handing the work in and presenting it at the end is easy too – all they need to do is save the file and send it to their teacher. For once the teacher isn’t lumbered with lots of pieces of paper!

Technology in the classroom is here to stay; it has become such a big part of our lives it makes sense to make the most of it, especially as kids find gadgets so much more engaging than textbooks. The future of UK businesses relies on the next generation learning practical skills such as engineering and programming, and technology can help them become interested in these subjects at an earlier age.

 

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