Today’s teacher has more opportunities to engage learners than ever before. With ready access to computers, tablets, smartphones, interactive whiteboards, and apps galore, students and teachers are learning and creating content to teach each other. The key is wisely using what you have available. Here are a few places today’s teacher may want to start to make teaching (and learning) more engaging for all.
Google Apps for Education offers a plethora of secure, free options for schools. Gmail, 30 GB Google Drive storage, Google Sites, gClassFolders, and YouTube Teacher Channels are just a few of the ways Google can save schools thousands of dollars. These services are easy to use, and are available whenever you are.
Access the Equipment
Whether your school favors PCs, tablets, or netbooks, having access to the equipment is a must. Even one machine, wisely used, provides the basis for engaging, interactive lessons with a little experimentation. Teachers should become familiar with caring and using the equipment and finding deals wherever possible to save money on these expenses. A good internet service that can hook a classroom to reliable internet and keep your equipment up and running all of the time.
Invest in an Interactive Whiteboard
A projector and interactive whiteboard are musts for every classroom. For some students, physically manipulating the information is the best way to understand the lesson. Interactive lessons are attention grabbers that most students will agree make class much more interesting.
Document and Record
Most schools do not see recording lessons as a necessity for the classroom, but a document camera allows students to share paper presentations with their class or, in conjunction with distance learning equipment, with students in other schools as well. It also allows a teacher to record their work to post on a website for later review. For less than $400, Ladibugs, Elmos and NuScan are some of the more economical models.
All of these technological advancements create a need for teachers to stay current and plugged in. Keep up to date on more modern trends. Use your smartphone to store lessons and teaching tips for later. When you stay up on current technologies, your classroom will keep up with you.
Today’s kids are digital natives. With the right equipment and applications, and a little practice, today’s teachers can help their students become adaptable, responsible, life-long learners in an ever-changing world.