As technology becomes more and more of a priority for school districts and administrators, teachers often find themselves struggling.
Sure, every teacher wants to be that all-star educator that finds creative ways to integrate technology into the classroom. But doing so is easier said than done when you're battling classroom management issues and have no idea where to start with classroom tech.
Thankfully, there are ways you can make your classroom more tech savvy without breaking the bank or transforming your teaching style. The following four strategies are fair game for high school teachers looking to embrace the digital age and engage their students via tech.
Despite popular belief, integrating technology into the classroom isn't solely about putting tech in the hands of your kids. In fact, some of the best ways to step up your game in terms of classroom technology is on your side of the desk.
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to do so is by creating lessons and lecture designed around an explainer video versus a traditional PowerPoint presentation. Let's be honest: working in PowerPoint is a total drag and there's a good chance that your students are just as bored with it as you are. On the flip side, whiteboard explainer videos provide a sense of entertainment to help engage your students instead of tuning them out.
Bear in mind that embracing tech doesn't have to occur totally within the confines of your classroom. For example, creating a classroom community or forum where you and students can connect publicly allows you to show off your accessibility to students and parents. Likewise, it provides a chance for students to give each other a hand in exchange for extra credit.
Given that your students are likely glued to social media anyway, creating a classroom Twitter is a great way to keep your kids in the loop in terms of due dates, major assignments and other important updates.
Such a feed also holds students accountable as they can't make excuses about late or missing work if you're making an effort to make sure they're informed of essential classroom news. As a rule of thumb, just tread lightly in terms of posting personal content on your classroom Twitter and keep your social presence strictly professional.
Regardless of your subject area, research is widely emphasized across just about every curriculum. That said, allowing your students to research via smartphone may seem like a classroom management nightmare as everyone has their phones out at the same time, right?
Remember that it's not 1990 anymore. Your students have so much knowledge at their finger types and they know it. Why not embrace it?
As long as you set guidelines for smartphone research and follow through with a punishment system for those who aren't on task, you might be surprised at just how much work students manage to get done with they use their phones. Of course, you don't necessarily need to allow students to use their phones all time, just during necessary projects.
Integrating tech into the classroom doesn't have to be a total headache. Ease into the digital age with these tips and be prepared to fine-tune them over time as you figure out how to use technology to better serve your students.