School is almost back in session and many teachers have already begun to gear up for the new year. We don’t need to get slapped with a ruler to know that kids can spot a fake better than we adults can. That includes a teacher that pretends to be technologically advanced when he or she doesn’t know a smartphone from a toaster oven. The best teachers know that learning must be integrated with today’s technology in order to be successful. That means they have to be well versed on all the newest technology and social media trends in order to keep their students engaged. Plus, communicating with parents is no longer as easy as making a phone call. In this busy electronic world, you have to juggle multiple phone numbers and e-mail addresses in order to track them down.
We can’t just assume that everyone is as “with it” technologically as we’d like. Some people eschew technology for a more traditional approach, but unfortunately, when it comes to education, you’ll get left behind quicker than last year’s back-to-school clothes if you don’t adapt to the constant changes. And, the most important of those changes is being technologically up-to-date.
In order to usher in the new school year with a bang, here are some suggestions to help you bond with technology, and better engage your students:
Broaden the Number of Sources Students Can Use For Projects: Encourage students to use blogs, podcasts, and other online sources for papers and reports. Get them comfortable with online communication by asking them to interview subjects using Skype.
Have Students Collaborate With Other Students In Different Locations: Arrange group projects with students in other schools. Those schools could be local or even abroad. Have them interact exclusively online!
Ask Students to Create Mock Social Media Profiles For Historical Figures: What would Benjamin Franklin have posted if he he had a Facebook page?
Ask For Report Submissions as Podcasts: Students can jazz up reports or presentations by submitting them as podcasts. This gives them an opportunity to be even more creative.
Take a Trip Around the World Without Leaving the Classroom: Access images of famous places and landmarks online; a virtual world tour is at your fingertips.
Stay In Touch With Parents Via Your Blog: Start a blog and keep it updated with regular progress reports on each student.
These are just a few ideas teachers should consider to make the new school year fun and interesting. But, if you’re a little lacking when it comes to technology, don’t fret: there’s plenty of time to get up to speed before Labor Day. Many skills are super-easy to learn and can be self-taught. If you need a little extra help, there are plenty of online tutorials out there, many free of charge, and others at a nominal expense.
For more about how you can become a techno-force, visit Coggno.com for access to a wide variety of top-notch online training courses.