September marks the end of summer and the start of back to school season, but that doesn’t mean students are picking up notebooks, crayons, and markers. Today’s students have a different supply list, full of online resources and tech gadgets. The classroom looks different too, as schools implement 1:1 programs where every student has a computer or iPad to use throughout the day. Some parents and educators might worry about the rise of technology in the classroom, but others are using these tools in amazing ways. Check out these 3 ways teachers are inspiring students with iPads.
Gamification Helps Study Sessions and Reduces Test Stress
Teachers have been using games to excite students about learning for years before the Internet, but the rise of personal technology has made it significantly easier. Today, students can compete in Jeopardy-style quiz games and buzz in from their tablets to answer. For a group activity, students can all answer quiz questions as a way to study for an upcoming test. The teacher can see how their class answered, and spend time reviewing topics that seem to confuse his or her students.
Not only is this an engaging way to review materials, it also familiarizes students with test questions and the multiple-choice format. This will make them less stressed with the real evaluation comes around.
Students Can Take Notes As They Read and Learn
Most schools reuse textbooks for multiple years before they’re outdated and need to be replaced, so students are discouraged from damaging them or writing in the margins. Instead, they take notes on loose-leaf paper and reference them with the material later. With technology, students can finally write on their books. Armed with a digital stylus, students can highlight important sentences, make notes, and even draw graphs in the margins to reference later.
Many students are eagerly embracing the new technology as well. Instead of dragging several heavy books to and from school every day, they’re able to carry an iPad with all of the information they need.
Teachers Can Better Communicate With Students
Students can longer claim they forgot about an assignment or project when they don’t want to do it because teachers are finding ways to communicate with them on their terms. Almost all teachers have their own websites, with pages broken down by class and subject, but some are taking it to the next level. Some teachers have Twitter feeds where they tweet assignments are create Facebook groups to send messages and answer any questions. Kids spend so much time on social media these days, it makes sense to go where they already are.
Social media is also a great tool for communicating with parents. They also have access to these Twitter accounts and can make sure their kids are doing their assignments and prepared for tests ahead.
In many ways, technology is making the classroom a more interesting and engaging environment, but it’s also a valuable tool for keeping students on track and focused on learning. It’s exciting to see how schools systems will take advantage of it in the next 10 years.
image via Flickr by Stanford EdTech