Teachers are always on the lookout for new ways to engage their students. Here are some tech tips to keep in mind for the 2022-2023 school year.
When it comes to technology, the most important thing is getting it into the hands of your learners. Show them what to do, then let them get savvy with it.
1. Create a Google Classroom
Google Classroom is a free, online teaching tool that allows teachers to collect assignments, grade papers, communicate with students and keep all relevant materials organized in one central location. This platform also offers a wide variety of features for teachers, including the ability to create announcements and learning schedules, send emails to students and parents, and set up a calendar.
The best way to get started with Google Classroom is by watching video tutorials. These will help you get familiar with the platform, learn the ins and outs of it, and find ways to make it easier for your students to use.
Some of these videos are short, and others offer a comprehensive guide to Google Classroom. For example, Edtech made easy has a 10-minute tutorial that covers key areas like creating classes and adding students, sharing material, changing themes, adding parents and other teachers, grading, viewing work, and vitally class settings.
You may need to work with parents and other teachers who are hesitant to try Google Classroom or who are technophobic to get them on board with the platform. You can try inviting them to join your class as a student or a co-teacher before giving them full access. This can be a great way to help them open their minds to the benefits of Google Classroom, and it could also lead to more parental participation in the class.
2. Create a class website or blog
If you are a teacher and you are looking for an easy way to engage students in online learning, a class website or blog is a great choice. You can post homework, file directions, and even share important documents with students through your class website. You can also use your class website to communicate with parents, students and administrators outside of regular classroom times.
Blogging is an excellent way to develop students’ digital skills, and there are many free blog platforms available that you can use with your students. These include wikispaces, WordPress and blogger.
The first step to creating a class blog is to register with the platform of your choice. Once you have signed up, you can then create a class blog page, personalize it with a unique theme and set up student accounts for those who will be blogging in your class.
You can also choose whether or not to make your class blog public or private. A public blog will allow people from all over the world to see your posts, while a private one may be used solely by you and your students.
3. Use online resources
As teachers give up hours of their day to mentor kids, they need to find tools that help keep students engaged. These resources can include apps and games, digital textbooks, or even online lesson plans.
Online resources are a great way to stay up to date on the latest technology, trends, and issues. They can also be used to learn new teaching skills and methodologies.
When searching for online resources, look for those that demonstrate passion and variety. These should also be able to offer advice, experience, and knowledge from diverse perspectives.
For example, the National Museum of American History has a website called Smithsonian History Explorer that offers interactive lessons and museum artifacts for kids to explore. They can also download a free app that allows them to use these materials on their phones or tablets.
Teachers can also use digital flashcard resources like Quizlet to make learning fun for their students. These resources are available at different levels so that students can learn at their own pace. They can also create their own quizzes and tests to assess their progress.
4. Create collaboratively written documents
Collaboratively written documents can be a great way to engage students and increase their writing skills. However, they can also be challenging to create successfully.
When students collaborate, it is important to ensure that everyone is communicating well with one another. This can help keep the project on track and prevent any delays or scope creep.
In addition to this, it is also important to ensure that everyone knows who to go to for help if they need it. This can help to reduce the amount of time people spend on phone tags and texts during a project.
It is also helpful to use a tool such as Google Docs to collaborate on projects. This allows students to exchange ideas and give feedback to each other in real-time.
Many teachers see group assignments as a way to prepare their students for the types of complex assignments they may encounter in the workplace. This type of learning can be difficult for some students, but with careful coordination and communication it can lead to excellent results.
5. Utilize cloud storage
Cloud storage has become a popular way for teachers to save files without having to worry about the amount of space they have. It also gives teachers and students the ability to back up their data securely in a remote location.
In addition, cloud storage can be used to store large videos or other memory-rich multimedia projects. These files can then be shared with students and teachers from anywhere with an internet connection.
Using cloud storage can be a great way for teachers to save time and money. It’s a lot easier to manage than on-premises storage equipment, and it’s more secure than storing information on your own servers.
However, it’s important to note that not all cloud storage services are created equal. Depending on your needs, you may want to choose a provider that offers strong encryption, access control features and data privacy compliance. Additionally, you should look for a provider that allows you to add a bandwidth limit to your account. This is especially helpful if you have students or teachers that are frequently downloading and uploading files.
6. Utilize classroom management tools
With the right classroom management tools, teachers can effectively manage the classroom, keep students on track, and ensure they stay engaged in learning. These tools also help educators focus on their responsibilities and make it easier for them to interact with students and their parents.
For example, teachers can utilize Google Classroom to create and manage assignments online. They can share these assignments with students and provide real-time feedback as students work on them. They can also post announcements and start discussion boards with their students.
Some of these tools also provide a gradebook that allows teachers to easily record their feedback, monitor student progress, and display grades. These tools are ideal for blending learning, project-based learning, and flipped classrooms.
Lightspeed classroom management software helps teachers keep their students on task and engage them through dynamic teaching tools. It also provides real-time visibility into student activity, allowing them to dismiss tabs that might be distracting, lock screens, and limit online browsing capabilities.
7. Incorporate interactive whiteboards or digital projectors
Incorporating interactive whiteboards or digital projectors into the classroom can improve student engagement. This technology enables students to see and touch the information they are learning, helping them retain more of the material.
These devices can be used for brainstorming sessions, e-folios and work samples, preparing presentations, training students on keyboarding or computer skills, and sharing projects during meetings among teachers, parents and students. They also promote collaboration and engagement by offering a clean, low-maintenance writing canvas with infinite space for creative thinking.
The technology for these devices is becoming more streamlined and energy-efficient, making them easier to use for both teachers and students. They require less maintenance and fewer support tickets, which can save schools time and money.
If your school district invested in interactive whiteboards a decade ago, it might be time to consider replacing them with newer models. They may be more compatible with current EdTech stacks and offer energy-efficient LED projection rather than older incandescent bulbs.
8. Utilize online tools
If you are a teacher, you know how time-consuming it can be to keep up with a busy classroom. From organizing homework assignments to grading assessments, online tools can help you save time and streamline your workflow.
One of the best ways to stay organized is to utilize a digital calendar. This free app will help you organize appointments, meetings, and recurring events in a single place. Plus, you can customize the colors and add notifications to help you prioritize your tasks.
You can also use the app to create and assign daily responsibilities. For example, you can give students a pocket chart to remember who has line leader status, who holds the door, or other daily duties in the classroom.
Using these free tools can improve your teaching skills and make your classroom more organized. It will also reduce your workload and keep you on track with your goals.