Sometimes it can be tricky for teachers to create lesson plans that are both useful and engaging for their students, but in today's tech-driven world, nearly anything is possible. Continue reading to discover how technology can help teachers increase the engagement factor of their lessons.
Tech in Lesson Planning
Unless you've been hibernating for the last ten years or so, you're probably well aware that technology has begun to situate itself quite prominently in the classroom, and rightfully so. According to the U.S. Department of Education, technology has many benefits when it comes to both teaching and learning, including improved productivity, expanded educational opportunities and accelerated learning.
In addition to the above benefits, tech also has the superpower of increasing student engagement and motivation. On that note, let's take a closer look at how technology can help teachers craft lesson plans that engage their students and motivate them to learn.
1. It Brings Lessons to Life
First, technology has the ability to bring lessons—no matter the subject—to life, allowing students to gain a more realistic perspective on the specific topic. For example, just imagine how engaging a social studies unit about ancient Egypt could be if a virtual field trip were integrated into the lesson plans. Rather than just reading words and looking at pictures, students would be able to get up close and personal with the pyramids!
In addition, teachers can use technology to make math lessons more relevant to real life. Tools such as interactive white boards and adaptive math apps allow students to engage with (and get a better understanding of) what's being covered in class.
2. It Helps Students' Creativity Flourish
Students love to create, especially if it's on their own terms. Technology helps students' creativity flourish by allowing them to connect with and personalize content like never before.
For language arts lesson plans, teachers may want to consider having their students participate in digital storytelling, which lets them use images, text, and sound to create a story or message. Talk about an upgrade from traditional paper-and-pencil writing and crayon illustrations!
Presentations in any subject also get a makeover with tools such as PowToon. This innovative, web-based tool makes it easy to create animated slideshows, interactive reports, and customized videos. Just think how much more exciting a research project or book report could be if it were presented via animation!
3. It Encourages Collaboration
It's no secret that students enjoy working in groups from time to time. It provides an opportunity for ideas to come together and teamwork to blossom, both of which can raise engagement and motivation levels. Fortunately, teachers can use technology in their lesson plans to encourage collaboration in the classroom.
Here are a few examples:
- For writing projects, Google Docs allows students to work collectively on documents, then share and edit them in real time.
- Groups of students can create Podcasts on certain topics and then share them with other groups.
- Brainstorming in numbers goes totally digital with mind-mapping applications such as MindMeister. This tool lets students organize their thoughts in one place and edit them collaboratively.
4. It Makes Gamification Simple
Regardless of what's being covered in class, one thing is for certain: apps and games make it easier to relate to and absorb material. Perhaps more importantly, they make learning fun for students! Therefore, teachers can weave these tools into their lesson plans to help students get a better grasp on certain topics (especially those that may be harder to understand), with an added element of fun.
Luckily, technology makes it simple to gamify just about anything! Nowadays, apps and games are available in nearly every subject, and they can be adapted to just about any learning style or level. If teachers would rather gamify things on their own, online learning tools like Quizlet let teachers create customized flashcards and games that are specific to their curriculum.
Teaching With Tech
These are just some of the ways that technology can help teachers create engaging lesson plans. With today's rapid advancements, it's safe to say that teaching and learning capabilities will probably continue to evolve over time.
Interested in learning more about how technology can transform education? Look no further than Study.com's Technology in the Classroom course.