Students’ needs of today are totally different than they were a few years ago. In a hyper distracted world, they need motivation and inspiration that can take their minds off of the distractions and keep them focused on learning and being engaged.
Technology has become so infused in our lives nowadays that it is very difficult to think of doing something without it. And if we want to excel in our task of teaching students and giving them the freedom that they need, we need to integrate the latest technology with our school curriculums in order to prepare the students for the landscape of the industry tomorrow.
More and more schools are now recognizing the impact of technology on their students and how that technology is shaping their future. The only question here is will we let technology shaper their future or will we help technology shape their future. One way or another, they will interact with the latest technology. With this in mind, schools, colleges, and even universities are now getting on board the idea that they can utilize the new and innovative learning methods to teach the students and enable them to learn at their own pace and in their own learning styles. This can help them prepare themselves for the industries of the future and how to succeed in a future that is volatile and ever-changing.
Here we are listing the top technology trends that can be used in educational institutes to enhance the process of learning.
Flipped learning in its most basic form means “Classwork at home and homework in class”. It is a form of blended learning that moves away from the traditional model of learning to give the students something new and innovative. In this form of teaching, students familiarize themselves with the topic at home through pre-recorded videos, internet searching and research, and studying them. Then they come to the class and engage in activities that enhance their learning. This way when students enter the class, they already have some background knowledge about the subject or the topic and are more at ease.
Teachers and professors can use this methodology by enabling Wi-Fi connectivity in the classroom and by using one or more of the multiple apps that are available in the market to share the relevant custom animated video, infographics, and other data with the students so that they can view them at home. This way, not only will you be able to monitor their screen time, but you will also be able to engage the students longer.
There are many students who, due to some reason or the other, cannot attend schools. If you integrate remote learning capabilities, you can ensure that they attend school virtually. With virtual communication enabled, they can take part in the lessons being delivered in the class and access all their data online. This can also include video conferencing, subject-wise or topic wise forums, prerecorded videos, and other ways of ensuring that the students take a healthy interest in their learning.
This will also help students who reside in areas that don’t have good learning opportunities. You can easily enroll them in a great institute halfway around the world and enable them to make something of themselves and overcome any boundaries that they encounter. Just think about it, a student sitting in Nigeria could be learning the best possible means of fighting famine and hunger from an Ivy League institute.
Another way is for students to maintain their own vlogs while on holidays and share it with the entire class so that every student can be a part of each other’s lives and experiences.
Once you put your mind to it, there are a million ways you can use remote learning to your benefit as well as the students.
Gamification refers to the concept of taking a concept and teaching it to the students through a game. It could be a game that was never intended for teaching but can be used, or it could be a game that was specifically designed for teaching. This can turn the entire process of learning into a fun and entertaining activity. You can provide different types of challenges to your students via gamification and make sure that they research, learn and overcome these challenges to earn different rewards.
Studies have reported that winning at a game releases dopamine which is a chemical that triggers pleasure and motivation. When you turn your subject into a game, you ensure that when the students pass each level, they will feel the pleasure of the win and their motivation to do more and do better will increase. They will be inspired to take on more difficult challenges and prove themselves.
Mind mapping is not only fun, but it is also a great way of putting your thoughts in order and making sense out of something that wasn’t making sense before. Instead of going on a linear path, students are encouraged to take an interactive and multidirectional approach to expand their horizons and think about subjects and topics in a non-traditional way. This way they can understand the topic easily and retain it longer.
There is multiple online software that you can use to help your students mind map their ideas and then share them with the entire classroom to have a healthy debate. Students can work off of those mind maps and check their projects against them to find out whether they are moving in the right direction or not, and how much have they completed and how much is remaining.
Handing each student a tablet might seem costly at first, but the truth of the matter is that it will save a lot of money in the long run. Books are becoming more and more expensive every day. There is also the environmental issues that come with it. Digital books offer you the best method of making sure that your students get all the information that they need while keeping their carbon footprints to a minimum.
Digital books are also easy to edit and can include the latest information about the topic at hand. They are easy to carry around and your students won’t have to carry overloaded bags with them everywhere they go. They can have their entire year’s curriculum in the palm of their hands. They also have the opportunity to carry additional books for reference reading. Another big advantage of digital books is that students can write their comments or notes on their tablets, they can highlight an important area and share them with their teachers or their friends and more.
Ever since AR and VR have been introduced in the market, the use of virtual reality has been steadily growing. It has also made its mark in the field of education. There are museums and art galleries that are offering visitors and students an immersive experience to make sure that they take a healthy interest in their history and culture. Schools can do it too.
Just think about it; students can learn about the blood circulatory system by being a blood cell and going through the entire system. They can also look at different things in more than one way. They can conduct hands-on experiences in virtual labs that will offer them a broader horizon and ensure that there are no obstacles in learning.
Using the latest VR software and headsets, they can walk on the moon or Mars. They can check out a volcano eruption, or find out how gravity works in different places. The possibilities are endless.
When we introduce technology in the classrooms, we enable everyone to stay connected with each other. This connection improves our ability to collaborate and communicate in the best possible ways. Collaboration has always held a special place in educational strategies and experts have found in various studies that students learn best when they are working in groups. Using communication software and apps, teachers can enhance the level of collaboration. Also, the students will be able to share much more than their voices or pictures. They can share a video that is beneficial or infographics. They can share a website that they think is good for the learning of the whole group or the classroom.
Last but not least, social media is a very powerful tool that can help students become less distracted and more engaged. Although it is usually associated with distractions, it is the way we use it that defines it. With the right strategies in place, social media platforms can be used to enhance learning.
Students can use social media to start debates and observe as other people weigh in on the topic. This can introduce them to new ways of looking at something or to view a concept from someone else’s perspective.
Of course, when you include social media into your curriculum, you will also have to teach students about the etiquette of using social media and the negative effects that it can have on us so that they are cautious in their usage. This will help them learn about privacy, privileges, and how much to share and when not to share, among other things.
Just make sure that all of these technological trends can either be great or they can cause a lot of frustration and anxiety. But with proper strategies in place, you can ensure that they are used only in a positive way.