It’s a common assumption that adding pieces of technology to the classroom will be distracting to students. After all, our phones are a constant source of distraction from our academic and professional lives.
With most classrooms and jobs moved online, however, we are losing the opportunity to choose to omit technology from the classroom. Because technology is becoming more mandatory to every learning environment, it’s important you know just how to properly incorporate it in order to engage the classroom.
In this article we will talk about a couple of tools and student engagement strategies that you can use to better engage your classroom with technology.
How Technology Engages the Classroom
It’s every teacher’s job to provide students with the best possible path to success, and in the 21st century that usually means integrating technology into the classroom.
As students become increasingly tech savvy, it’s important to pair their skills with education tools that allow them to interact and engage with their academic material. Here are some tools and strategies that help engage the classroom
Live Polls / Online Quizzes
It’s always annoying when you want to engage your classroom but the interactive element just isn’t there. QuestionPro LivePolls allows you to create consumable, interactive polls and quizzes so your whole class can engage in a manner that is easy and interactive.
Using LivePolls is incredibly useful for instructors everywhere because it enables them to engage their students not only in the classroom, but from anywhere. It’s increasingly important that you become able to transition between learning mediums, and LivePolls makes that flexibility possible.
Best part about LivePolls? It’s free! Any existing QuestionPro user or academic instructor can access and use the full functionality of LivePolls for no cost.
Being able to engage the entire classroom with quick and intuitive polls means that you can interact with your students more often and with more meaningful results.
Learn more about this useful free tool here: The Ultimate Guide to QuestionPro LivePolls
Online whiteboards are one of the best ways to engage students in the classroom and provide a litany of different benefits to students operating either remotely or in person.
Online whiteboards enable students to take an active part in their education, and allow them to collaborate with the entire class on the same shared space. This means that whether your class is online or in person, you have the ability to engage in powerful collaboration with teams of any size.
Online whiteboards also help students engage in class because they have a sense of permanence that regular classroom activities lack. There is a permanent space for your whiteboard activities to exist, which means people can focus more on the learning process rather than taking note of every small change.
Additionally, if students want to refer back to the source material they used in class, records exists online for them to do so instead of having to find pictures and use them to the best of their ability.
If you are interested in learning more about how online whiteboards help engage the classroom, you can check out our article here.
Learn more about academic surveys here!
Student Engagement Strategies
Now that we’ve talked about some tools that help inject technology into classrooms, let’s discuss some strategies you can use to help those tools succeed.
Providing consumable, attractive methods of learning
Infographics are a great way to package information to students in a consumable way. Instead of using paragraphs of content, consider finding a graphic that displays the same information. This incorporates a visual aspect to your content, something that is very effective for the learning process.
Collaborative learning spaces
One common barrier to collaboration in the classroom is students feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable communicating their ideas to a larger group.
This is where tools like LivePolls or Online Whiteboards come to your aid. These tools provide relative anonymity to the users, allowing more people to make meaningful contributions than would normally be possible.
Thanks to these new types of technology, you can create open and collaborative spaces to increase classroom engagement.
Online resources to aid learning
One of the best parts of using technology in the classroom is their access to the internet. These tools make it very easy to imbed links and other important resources right into your work, allowing students to take multiple paths to achieve their learning goals.
Providing flexible options for students
One of the biggest boosts technology brings to the classroom is its ability to provide flexibility to students who might not mesh with traditional learning styles. This flexibility applies to many places in the classroom, whether it be a certain style of engagement, methods of taking notes, or ways to watch class.
One example of how tech increases classroom flexibility is the ability to record class and watch it back at a later date. This gives students the ability to fully focus on their activities in person while being able to fill in their notes later. This is just one example of the increased flexibility and engagement that technology brings to the classroom.
Present assignments in modern, interactive forms
In order to keep students intrigued with their schoolwork, it’s important to maintain a level of diversity in the assignments they are given. Especially with the use of tech in the classroom, it’s important that as an instructor you give people assignments that correspond with the platforms they’re using. This means having students create their own blogs instead of write a paper, or giving interactive video projects instead of powerpoints.
Replacing old mediums of interaction with more contemporary assignments make students more excited about completing these tasks while also integrating the technology they’re accustomed to into the classroom.
Utilize interactive methods of classroom attention
New tech is extremely interactive for any platform, and when used in the classroom it shouldn’t be any different. QuestionPro LivePolls allows instructors to take full advantage of the interactive nature of tech by implementing online polls for the entire class to answer.
This brings a certain togetherness that can be lacking traditionally in the classroom and helps secure the attention of every student. LivePolls is a great example about how technology can help boost engagement in the classroom, no matter if it’s online or in person.
Engage in hybrid remote and physical classes
This might be difficult for students attending school before college because their programs are much more structured, but for university students it could be very helpful to engage in a hybrid schedule of remote and physical classes.
Giving students some remote and some in-person classes means they can better engage when they gather in a traditional setting thanks to the separation of classes. This also provides students the flexibility to attend from different places on days that are remote, something that has been realized as a massive advantage of online school.
Introducing new technology into the classroom is something that is controversial to some, but after the most recent realization of how school can operate fully online, it’s a reality that can’t wait any longer. Thanks to tools like QuestionPro LivePolls and various online whiteboards like Fresco, students can successfully integrate the flexibility of technology into their academic lives.
Learn more about academic surveys here!
Paul Van Zandt
Co-Founder & CEO at Fresco