What a technology driven world we live in today. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? For teachers, they may not see it being so great. I mean their students have an attention span as short as their tweeter messages. Students spend their off time on the cell phone, playing video games, texting friends, listening to their Ipods, and shopping online. Their world is filled with colors, and sound; a true multimedia experience. So how do we get our students to slow down and persist on finding important information for our classes? If only we had a magic wand.
If only it was that easy. It isn’t. We need to adjust and not blame the world of technology for our problems. We need to tweak our assignments, adjust our sails and navigate into the wind. Here are some things that we can do to make our journey for all of us more enjoyable and understanding to our students.
1. Students love competition. They get it daily with the video games. There is nothing better than good ole’ Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and Bingo. As an English teacher, I use Bingo for literary terms and Jeopardy for reviews for any and my big test reviews. The kids are put into teams and I bought beepers at the local teacher store.
2. Make your lesson relevant to their lives. They are in a dispensable, throw away world where all they have to do is hit the delete key. Show them how this assignment will affect their lives.
3. Tell stories visually online with digital storybooks. There is nothing more memorable to a child than a story. A good story that has dialogue, action, and imagery. Kids were brought up on stories and it is the way they were use to learning lessons and morals. It is the best way for teachers to teach important lessons, too.
4. Use the internet and the cell phone. You know they love it and are use to it more than any other form of entertainment. So take something that has good “vibes” to them and they will quickly realize that they not only can be entertained on this phenomena, but they can learn and watch wonderful, entertaining speeches, videos, stories, and live chats with other classes that are learning the same things that your students are learning.
5. Use PowerPoint and Moviemaker. Use them the correct way; not as your lecture notes. Use them to WOW them with sound, action, fonts, photos, etc… These programs can set the tone is a way that the written word can not do.
With these tips, your journey will be exciting and less challenging and your students will onboard with you the rest of your travels.