The arrival of technology in the world of childhood and education is often criticized for its excessive distraction power or is considered a necessary evil for contemporary education in tune with the digital world which surrounds us. With this vision, the role of technology is then limited or constrained, or approached with reluctance. Yet some educators make wise choices and prove every day that there are smart ways to use technology in the classroom, in order to best prepare students for the world that awaits them tomorrow, while developing a use at home. thoughtful and critical of modern tools.
Learn through play
Play has always been a great way to learn almost without realizing it, and it has always been more or less included in teaching techniques. But traditional games also have their limits in terms of teaching tools: they are sometimes difficult to deploy throughout the class and often require substantial investments.
Current technology makes it possible to increase this use tenfold by offering a huge choice of educational games or arts related activity like painting etc for freshment. They can be more easily scaled up in a classroom than their paper or on-board version, and they offer configurable and much more practical interactivity than traditional versions. In addition, the technology allows immersive universes favoring more student engagement and it also offers simulation tools that help more easily to create situations close to reality. Finally, the teacher can more easily configure the rules or the situations to more easily match the game to a lesson or a grade level.
In addition, most children have a real appetite for computer, tablet or smartphone games, and the learning curve for the rules and practicalities of the game is also low. Finally, if your class is already equipped with NovaPad type terminals, then it is even easier to design secure selections of educational games prepared by the teacher, and perfectly adapted in terms of levels and educational content.
Use video for educational purposes
Video is a great medium as long as you select the content to share. Today online platforms are full of educational videos and documentaries to illustrate lessons, experiences or discover unknown phenomena or places.
However, technology should not become an endless faucet that drowns the child in too much video content. But it must, on the contrary, allow a critical viewing, arouse questions, illustrate the theory and give concrete to the student. Thus , specialized school tablets allow viewing of preselected content even for art students, sorted according to the age of the target audience, and edited for educational purposes.
For his part, the teacher will take care to balance the content, preferably by selecting short or chaptered videos, and to accompany the viewing with breaks to ask questions and suggest remarks or a debate.
Create a wiki page for collaborative work
Collaborative work in small groups is an excellent learning method that develops interactions between students, promotes motivation and teaches the confrontation of ideas. Today, group work is no longer exclusively in physical terms and can take on other dimensions thanks to the contribution of new technologies. Likewise, technology makes it possible to move from a paper “deliverable” to digital content. Collaborative work in small groups can, in fact, be made concrete by the creation of a wiki page that brings together the work provided, the method and the resources employed.
There are many programs today that you can use to create wiki pages, which are web pages that different people can collaboratively edit. These collaborative work tools will facilitate the work of the students and give them a working framework as well as a methodology to build the result of their group project and to be able to share it more easily.
This process inherently encourages collaboration, and students need to add their own content to the page, edit, and refine each other’s work.
This version of a group document can also be more appealing and richer than its classic counterpart.
Leave free time for children to use
It is common to say that the use of school tablets and any technological device must be supervised and controlled by the teacher . This is generally true but it is futile to believe that this is the only way to develop skills in children. To a certain extent, you should not hesitate to give students a few sessions to discover the contents of their school tablet, as part of a freely chosen personal project. There will of course be some wasted time, but this will encourage creativity, independent research and will certainly lead to solid achievements and a stronger interest in something that fascinates and motivates them.
You will even be surprised to see what some students can produce and, in any case, this kind of personal work in complete autonomy, encourages them to learn and develops their creative capacity and their motivation.
Call on experts
A teacher is not an expert in all areas and it is sometimes interesting, judicious and enriching to bring in an expert or a specialist to enlighten a course or provide concrete explanations to children. It is sometimes difficult to bring these people into the class (time, travel, etc.) and also to move the whole class to meet them. Current technology solves these problems. It is thus possible to make a video conference with a historian, an archaeologist, a geographer or an artist, although they are installed at the other end of the country or even abroad.
These interventions often lead to enriching exchanges and promote student engagement by giving them the opportunity to ask their questions directly. These are also moments that break the monotony of lessons and can even arouse the interest of the most recalcitrant students in the subject.
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