The advent of technology in the classroom has opened the door to many new and exciting teaching methods and resources. There is really no limit to what you can do with all this technology. So instead of getting stuck with PowerPoint presentations and internet research, use your imagination to really engage your students with interesting technology resources.
1. Perform Dangerous Experiments With the Help of Technology
The more “dangerous” an experiment is, the more likely you are to grab students’ attention. However, this increases the risk of students wanting to experiment themselves and usually unsupervised. Nevertheless, you can still show these kinds of experiments without having the proper equipment or ingredients; and thus reducing the risk of students repeating it.
By finding videos online, you can expose your class to fireballs, beaker-shattering trials, and other exciting events. When you explain why it is crucial that they not mix certain chemicals, you can demonstrate gruesome results. This is also a good way to teach lab safety. Incorporate videos to demonstrate other real-life phenomena, including tornados, earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis. After the students view these natural disasters, explain to them how and why they are caused.
2. Initiate International Pen Pals Via Email, Skype, or Zoom.
International pen pals encourage students to interact with individuals from all over the world. They will learn about different cultures and religions, thus fostering tolerance and understanding while eliminating prejudice and ignorance.
Hand-written letters can take up to weeks to reach their destination, depending on the location, technology, make it easy for students to with their pen pals. They can email and wait for a response, use instant chat services such as iChat and AIM, or utilize a Skype account.
While the pupils are chatting with individuals of their own age, you may wish to engage the other group’s teacher. In addition to participating in the same process, you can ask the other instructor about topics he or she is teaching and share fun assignments amongst yourself.
3. Visit a Virtual Zoo
If you are not close enough to visit a decent zoo, there is an online alternative. For example, the San Diego Zoo has posted several videos on its website that introduces individuals to its wide array of wildlife.
Students can tour the zoo and view pandas, polar bears, elephants, and apes’ habitats. There is also a list of interesting science experiments that students will enjoy, particularly the younger ones. Discovery’s Animal Planet also has several videos and links that will help educate your students on various animals and their natural environment.
There are many other websites that you can find that will help you teach an informative and engaging class on the science of animal life. Consider asking the class if they would like to make their own virtual zoo that includes maps, photos, and written information.
4. Introduce Digital Storytelling
If you are an English teacher, this is the perfect way to capture students’ attention and give them a new way to approach the written word. Ask them to write a fictional story.
Once they have finished, the class can turn their written work into an online cartoon. The site xtranormal.com enables individuals to turn their text into a movie. Students will get to see their work come to life. This is a great way to promote creativity and encourage pupils to keep writing. Another website of similar design is pixton.com. This page allows for online comic creation – a whole new dimension of storytelling.
This site provides teachers with interactive rubrics, methods to monitor, grade, comment on the comics, ways to customize the classroom, and more. The students can also share their comics with their friends and families once they are finished.