It’s no secret that most teachers want to use technology in their classrooms. But are they doing it effectively? Here are 4 easy and fun strategies to try!
4 Edtech Secrets Teachers Need to Know
Everyone can remember who their favorite teachers were growing up. Given the tools of their time-a chalkboard and possibly a projector-these educators were able to make their students enthusiastic about learning. Through their lessons, these teachers had the ability to help the students gain the skills they would need to eventually succeed in the world.
As any good educator will tell you, teachers are now faced with more challenges than ever before -standardized tests, teaching many different levels of learners, facing more distractions in the classroom, board of education requirements, and so much more. But these challenges don’t scare good teachers away. Over the years, emaze has worked with thousands of great teachers who sought ways to add edtech to their classrooms. What they believe students need to thrive is access to the tools and skills that will enable them to think creatively in the modern world and succeed.
You probably can predict that now we will say that this means integrating educational technology platforms into the classroom. That is correct! However, it is not just the edtech alone that prepares students for their futures and arms them with all the knowledge that they need. As expert educator and author George Couros writes,
“Technology will never replace good teachers, but technology in the hands of good teachers is transformational.”
Teachers must be able to successfully integrate tech in the classroom that actively engages students in their learning and challenges them to think creatively. The best teacher, the one who wins those Teacher of the Year awards, is the one who knows what to do with all of this new technology, and how to use it effectively.
Here are 4 insider ways to use emaze in your classroom.
1. Engage Students With Edtech Tools and Create a Flipped Lesson
According to a 2014 study, 9 out of 10 teachers noticed a positive change in student engagement since flipping their classroom. This dramatic improvement is not a coincidence. For innovative educators around the world, a flipped lesson offers a unique potential for student engagement through technology. By incorporating video, audio, and text you can enable your class to interact with the material in their own way at home ahead of time. Students can then come to class better prepared with knowledge, questions and observations, and ready to apply what they have learned in more productive and engaging ways!
Encouraging students to explore the lesson material for themselves at their own pace gives students ownership of the material and a feeling of active involvement. Consider inserting website pages, like a Wikipedia page, or a Google map, that they can click on and scroll through. Try asking questions based on this information and have them find the answers. Challenge students to read a historical document in its original format available online. Adding simple but effective changes like these led 71% of teachers to indicate that their students’ grades had improved since implementing a flipped classroom strategy.
Learn more about how to easily create a professional flipped lesson with emaze here.
2. Incorporate Social Media in Your Lesson Plan (For Real!)
For teachers of older students, you are probably aware of the significant role social media plays in the lives of teens and young adults. Instead of fighting it, there are many opportunities when you can embrace it and actually use this to your advantage! Though social media isn’t exactly part of the typical edtech toolkit, you can still use it to engage students in the classroom in a way that is fun and familiar to them.
Many teachers have had phenomenal success embedding YouTube videos and playlists into their emaze presentations. There are many wonderful educational resources available on YouTube, and by presenting material through videos, students can have yet another way to successfully absorb information instead of just memorizing it and spitting it back. Here’s how to easily embed a video in your emaze presentation.
For current events for high school and university classes, try out speaking the students’ language by embedding live Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. Use these social media channels as live resources for students to refer to as your class discusses important subjects. Some teachers will embed Twitter feeds and Facebook pages of influential authors, politicians, artists and other notable figures in their emaze websites as a way of letting students interact with information in a relatable way.
One easy tool that emaze offers is that it allows users to share their creations directly from the platform onto social media. If you have students making their own creative work and projects in emaze, encourage them to share their creations on social media and take pride in their work and accomplishments. Many students make websites or presentation biographies about themselves, or do projects on their family history or culture. By encouraging students to share their creations, it promotes ownership of their work, and the value in being part of a larger world and contributing to it via technology.
3. Take Advantage of All of the Resources Available in emaze
Teachers do not need to look any further than emaze for inspiration or ideas for new lessons. Instead, teachers can simply check out the “Explore” section in emaze. Search for a specific keyword, for example “American history,” and find thousands of user presentations, duplicate existing presentations and work off of them to create your own, and see amazing content other users are creating and get inspired.
For teachers who have emaze Premium, you can download your presentations as a PDF or MP4, and then upload them to your class website like Moodle. This way, students can always access the information from home and you can easily keep your emaze presentations organized together in one place with the rest of your class materials. For teachers who don’t have emaze Premium yet but want to be able to download their presentations, you can purchase it at a discounted educator rate.
4. Use the Software to Teach Students of All Ages
Something that often goes overlooked is how a single edtech platform can be useful in different ways to many different age groups. Aside from the expected uses of emaze for creating presentations, high school and university students can showcase their knowledge and understanding of sophisticated subjects in emaze as well. Emaze should be used as a tool for students that will help prepare them for their careers and can continue to use once they enter the workforce to create content in the professional world.
While the emaze user interface is basic and easy enough for younger students and beginners to navigate, when used properly the software is capable of advanced functions that allow users to employ their knowledge of design, HTML, CSS, and data visualization. One way we have recently seen this at work is how students have started building professional digital profiles in their own emaze website, and in creating unique online resumes. Not only students are using emaze to create personal websites and profiles! Many teachers have also started creating interactive pages with emaze to share with their class and the parents as a way of introducing themselves to their class and telling them a bit about who they are. These are the kinds of teachers that we are confident will inspire success in their students.
Now it’s your turn to try it out! We would love to hear how you successfully used emaze or other edtech software with your students. Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.