Applications such as Kahoot, Nearpod, Socrative, along with ClassPoint and so many more are becoming a staple in classrooms today. So how come? In part, it is because each of these tools have a main focus of driving students to learn in different ways. These are tools that focus on student engagement to help all students make the most of the lesson.
Here are 5 ways that technology is improving student engagement:
#1: Grant each student a voice
Most ways to increase engagement in the classroom allow for all students to participate. Each student now has a voice that will be heard. This is especially important for students that take longer to think, and are delayed in raising their hands.
It is now becoming the norm to integrate your classroom with technology. Using tablets or computers in the classroom is not the monstrosity it used to be. In fact, it is more common now to see schools providing their students with devices to use. This 1:1 environment assures that every student has the opportunity to participate. There are many digital SRSs that can be used on these devices to make this happen. This becomes easier for students in a BYOD environment because they can use a device that they are already comfortable with.
#2: Immediately assess student understanding
You are able to see all students’ answers at one time, right after the question has been asked. Because your students are more engaged and immediately giving you responses, you don’t have to wait to grade home work, quizzes, or tests to see how your students are faring.
Engaging students can be done at any time in the lesson to test their knowledge and to gauge their understanding. You can ask probing questions at the beginning of class. This will help you to get a feel for where students stand on a topic, during the lesson to fix misconceptions, and also at the end of class to determine their progress. Using these questions and interactions throughout your lesson will give the students time to fully comprehend the new information.
Because students are more engaged, which in turn leads to a better understanding, you can find that there will be lower failure rates in your classroom. Each student will have to prepare their own answer, forcing them to think about what information they have learned and apply it. Overall, this will lead to a better understanding from all students.
#3: Provide students with instant gratification
Instant gratification is a game-changer. In most digital SRSs, once all the students have submitted their answers, the results will be instantly displayed visually. The results will be discussed and the students will know immediately if they got the answer correct or not. Because they will not have to wait a long period of time to ascertain the answers, students will become more invested in their own learning. With their mind still fresh with how they arrived at their answer, students will be able to fully reflect upon the question, how they answered, and why the correct answer was correct.
Creative lessons like this will keep student engagement at the forefront because they are appealing in a fun way. You can use SRSs in a game setting by pairing or grouping students for a competition. From multiple-choice, short answer, and many more, there are a variety of question types so that nothing becomes routine. These innovative lessons will hold the short attention spans of students longer. When students are actively engaged, they will be more invested in the lesson, and less motivated to use the device for other distracting purposes.
#4: Effectively deliver lessons from students’ responses
By having a clearer idea of what your students understand, and more importantly what they don’t, you will be able to clearly recognize exactly what the students need next. When you see they understand a topic, you are free to move on – without worrying if a student is left behind confused. In contrast, if they are struggling to grasp all the details, you know where they deviated from the correct answer and can adjust accordingly.
You have the ability to refine and adapt your teaching on the spot. Because of the information received from your students, you can tailor to the student’s needs and optimize the time spent with them. This benefits everyone. No longer worry about the common silence that hits a room after a question has been asked and no student speaks up. Ensure student engagement is a constant feature in your classroom by implementing different technologies in your classroom.
#5: Produce a history of student data
Most SRSs give you the ability to save responses from students. These results have many benefits for your classroom:
- Revise lesson plans
- Evaluate teaching methods
- Compare with other classes
- Track student progress
- Help take attendance
- Identify at-risk students to provide extra guidance
With all the new technology in the world today, getting students to be active in the classroom is a breeze. By saving student data, you now have a profile on each student. This helps you, to help them, with their learning process.
So, how does classroom technology enhance student engagement?
- Gives each student a voice
- Assesses students’ understanding instantly
- Provides students with instant gratification
- Delivers lessons more effectively
- Saves a history of students’ knowledge
There are a myriad of ways to use technology to increase the amount of student engagement in your classroom. What benefits has technology brought to your classroom & how have you used it to encourage your students to participate?