Whether or not you accept the practice, technology is becoming more and more integrated into educational strategies and the way that we deliver instruction to our students. With that said, it need not be a jarring or unpleasant change to incorporate modern inventions into your lesson plans. In fact, adding dimensions of technological expertise to some of your classroom instruction can not only make the material more relatable, but it can also drive student engagement.
What’s more, technology has the capacity to give your students an added bonus by readying them for the digital world that they’ll enter after graduation. Considering that this course of action has the potential to make your life simpler while also bettering the education your students are receiving, why not give it a try? Take a look at a few simple examples of high efficiency ways to integrate modern advancements into your classroom:
Teachers providing instruction on a broad array of subject matter can benefit from using the completely free service Google Maps. In fact, you’ve probably already used it for simpler day-to-day tasks such as finding directions to a friend’s home or a venue. If you’re teaching a lesson that has to do with geography, throwing Google Maps up on the projector can help you give your students a more finite understanding of a given route or area. If you’re hoping to make clear what the scenery or landscape is like in an area that you’re studying, perhaps for a social studies or foreign language class, Maps even has a ‘street view’ feature that you can use to show a 3-D screenshot of any intersection. Check out a few great examples of how other teachers implemented the service into their lessons here.
If you teach high school or middle school, then the odds are strong that many of your students are already using Twitter. A free service, Twitter allows for individuals to post 140 character ‘tweets’ about anything they choose. If you’re studying a given historical figure and want to make sure that your students are connecting with the material outside of class, try making a fictional Twitter account for that individual. You can have all of your pupils follow the account that you create and then tweet out a fact to them every night. For example, @ChristopherColumbus123 could tweet: “In 1492 I sailed the ocean blue.”
Field trips without the hassle
Have you ever wanted to take your students on a field trip but haven’t had the necessary funding or backing of your school? Trust us, you aren’t alone. With that said, there are ways around this classic dilemma. National Geographic makes a free application called National Parks, which contains images of national parks and forests from across the United States as well as scenery from around the world. Next time you and your students are studying a far off land, take them there virtually with this application.