Getting your students enthusiastic about learning often times proves to be a challenge. The essential tool to promote student engagement is, and always has been, the teacher’s passion for their subject, and their desire to share it with the world. New technology, however, can help quite a lot when it comes to getting that passion across.
The website offers various teaching resources on a diverse range of subject, from astronomy to biology. However, that’s not what makes it such a valuable tool for promoting student engagement. Providing educational material is not its primary function.
Zooniverse is a very large crowdsourcing platform. They enlist the aid of internet volunteersto help out researchers working on actual projects in a variety of fields. The tasks themselves are fairlyeasy and don’t require you to have a lot specialized knowledge.But there is a great opportunity to bring your students in contact with your field of expertise, and actually participate in some fascinating projects.
For example, one project asked volunteers to look at footage filmed in a jungle and identify the species of animals that walked by. Another one gave users the chance to look at diaries written by soldiers in the trenches during World War I. Users were asked to provide certain details about the material they had read, such as whether there were any names mentioned. It’s an excellent resource for engaging students in potentially new and innovative projects, as well as heightening their attention to details and knowledge.
2. Language Is a Virus
At its core, Language Is a Virus is a website that provides users with tools to cure writer’s block. Many of these exercises are borrowed from famous writers, such as Rimbaud or Jack Kerouac. These techniques can provide your students with some insight on how these writers crafted their works, and what theythought about their art.
You can also encourage your students to try out these writing experiments for themselves. These exercises can be immensely useful when dealing with more complicated literary and artistic movements, such as modernism. There are plenty of studies that prove students learn much better throughaction. And what better way to get your students engaged than by providing them with the same tools literary geniuses used and letting them play around with them?
They will gain a deeper understanding of what these artists meant, and what the artistic movements they were involved in tried to do.And perhaps your students will even discover their own passion for words. The writing experiments you conduct can form the basis for a veritable creative writing club and, why not, even set the foundation fora potential career.
This very small easy-to-use app, allows you to create livestreams using just your smartphone. You might’ve not expected it, but Periscope can have incredible uses outside of the usual norm.It can bring the whole teaching experience outdoors, without requiring your students to leave the classroom.
The app sends a link via Twitter that allows users to view the stream. The link can be made public, so all of your Twitter followers can view the stream, or you can limit it to just a few users.
This tool can make your classes much more flexible since you’ll no longer be bound to the classroom setting. It can be very useful for streaming important school events, or keeping your students engaged outside of class.
This app is specifically designed to help teachers boost their students’ level of engagement. Echo360 offers a wide range of tools that help you make your class more interestingand engaging. You can use it to record classes as they unfold, so you can use them later as teaching aids. It also offers your students the means to access resources quickly and efficiently.
And most importantly, the app has an analytics and dashboard feature that helps you track the effects of your content in real-time. This feature can be immensely usefulsinceit takes out a lot of the guesswork involved in trying to figure out what works best for your students.
This app is really good if you have trouble staying organized, and it also adds a certain degree of novelty to your classes without forcing you to downplay the learning aspect.
PowToondefinitelyhelps you grab your students’ attention and keep them focused. It’s an easy-to-use app that lets you create custom animations. Using animations in the classroomhas advantages and disadvantages. Some believe they can be extremely useful, especially with regards to student engagement. Others are more skeptical about their benefits, arguing that they might make thematerialmore difficult to understand.
Making your own short animations can help you avoid these difficulties since you can adapt the toneand content of the film to your students’ abilities and interests. Animations are especially useful when you’re dealing with things they can’t normally see, like cell biology. You can also help them visualize abstract information, and see the dynamic relations between different concepts that might be difficult to grasp otherwise.
Using ready-made animations can be very useful as well. But you can make the whole experience even more funand informative if you make them yourself since you’ll know exactly who your audience is. And you can even encourage your students to start making their own animations for future project presentations.
Ultimately, if you want to increase your students’ engagement, you’re going to have to be creative. These tools can help you out a lotand bring your vision into the classroom.Remember that every teaching experience is an exchange.Always keep an open mind, and be prepared to learn from your students as well.
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