2. Support all kinds of learners
Educators can use technology to create an inclusive classroom environment that supports all students’ abilities and gives them the confidence to fully engage in learning. Research shows, for example, that elementary school students learn best when the lesson is 300 percent louder than background noise.1
When tasking students with individual work within the classroom, such as working with a learning app, support their ability to hear the material and be heard by the app more clearly by providing headsets with microphones. Furthermore, when working in a virtual small group, this peripheral tool can help soft-spoken students gain the confidence to contribute, knowing they will be heard.
3. Focus on student choice
Often, personalized learning strategies focus on what a student knows and how a student learns best. However, another way to consider personalizing learning for students is by evaluating what tools are being used to learn. Technology can become an enabler of personalization by giving students the choice of what tools they use to complete a task. For example, students develop motor skills at different rates, which affects their ability to use technology like laptops and tablets effectively. In order to accommodate a wide range of abilities, combining technology, like a mouse and keyboard combo, can help students navigate computers and tablets for completing online activities with greater comfort and productivity.
4. Make space for creativity
Research shows that creativity is directly linked to a student’s motivation to learn. Technology broadens the possibilities for learning in the classroom by providing more avenues to engage. Instead of typing an essay, give students the option to create a storyboard or concept map. Or encourage the use of styluses on tablets, such as the Logitech Crayon, to take notes by illustrating concepts using diagrams and pictures as opposed to using traditional pen and paper. This tech-enabled creativity can also lead to interest-based learning, as learning starts to occur across different times and settings. Interests launched at school lead to informal learning at home, in summer camps, or in community-based contexts.
By introducing these tips into the classroom, educators can help ease the transition into the new school year while boosting classroom engagement and learning gains throughout the day. Students who are empowered by technology to work in ways that suit them can focus more effectively and engage in their learning. With the right tech tools and strategies, educators can help students succeed by creating a learning environment that prepares them with the skills they’ll need for college, careers, and their lives ahead.
1 Moore, R. E., Ph.D. (n.d.). A Comparison of Acceptable Noise Levels in Children and Adults [PPT]. Mobile: University of South Alabama.
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