17th July 2018
Bored, distracted students? Teachers know this is a problem. With school children nowadays being born into modern technology, they don’t know life without the internet, smartphones and social media. Their attention spans are at an all-time low.
Some research suggests using a child’s age as a general starting point for the number of minutes a child can attend to a single assigned task…so 5 minutes for a 5 year old, 7 minutes for a 7 year old, etc. Lessons need to be engaging for students to absorb and retain what they learn.
Dianaimh Ward, music teacher at Academy School in Warrington (UAW) says “simply, if you don’t have an engaging lesson, you don’t have any lesson. If you have an engaging lesson, a lot of other worries disappear i.e. behaviour will be better, and pupil attainment and attendance will improve”.
With this in mind, here’s 3 tips on how to make your lessons more engaging, by utilising technology that dominates children’s lives nowadays.
As homework, set a task for your students to learn a subject area, then come back and teach it to the rest of the class. Ask them to take pictures on their own device, relevant to the subject area. Put the students in your shoes. If you have an interactive display, you can use collaboration solutions, like DisplayNote Classroom Suite to show what’s on your device, down to all connected student devices. Likewise, you can choose which student devices to display on the main screen – which works really well for this role switching exercise.
Would you be happy if you had to sit in the same place for the most part of the day? Students don’t like this either. Set them tasks that get them moving. Divide them into teams to work on projects, and the speaker must stand up. With solutions, such as DisplayNote, you can permit them to share their work up on the main screen, so they can present it from the front.
Class participation not only increases engagement levels in a class, but they also help you gauge whether students understand a topic or not. Solutions, such as DisplayNote, allow you to post polls, asking questions such as “true or false” and multiple choice, and push these down to connected student devices. Students answer these questions and with the results you can determine whether more time is needed covering this topic, or you can move on. It’s essentially a mini-test but to the students it feels like a fun quiz.