By Teachers, For Teachers
Today’s students are motivated by technology in the classroom. From smartphones to tablets to the internet and social media, students are using and loving all things technological. Since our students are so drawn to these types of technology in the classroom, we can use this to our advantage as motivation to learn. We can help to expand our students’ short attention spans by using a variety of different educational technologies in our classroom. Here are the top three technology in the classroom tools that will motivate students to want to learn as well as help them enjoy themselves as they are learning.
If you want an amazing tech tool that you can use in the classroom to motivate students, then you need to have a tablet, smartphone, or iPad. These devices are universal, as they allow you to do a variety of different things, such as take notes in Google Docs, easily read books or newspapers, or write, edit, or publish an essay. You can also use them to reinforce math concepts, solve problems, graph, calculate, or explain difficult or complex math concepts. These tech tools can help students tell a story by using mind-mapping technology. They can also help brainstorm, outline, or explain difficult concepts. The best features about these technologies are the millions of free apps that you can download onto them. Apps allow students to create slideshows, recreate events, explain theories, or even recite a play. The ideas to motivate students through these tech tools are endless.
If you’re a teacher, then you most likely have followed a blog or two to learn something new. Blogs are a fun way to gain knowledge and information through the means of technology. It’s also a great tool to use in the classroom to help motivate students to learn. Teachers love them because they give their students an opportunity to read, write, and be creative. Students love them and find them highly motivating because their peers get to see what they write online. The great thing about a classroom blog is the posts can be as short or long as you like. They can also be accessed from anywhere that you can connect to the internet. Many teachers use them in a variety of different ways, from having students set up their own personal blog and use it to publish their writing, to using it as a student portfolio, or as an information hub. Whichever way you decide to use it, it will be a great motivator for your students.
Mapping technology, or GPS technology, is another great tech tool to use in the classroom to motivate students. This type of technology has the ability to know where you are at any given moment, which can be a lot of fun for students. If you have a smartphone or an iWatch, you’ll have a GPS tracker following your every moment, which is a great way for students to explore the world and earth around them. A fun way that you can use this technology in your classroom is to go online and use a mapping tool like Google Earth. Goggle Earth gives students the ability to see where they are in the world or where they want to go. Teachers are using this program to bring their geography lessons to a whole new level. They have students go on an online scavenger hunt in search of volcanos, small countries they may have never heard of, or even search for castles. The ideas are endless.
Another fun way to keep students motivated is to Geo-cache. Geo-caching with students involves a multistep puzzle much like a treasure hunt. It’s a great way to teach students multiple skills such as problem-solving and math. Lastly, Map My Run is a great mapping app that shows students the distance they went on a field trip or how far they walked around the school. Teachers like to pair their students together and give them a tablet so they can track themselves using the app. All of these mapping technologies are a great, interactive way to keep students motivated in what they are learning in school.
Try and immerse your students in technology as much as you can, not only because it’s a great motivator for them, but because it’s the future that we are living in. Stay up-to-date on the all the latest in educational technologies, so that your students will get the most current education that will help them succeed in the digital world of today.
How do you use technology in the classroom tools to motivate students? Do you have a favorite? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you on this topic.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.