Emerging technologies can (and should!) be used by teachers to engage, inspire, and better educate their students. Here, we look into 6 of the top education tools Australian teachers are using in their classrooms.
There’s no escaping technology and its impact, even – or should we say, especially – within the classroom. Technology has become a staple educational device for teachers across Australia, and will continue to do so as new exciting tools emerge.
Here, we look at five of these already existing digital learning tools and the way they are already being used to shape the ever-evolving way in which Australian teachers engage, inspire, and, of course, educate our nation’s young minds.
ClassDojo has essentially gamified good behaviour in the classroom. Teachers are able to use this free app to easily monitor student behaviour and seamlessly report it to parents. It also allows teachers to award and subtract ‘points’ to a student, which are received instantly as notifications on their smart phones or laptops.
Appealing to the next generation’s love for online engagement, Socrative allows teachers to interact with their students through a cloud-based system. Teachers can use mini-quizzes and feedback from students to gain a better understanding of whether students are fully grasping what they’re learning, or whether or not they can make changes to be more effective educators.
Think of Engrade as an organisational cheat-sheet for teachers. It’s an all-encompassing digital resource that has attendance charts, grade books, behaviour tracking, calendars, seating charts, and more. Teachers can also access third party materials – like lesson plans or quizzes – and integrate them straight into their own lesson plans. Want to export all your resources into Microsoft Excel? No problem, Engrade can do that too.
What better way to engage with the students than through a platform that follows suit after their favourite social media channels? Edmodo is a great way of forming collaborative learning, allowing teachers to share resources with students, check in with them regarding their learning capabilities and difficulties, and map out student progress.
Designed by MIT, this tool is used to add annotations to PDF files. It’s a great resource particularly for high school teachers, who may be expected to provide feedback on assessments that students submit as PDF files. It’s also great for creating your own annotations, so if you’re using third party materials and want to share it with the class, you can seamlessly add your own notes for them to look at.
A teacher is expected to wear many hats – one of them being a presenter. While no one expects an educator to go to TED Talk levels everyday in the classroom, creating engaging presentations can make a huge difference in maintaining the attention span of your students. Prezi is an online software that allows its users to make incredible presentations with minimal effort, so you’ll have your audience captivated in no time.
While technology is moving at a rapid pace, these incredible new tools are only as effective as those using them. In other words, if teachers and educators aren’t willing to adopt them into their classrooms, they’ll never be able to realise the full benefits and scope of them.
Being adaptable and open to emerging technologies is an important skill to have, and something that is focused on in Southern Cross University’s Master of Education. Ideal for existing educators wanting to update their skillset and knowledge-base, this is a fantastic part-time course that can open up a world of possibilities for teachers.
With a focus on ensuring students are getting the best education possible, it’s essential to be willing to adapt and find ways in which new technologies can transform the classroom and the experiences of those within it.
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