What are some ways that "digitizing" assignments will improve your teaching, class, or your organisation?
This was one of the questions that prof. Steve Katz asked today during the course Creative Teaching Techniques and Utilisation of Multimedia, within the MEd International Teaching @ Framingham State University. I usually like this kind of questions, as they trigger my reflective self.
So...I reflected and I realised that I am a strong believer in the benefits of using technology in the classroom, even with younger students. I am sure we have all noticed that students become suddenly more engaged and more enthusiastic the moment when technology in any form is brought into the classroom.
Especially during my language classes, I found the SmartBoard to be a very useful tool. We often used websites such as www.linguazone.com or www.linguascope.com, which provide students with various activities, games, and ways to practice the target language interactively. Other online resources that we used constantly were: brainpop.com, RazKids.com, tumblebooks.com, readinga-z.com, discoveryeducation.com, makebeliefscomix.com, animoto.com and many others.
I also used sites such as www.linguazone.com or www.linguascope.com to give homework assignments. This initiative carried more than one benefit: it helped students move away from the "good old" paper and it brought our parent community closer to the classroom. Parents became more aware of what was going on in class on a daily basis, which improved the home-school communication.
Giving students the opportunity to present their work in more than one way is also a strong asset in the classroom. When students are able to move from one single means of sharing their learning to a wider palette of possibilities, their horizons broaden and their skills improve. Technology helps us bring the world into the classroom, while taking the classroom out into the world.