Best practices when using technology in class
Sometimes using technology in your classroom can be a little intimidating. As the rapidly evolving world of technology becomes accessible to more and more students, methods of teaching have to adapt. But don’t fret – I’ve compiled a list of best practices when using technology in your EFL classroom. This list will be sure to keep your mind at ease when you are delivering a tech lesson!
1. Classroom culture
Ideally, you want to create a classroom culture that is supportive of technology use. If your students see that you’re comfortable and confident in using your chosen tech, those feelings will rub off on the students. Be excited about it and your students will follow suit.
2. Practice, practice, practice
Practice your lesson using the technology you’ll need in class. Also, go through the steps students will need to complete on the platform of your choice to ensure everything runs smoothly.
3. Communicate your objectives
Make sure to communicate your learning objectives to your class. This lets the students know exactly why they are doing what you’ve assigned, and why they are using your chosen tech. When students know what the objectives are, they can focus on the lesson and are more likely to feel motivated to achieve these goals.
4. Keep flexibility and patience in mind
Something may go wrong – and that is okay! Keep your cool and be willing to change your plan in case you run into an issue. Try to keep an activity in your back pocket for emergency purposes.
5. Spice it up
Add some variety to your lessons. Students become bored doing the same types of activities or using the same platforms week after week. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel – simply alternating between a few activity types or platforms keeps students engaged.
6. Don’t ignore student devices
In the age of digital technology it seems that every student has some sort of device attached to their hand. Instead of harping on the negative and constantly asking students to put their devices away, let’s use them to our benefit. Incorporate students’ devices in the learning process: try a warmer to get phone use out of their systems, or an educational game using their devices as a reward for good classwork.
7. Encourage collaboration
Many English students are focused on improving their communication skills. To make tech classes more interactive, have students work in pairs or small groups, even if it’s a short multiple-choice activity. This gives students the opportunity to work off each other and answer questions verbally.
8. Tap into your support
Chances are your colleagues would love to help you. If you need an idea or are looking for some help, ask! This may even lead you and your colleague to some co-teaching.
9. Give feedback
It’s easy to get wrapped up in a class and suddenly find you have just minutes before it ends. Instead, keep an eye on the clock and leave time to give feedback. Feedback lets the learner know exactly where they stand with the material, plus it enhances learning and improves a learner’s enthusiasm for the curriculum.
By utilizing these tried and true practices, you can easily take the stress out of integrating technology into your classroom.