How An App Can Improve Classroom Productivity
As technology advances, it makes more and more sense for educators to allow their students to have the ability to utilize the latest and best applications. What seems like a novel idea today may seem a little controversial five or ten years from now.
Which programs might we include when creating a classroom’s list of educational apps? These four attributes can make a difference.
• They Serve A Common Purpose
Think back to the current generation of students. What one quality would they most value today? I’d bet it’s education, regardless of what it is. Granted, they were exposed to the greatest amount of information they will ever have at their fingertips in their formative years.
However, this doesn’t mean they can’t remember all of it. In fact, many, if not most, teachers and students I know tell me they never quite get it all right. Nor, do they remember everything in the materials they used today when they were in school years ago. They do, however, remember how it all looked and what was being taught.
That’s where an app like Tynker comes in. It allows students to create their own videos, teachers can post their own as well, and students can watch and respond to these videos. Teachers can use it to record lessons and lesson plans, or engage students in debates by having them shoot video questions or answer in real time questions of their choosing. It allows them to create media themselves while providing a space for engagement between the two parts.
Even better? Students are provided with the ability to connect all of these videos with one another to create a powerful history of their lives.
In fact, according to an article published by LearnVest, the results speak for themselves. The best 22-year-olds of today remember more history in one day than most adults remember in their lifetime.
• They Provide Measurable Success
One of the main reasons students might struggle with understanding what they’re learning can be found in the word “repetitive.” Apparently, students just don’t need to memorize dates and events, or watch three hours of lectures. Today, students can be even more strategic about how they approach learning.
A study by Pulse has found that just over 50% of students say that a good way to determine how prepared a course is for them is by looking at assignments they’ve completed in the past. Most teachers take note of these students, as I did many years ago. An app like Afterschool can provide educators with an ideal way to teach students in this scenario by teaching them how to complete an assignment in a certain manner before they’re even asked to.
• They Provide Consistency
Technology is prone to an irrationality. Often, it doesn’t provide a user with a better way to learn, but rather an incomplete, more complicated solution. A good app for classrooms should present its teaching methods in a clear and concise manner, with a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
An example of this might be something such as Edmodo, which allows educators to communicate with their students at any time via a secure messenger. It has a great blend of functionality, letting educators, students, and parents communicate easily. It is also well-developed enough to give all of the flexibility one might need to meet an administrative task. Plus, if you’re looking for a solution that’s flexible and gets it right, you can’t do better than Khan Academy. It’s available free of charge online, and includes over 20,000 videos for kids to learn from, with an emphasis on math and science.
In the end, it’s up to each individual teacher to decide if they want to provide students with a program, or if they want to put their unique stamp on the situation. But, what they should always remember is that there will always be the need for a teacher, just as there will always be a need for textbook.