Boosting K-12 Learner Engagement Using Technology
Reduced student engagement is a struggle that all K-12 educators face. Unfortunately, students have to overcome many distractions to be focused during class, and with attention spans getting shorter, it’s not looking very promising for educators. However, it is possible to take one of the biggest distractors and turn it into a tool that will help you improve K-12 student engagement. We are talking about technology, of course. Since students are already growing up in a digital world, why not exploit the advantages technology offers and adapt learning material accordingly? In this article, we share 6 stress-free tips to boost learner engagement using readily available technology.
6 Tech Tips To Improve K-12 Student Engagement
1. Promote Personalized Learning
It’s important to remember that every learner has their personal learning style. And if you want to achieve high academic performance, you’ll have to accommodate it. Technology allows learners to access knowledge in many different forms. For example, for auditory learners, you can turn lectures into podcasts or utilize recordings to work on reading skills. Respectively, visual learners will benefit from videos or infographics that visualize data. And let’s not forget that technology can make learning accessible for students with learning disabilities, with tools such as screen readers, advanced font settings, speech-to-text captions, and more.
2. Make Learning Interactive
Traditional teaching methods usually require students to take a back seat and passively listen and/or take notes. But when you incorporate technology in your everyday lessons, you can turn learning into a fun and interactive experience. There are many ways to achieve that. From interactive videos and online games that require user participation to visually appealing quizzes that make knowledge assessments fun, it only takes a little research to make technology your most useful engagement tool.
3. Create A Collaborative Community
Technology can also improve K-12 student engagement by bringing them together in a knowledge-sharing community. Using tools such as forums, chats, and shared file access gives learners the ability to tap into the classroom’s collective knowledge to receive answers to their questions and comprehend topics more effectively. Additionally, it’s easier for them to communicate regarding assignments, team activities, announcements, etc. Above all, they hone their collaboration and problem-solving skills in and out of class hours.
4. Utilize Productivity Tools
A great way to help students remain engaged is to provide them with organization and productivity tools. Using apps to stay on top of assignments adds an element of fun while also helping students stay on track. If tech-savviness is not a strong suit for you or your remote classroom, you can always keep it simple. Basic features such as timers, checklists, and notifications can get the work done. And as students get older and academic work gets more complex, you can move on to more sophisticated solutions, such as project management apps.
5. Eliminate Distractions
You read that right. Although technology is usually viewed as a distractor, it can also be used to eliminate distractions in the learning environment. Think about this scenario: you assign your students a classroom activity that requires some quick research. In the physical classroom, that would signify rustling papers, scratching pens, discussions among students, and questions to the teacher. That definitely doesn’t make for a quiet environment that promotes concentration. During an online class, though, students can mute the sounds of their classmates and complete their research in a quiet environment.
6. Collect Feedback
Setting up a student response system that gathers feedback quickly and discreetly is a great way to improve student engagement. The reason for this is that students are more likely to work towards improving their performance when their opinion is valued. You can collect feedback using online surveys to assess the overall learning experience or instant polls that allow students to provide feedback during class. Remember that anonymity will probably ensure feedback is indeed honest. Then you can use the information you have gathered to make essential changes that will improve the learning experience and boost engagement.
Usually, educators view high-tech devices such as smartphones and tablets as a hurdle for learner engagement. However, it’s not that hard to flip the script and turn them into valuable allies that will elevate the learning experience. Use the tips we shared in this article and discover countless creative ways to improve K-12 student engagement.