Student Engagement Strategies Do's and Don'ts for Tech Integration
Technology integration has been growing in education–but how can you make sure your new tools have a positive impact on the student engagement strategies in your classroom?
In general, there are four main do's and don'ts when it comes to integrating technology in the classroom:
- Don't use technology "just because"
- Don't let the tool do the teaching
- Make sure you understand your tech
- Use the technology to engage students
Here's a quick-tip graphic to use as a reminder. Below, you will learn more about each tip:
Don’t Use it “Just Because”
Yes, your students LOVE technology and would be happy to see new ways they can learn by using technology. However… If you have a tool with no real purpose other than saying “look at this,” your students may think of it as just another way a teacher is trying to fit in. If your students start to feel that way, when your tool gets rolled out – there could also be a lot of eye rolling.
Do Make Sure you Understand Your Tech
While at Millersville University, I had an online course with a professor who didn’t understand how the online platform worked. It was AWFUL. She couldn’t figure out how to accept our files for grading, and was very bad at communicating her lack of knowledge to us. That class could have been very different, and much less frustrating, if I had a teacher who knew how to use the technology.
This also goes hand in hand with the idea that any technology you bring into the classroom should make your life easier, and make your students want to use it. A confused teacher and difficult technology will bring you the opposite of engaged, happy students.
Don’t Let the Tool do the “Teaching”
I use the word “teaching” very lightly here, because I don’t believe that a piece of technology is what should be teaching your students… that’s what you’re there for. Though a new tool or curriculum resource may seem like it can function all on its own, don’t let it.
Any good technology is not meant to replace the teacher, but should enhance the classroom and give your students a new way to absorb the material – In a way that they can relate to! If your students feel that you are relatable, and know how to use technology to benefit the class you will see a difference in your student engagement.
Student Engagement Strategies: Use It!
This should be a “no-brainer”–any technology you bring into the classroom should help you by engaging your students and creating a new way for them to learn.
If you aren’t sure where to get started, here are a few resources to check out:
5 Tips for Keeping Students Engaged: Learn five ways health science teachers use blended learning to keep students engaged in this article.