Teaching has changed dramatically in recent years and a large reason for this has been the rise of social media and new technology. Today’s students have been raised on social media and devices like tablets and smartphones and this is difficult to ignore in the classroom. This means that a modern-day educator needs to know how to teach this new generation of pupils which can be challenging, particularly if you are not familiar with social media and new technology yourself.
While it can result in some challenges, it can also help make your job easier in many ways and impress your students when you know how to implement new technology into the classroom.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
Support Your Lessons With Multimedia
Today’s pupils often have a short attention span and are used to seeing a range of multimedia throughout the day. Therefore, you may find it easier to engage and educate when you use a range of multimedia in the classroom. This might include using videos for presentations, tablets where they can learn through interactivity, and even using popular memes.
Become A Google Certified Educator
One of the best ways to improve as a teacher in the digital age is to become a Google Certified Educator with an online course. These valuable courses teach you how to use the many helpful tech tools and apps that Google provides. In addition to helping you to find ways to improve the classroom experience for your students, this can also help to develop your own confidence in technology which is so important for any educator.
Online Group Work
Cloud computing is one type of technology that every educator needs to get to grips with. This technology allows data to be stored online as opposed to on a physical server which means that it can be accessed on any device with an internet connection. This allows you to set up online group work where students can easily edit, share and collaborate on documents together entirely online.
It is also a smart idea to set up an online calendar that can be accessed via the cloud which should help students to stay prepared and mean that there are no excuses for missing homework. You can set up an online calendar that details what each lesson will be about, when homework is due, and any other important information that they or their parents need to know about.
A good teacher is one that welcomes feedback and is always trying to find ways to improve. This has been made much easier with the rise of the internet, as you can make online surveys which allows your pupils to anonymously provide feedback so that you can identify where your strengths and weaknesses are.
It is a smart idea for teachers to embrace the social media age as opposed to fighting back, and one of the best ways to do this is to set up a group for your class. You can then use this platform to share helpful resources, to discuss classroom topics and to provide individual support to students and answer any questions that they might have.
Be Aware Of Cyberbullying
While there are certainly many benefits to social media, it is also important to be aware of the dangers for school pupils. Cyberbullying is an enormous problem, and involves an individual being targeted by another individual or group on social media platforms. This can be much harder to spot than regular bullying which is why it is becoming more common.
You can spot cyberbullying by looking out for similar signs in victims such as being withdrawn or friendship changes, and by encouraging pupils to come forward. If you suspect there is cyberbullying occurring in your classroom, you should always report this to the relevant point of contact as there should be policies and procedures in place for this.
Make Face-To-Face Communication Important
Another criticism of the digital age is that it is stopping young people from developing important interpersonal skills because they spend so much time looking at screens and socializing online instead of in person. This can be problematic, and lead to a range of mental health issues which is why you need to make sure that face-to-face communication is still an important part of your lessons through group work, presentations, and class discussions.
Teaching in the social media age is a completely different experience to the one it once was, which can make it hard for experienced teachers or those unfamiliar with new tech, but these tips should help any educator to excel and succeed in the classroom.