Welcome to the New World.
A few years ago, while pursuing my master’s degree at Eastern Mennonite University, I took my first on-line learning tools class. The class opened my eyes to an amazing world of teaching that I had barely entered, prior to taking the class. I could not believe how easy the tools were to master and how great they were in the classroom. The lessons I developed using these tools were often the most effective at producing student involvement and long term retention.
And they were fun!
If you continue to do the same thing year in and year out, eventually you will grow to resent your job. One of the great things about teaching is when students get engaged and excited about what they are doing in the classroom. If you teach high school like I do then this is not an easy task. On-line learning tools make this part of teaching easier. The student of today loves technology. When your students are apathetic to a lesson you designed it feels like a punch in the gut. You probably worked really hard on that lesson and thought it was going to be great. The thing is it might have been a great lesson but your students never gave it a chance. Sometimes it just takes one influential kid to recognize this is cool to make a lesson click with the rest of the class. As teachers, we need to recognize that sometimes we have to sell the lesson before we teach the lesson.
Ready, set, jump…
In my experience one of the best sellers in the classroom is the use of technology. This page will introduce on-line learning tools that are free, useful, and easy to learn. Implementing a new technology takes a big leap of courage, but it might prove to be one of your best instructional tools.
Wiki — tool that allows for synergy of ideas and effective communication. It is a perfect tool for group assignments and for running effective meetings.
Google Classroom — is a tool that helps organize all electronic communications between teacher and student. This tool has the capabilities to eliminate paper in the classroom!