Taking notes off shabby blackboards is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Education has come a long way from what it used to be, thanks to technology!
From popular online learning apps with dynamic illustrations and interesting assignments to video classes where you can pause the scree and resume later, education has transformed. Given all the benefits of the internet, classroom teaching has evolved to tap into students’ curiosity and interests better. Studying has moved from textbook knowledge to discussions, exploration and applications of the concepts you learn.
Here are some interesting ways schools are implementing the latest teaching techniques in classrooms.
- Crossover Learning – Experiencing learning
Teaching students about nature in a packed classroom is not helping much. Afterall, the best kind of learning comes from experiencing. When teachers give students the chance to experience what they are learning through museum visits or field trips, it adds a dimension that did not exist previously to their learning.
This is what Crossover Learning is all about. Teachers will assign students the task of collecting photographs, taking notes and enquiring professionals about a specific topic. Students get to choose the best route to get all the answers and learn the subject entirely.
Talk to your students. Plan out your curriculum so that such learning events can be conducted more frequently. Schedule visits and decide on the assignments beforehand. Through organised planning, crossover learning can be adopted more often.
- Brainstorming – A platform to share ideas
Today’s corporate world is all about this. When introduced to education, brainstorming sessions encourage students to come up with the best of creativity and innovation.
The teacher introduces a topic or poses a question. Students will be asked to express their thoughts, opinions or possible answers for the question. After a to and fro round of discussion, all the ideas that are expressed during the session are examined thoroughly.
These sessions gives the students the chance to approach the subject from different angles. They also get to analyse and build on their classmates’ contributions to the topic. This way, the class learns to accept individual differences in opinions and broadens their spectrum of thought.
To conduct an effective brainstorming session, a leader must be first selected (this can be the teacher). Teachers should make sure everyone is on the same page regarding the topic that is being discussed. Encourage ideas from everyone in the classroom (including, the quiet ones at the back). After the session, take up each idea individually and decide on the best ones.
- Gamification – Learn like you play
Though the limits of these need to be monitored, using game designs and mechanics can greatly enhance student participation, motivation and competition. From a student’s perspective, rewards for every task/mission completed in the curriculum will make them inclined to do more.
It can be as simple as offering badges for every assignment completed. Or giving out grades based on the number of points earned throughout the semester. These simple techniques can make lessons more interesting.
Teachers can also use video games to easily explain mathematical or scientific concepts. Learning in an informal setting will enhance the student’s ability to grasp what is being taught better.
- Cooperative Learning – Grow together
Cooperative learning reflects how learning works in the real world. Today, workplaces are all about collaborating with each other and coming up with the best solutions that everyone can agree on. Cooperative learning encourages this from a young age.
Teachers group students into 3-6 members and assign a project. Each member of the group will have a specific role (like a researcher, presenter, etc.) and they are expected to coordinate the entire work among themselves.
Working in a group can help improve your attention and decision-making skills. Based on the role assigned to the student, they will be able to fully concentrate on that aspect of the subject and express their ideas freely.
- Flipped Classrooms – Role reversals
This one is about transforming the whole concept of classroom teaching upside down. In this model of teaching, students will be expected to learn lessons before coming to class. Then, class times are utilised for elaborate discussions on what they already know about the topic.
So instead of a teacher explaining a subject from A-Z (and putting you to sleep), we have a dynamic environment where students can go beyond the restrictions of textbooks.
The Flipped Classroom technique can not only improve student interactions but also allow teachers to spend more time on concepts that are hard to understand. Teachers should make sure the lessons are planned ahead.
As mentioned, there are several ways teachers can choose to explain a concept or subject. They can even integrate two or three techniques to promote a better understanding among students. The only way they will know better about choosing the right technique is by interacting with the students. This is only possible if students are talking to teachers. Students should help teachers to help them learn better. After all, learning is a collective experience.