Technology. It seems like everywhere you go you are surrounded by tablets, phones, computers, televisions, wifi signals, and more! Whether you embrace it or loathe it, technology is here to stay. But having the technology resources isn’t good enough. The most difficult part of any teacher’s job is to engage each and every child in learning. This is especially difficult if the material being taught is not very fascinating or exciting. So, how do you incorporate technology to engage your child and enhance their education? Below is just a sample of some engagement strategies to captivate any audience.
- Virtual Field Trips – Virtual field trips are great ways to begin a unit or topic. Let your child walk around a country they have never seen or explore an interactive online museum that would otherwise be too far away to visit. Keep this activity light by asking broad questions like: “What did you notice? What did you find odd? Why do you think that was built like that?” Letting students guide their own learning will empower them and allow them to take ownership of their education.
- View – Read – Watch – Discuss – Using presentation software or programs, for example Google Slides or Emaze, create images of a topic for your child to view prior to beginning a lesson. After they take the time to view the images, allow them to read a chapter from a book or an article that ties into the content of the lesson. Embedding a short (no more than 5 minute) video, for example from YouTube, following the reading will add a different layer of exposure to the content. Lastly, adding a thought-provoking discussion question will enable your child to think about and analyze what they have just seen, heard, and read.
- AR (Augmented Reality) – A buzzword in the education world, augmented reality can truly be used to garner interest and engage even young learners. There are many apps available for Android and IOS that enable you to view objects, like an Egyptian sarcophagus in your living room or even a cute little puppy jumping on the table. Giving students a chance to get up and move around is sure to be a big hit with your homeschooler.
As technology advances and evolves, parents and teachers will need to be receptive and learn new programs and apps themselves in order to fully understand how the resource will best fit the curriculum. Challenging, yes, but watching a child’s face light up as they explore something new is definitely worth it!