3 Ways Of Facilitating Students Of The Digital Age

3 Ways Of Facilitating Students Of The Digital Age
Summary: Students of the digital age are reaping the innumerable benefits of being able to access online content and collaborate online, yet schools, and more specifically teachers, are not taking full advantage of implementing new technology. This article explores the possibilities.

Why Teachers Need To Facilitate Students Of The Digital Age And How It Can Be Done

“There can be infinite uses of the computer and of new age technology, but if teachers themselves are not able to bring it into the classroom and make it work, then it fails.” – Nancy Kassebaum

Despite students of the digital age can truly benefit from implementing new technology in their learning, teachers don’t take advantage of being able to assist students with classroom recordings, online forums, and using online tools commonly implemented in other educational institutions. Why is this the case when technology has become such a pivotal part of almost every student’s life?  It’s time for the traditional whiteboard and overhead projector to retire as streaming, online collaboration, and “videograph” lessons take their place. These are relatively new forms of technology that are easily accessible to schools and the implementation of such technology will benefit both educators and their students.

According to the American Psychological Association, students with a more positive and connected relationship with their teachers will attain higher levels of achievement than those students with more conflict in their relationships. Teachers can also play their part by understanding the mediums students are actively interested in, while allowing teachers to incorporate a learning style that is beneficial to both them and the student.

Many teachers may think that the incorporation of such teaching methods would cost too much to maintain, but they would be wrong. All a teacher requires is a simple laptop and recording device to make the lives of students of the digital age just a bit easier. There are even benefits for the teacher, as online submission points for homework and assignments, including reminders and other useful tools and can be used to also make a teacher’s life easier and give them more time to find ways to make their students’ time at school the more fulfilling.

  1. Classroom recording.
    The recording of lessons has already been adopted by a number of educational institutions around the world, and by many universities in Australia this method of preserving what has already been taught is regularly used where educators have the ability to record and upload their lessons to the university’s website for students to view at their leisure. Besides the obvious implications of such teaching methods, teachers in everyday school classrooms can achieve the same effect with a simple laptop and recording device, even with the use of YouTube and a private Facebook forum for students. It’s no secret that technology is increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, and what better way is there for teachers to learn and for students of the digital age to feel comfortable within their learning environments than being able to learn in their own time and never miss anything just because they were unable to attend class?
  2. Forum collaboration.
    Online forums can be a great tool to keep students of the digital age engaged after class while allowing teachers to address questions and other queries from any location. Queensford college's eLearning application is a great example of this, as students are able to discuss course content, access key learning materials and even submit work without needing to be physically present. A forum for classes to access also allows educators to devote more time to individual students, discover which students are struggling, and connect with students overall to create more positive and empathetic student-teacher relationships. While also being a great way for students to collaborate, parents will also be able to play a larger role in their child’s education, monitoring their child’s online activity while taking measures at home to ensure their child’s success. So with all these benefits, there isn’t really a reason for schools not to include such technology, especially if it promotes more connection between students, educators and parents. Turnitin is an excellent and popular example of online tools used to allow students to submit their work. As an incredibly popular submission tool used at educational institutes, Turnitin can also help educators spot plagiarism and manage other issues that are common in classrooms where work is left to the judgment of a single educator.
  3. Online streaming.
    Online sites like YouTube and Twitch have become the go-to streaming websites for people across the globe, allowing people from anywhere in the world to visually connect with potentially hundreds of people in real-time. Think of it like Skype, except it’s one person performing on a “stage” in front of thousands. Though not a practical tool for educators in a classroom, streaming can still be used to bring others into the classroom for in-class Q&A’s, giving students a chance to talk to experts in certain fields and those who are physically incapable of visiting, including everything else in-between. In right hands, streaming could be used to open up a world of opportunity for students and even assist educators in understanding crucial forms of technology used every day by students. University professors are often unable to physically make it to their lectures at times, so online streaming may be the perfect tool for educators in conducting their lessons at any time in any location.