In this digital age of apps, social media, and ever-changing trends, it can be difficult to keep up with learners, especially if you are competing with the likes of Facebook and Instagram. To connect your curriculum to fit into their tech-savvy lives can be quite the challenge in the classroom, but . But there are definitely ways to stay relevant without requiring you looking like you are trying way too hard. Here are a few tips to make your life easier.
Discuss the pros and cons together: when it comes to social media, texting, smartphones, and other tech-related devices, create opportunities to have a conversation about the positives and negatives. It’s easy to start off those conversations with “back in my day,” (and please don’t be afraid of feeling ‘old’) but if we start by asking them what they like and dislike about tweeting versus talking or emojis versus words, then we open the channels of different opinions.
Share with other teachers: each teacher has their own style and ways of engaging their learners, but share some methods and tips with your colleagues. It’s impossible to stay in the loop with the millions of trends as an individual in this fast-moving digital era. You always get by with a little help from a friend.
Sharing is caring: it doesn’t matter what grade you teach, all learners love to share some bits and bobs about their lives. Which series they binge on, who they follow on social media and who their idols are. Do the same, this will improve your relationships and help your learners feel that you are relevant and interested in what they do as well and that you don’t live under a rock.
Online survey-it: when preparing your next lesson or curriculum, create a survey to find out what your learners are interested in and how you can tie it to the lessons and activities throughout the rest of the year. Regardless of whether you create an online survey using a tool like SurveyMonkey, or you have learners fill them out the old-fashioned way, your effort will be greatly rewarded.
The digital age is nothing to be scared of and it doesn’t matter what your age, or how long you have been teaching, your learners will always give you the benefit of the doubt when they see you making an effort. Technology is actually quite amazing. There are so many tools and apps that can make your life easier! We all live to learn every single day!