How can technology engage and inspire learning for diverse students?
- · Teachers can use technology to reveal hidden histories and untold stories. If you can connect a lesson directly to a diverse student, they are more likely going to embrace that topic. If they learn about famous diverse people and their role in history, they are going to develop an interest for that learning subject.
- · Teachers can also use technology to relate the students to what they may be experiencing at that time in their lives. Assignments were always more enjoyable when I could connect them to my personal experiences and situations. For diverse students, it is important to make the learning culturally relevant. Try to relate assignments to real life situations that they can understand.
- · Using technology to expand teaching methods is important when working with diverse students. Those students may feel out of place, so incorporating small groups into your teaching strategies will make them feel more comfortable and eager to learn. Technology allows teachers to create situations where students of different genders, ethnicity, races, and cultures are able to work together in cooperative groups without feeling isolated.
- · Teachers can use technology to connect the classroom with what’s going on outside of the classroom. Students can use technology to go on virtual field trips, look at newspapers from different countries, translate to different languages, and communicate with other people around the world. Including different cultures and backgrounds into the curriculum will inspire diverse students to learn.
Digital Dialog 10.1:
1. As a whole, I learn best in school by hands-on activities. Physically participating in an assignment or project makes comprehension easier for me. I do feel as though my learning preference does vary with different subjects. Hands-on activities are more beneficial when learning about science. I do not like using technology when learning about math.
2. For the most part, all of my teachers in the past have varied their way of instruction in the classroom. For some lessons, we could use computers or conduct experiments. For other lessons we could simply read the text directly out of the textbook. I think changing the way you teach is very successful in classrooms because you are catering to different learning styles. Having a wide variety of teaching styles is important when teaching.
3. When organizing activities for diverse students, I will make sure to use different teaching methods. Some students may learn better by the use of visuals, while others benefit more from active learning with physical activity. I will vary my teaching styles to support the learning needs of all students in my classroom.
Technology gives teachers a lot of opportunity to expand the learning of all students. It is important to try to cater to the learning needs of each individual student. Unfortunately, there are not enough hours in the school day to individualize the lesson for each student; however you can use technology to vary the way you teach things.
Learning is more difficult for diverse students because they often feel uncomfortable and as if they do not belong. Teachers can use technology to inspire the learning of these students and make them eager to learn by connecting them with the lesson. If the lesson is related to an interest of theirs, they are more likely to understand it.
Differentiated instruction and universal design for learning are ways to adjust the curriculum to meet the needs of the diverse students in a classroom. Teachers should think about the many different learning styles when teaching a lesson. He or she needs to make sure give equal learning opportunity to every student.
There are technology accommodations that can be used inside and outside of a classroom to help support the learning of the students. Word clouds, electronic speller and dictionaries, and my personal favorite, the calculator, are great tools to use when learning. I honestly could not imagine going through school without a calculator. It’s crazy how one electronic tool can make such a difference in learning. Below is a picture of a word cloud that I found about learning. I feel like a lot of students could relate to this specific word cloud.
Reflecting on My Learning by lauracoughlin on Flickr.
Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin, Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.