Using technology to create engagement

Most of us recognise and enjoy those ‘light bulb’ moments when we see students finally connecting with the course material.

However, one of the challenges for any teacher is to continue to inspire and engage students while meeting those all-important learning objectives.

The good news is that creating engaging classes and tutorials has never been easier – all this from someone who 5 years ago hadn’t even heard of Facebook and thought a widget was some type of flying insect!

Below are a few of my favourite simple and effective tools:

1) Plan Well. This includes ensuring all classroom activities link to a learning outcome. For this, I use a simple table listing topics, learning outcomes and how each activity aids in the learning outcomes. Always remember that creating engagement is not about just playing an entertaining video – it should also link to a key learning objective.

Tip – Use a video to illustrate a point or to start a conversation in the classroom.

2) The second is student-centred learning approach, and I am a big fan of using Quick Response (QR) codes. Students want to learn for themselves rather than being lectured upon and QR codes provide a tool for to generate self-learning.

Tip – Use QR Codes as part of active learning. Place QR codes around the room linking to material you want the student to read online. Then have the students walk around the room reading the material with their device. Design questions and activities around what the student has just read.

3) The third is to ensure you create an environment which is fine. Try using Kahoot – a non-assessable quiz game that ensures that the whole class has fun.

Tip – Don’t just use activities solely for assessments – use them for fun as well!

To help you get started – feel free to download my presentation on Creating Engagement which has some useful tools.

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