As a new school year is set to begin in the coming weeks, thousands of new high school teachers (and students alike) will be flowing into the classrooms for the first time, which can surely cause some pre-term jitters. The task at hand for many will be to actively engage teenagers, which can be a whole crusade in itself. So which way is best to dispel of those back-to-school blues most students will be feeling and get them invested in new material? There’s one (substantial) way to beat a slow start: technology.

Below is a small breakdown of ideas that serve as teaching materials for a variety of subjects.

Bring your own device

Such programs as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) do well at changing the idea that a device is “disruptive” in class, and instead are helpful in allowing students to use their own technology to access learning resources. This encourages active engagement and interactivity that students are so accustomed to outside of class, and miss when having to pay attention to lesson materials. And these can be used to access learning apps such as the Socrative app, sharing online documents and presentations, or creating videos as oral book reports on a specific topic in the curriculum.

3D Printing

3-D Printing exercises certain skills such as problem solving and team collaboration to achieve a specific result. Beyond using trendy and exciting new equipment, some are also more affordable than thought. This article explains how the tool is quite accessible for high school teachers.  We even managed to print our first 3D Mr. Wideo! The possibilities are vast here, and time must be spent in order to effectively coordinate objectives with such resources.

MrWideo 3d

 

Eduprenuership

Risk-taking and do-it-yourselfers is no longer restricted to those with the social and financial resources, but instead can also work to cultivate and enthuse high school learners. In the coming years, innovative ideas and marketable solutions from startups will enter the sphere of education that will rapidly change the face of how we teach. But certain measures can be made internally in order to stay in tune with this global environment. Creating market awareness in your classroom, or even model start ups will not only motivate students, but will also allow them to promote their own ideas and see how they can effectively bring them to life. Here, the beauty in teaching is that it’s also possible to encourage self-directing learners. For pointers or ideas, themint.org/ is a good place to begin, or mybnk.org serves as good inspiration for enterprise education.

 

Social Media tools

A way to making learning relevant and agile is meeting students halfway, which implies using social media sites that can work in the classroom. Such sites as twiducate.com create online communities that are “safe”. The upside of social media is that certain tools can also help to create greater communities and therefore allows for districts, or even more isolated areas to be connected. Similarly, podcasts, blogs, and even interactive games can be useful for creating an engaging classroom environment. More importantly, students can create and share work. Wideo is also a useful tool in digital media. And if you still need some more convincing, here is Mimi Ito on Social Media Spaces, featured on Edutopia.

Using Digital Technology in education not only stays up to date with the current tendencies that are moving our world, but it also promotes diversification in the classroom, and is an essential tool to reach teenagers. Long gone are the days where it’s necessary to “stick to the plan”, and a new school year can also provide a new class dynamic. Odds are, High Schoolers will be pleasantly surprised rather than conceivably bored.