One of the most important parts of the teacher’s job has always been really getting to know your students. If a teacher manages to figure out each student’s preferences (such as their way of learning and socializing) it becomes easier to understand what they want and how to engage them.
We are now living in a digital world. Young people today are referred to as “Generation Z” and “digital natives”, and they are born into a world that is very different from the one in which their teachers grew up. For this reason, in order to properly educate our students and to get closer to them, we should dig deeper into their reality, into the world they live in; and their world, whether we like it or not, is full of technology – we only have to think about how much new generations’ daily activities depend on smartphones.
Table of Contents
- 1 | QUIZIZZ
- 2 | LYRICS TRAINING
- 3 | WORKING WITH VIDEOS
- 4 | EDMODO
- 5 | THE DOWNSIDES OF THE INTERNET
1 | QUIZIZZ
With this amazing program you can create quizzes for your students to play live in the classroom or at home as homework.
Compared to the more famous Kahoot, Quizizz presents several technical and design advantages:
- great detailed online report after each quiz
- a team mode to play in groups in the classroom
- possibility to create funny memes shown to the students after they give their answers
These are just some of the great features of Quizizz. You can use it to start your lesson or as a reward for your students after a hard activity; it is also an assessment tool or a powerful reinforcement for topics you have already studied; it is super effective if you ask your students directly to build a great quiz themselves.
2 | LYRICS TRAINING
This is without a doubt the best program if you teach languages and you love to do so using songs. You might have found that you are able to remember the lyrics or sing along to a song in an unfamiliar language without having really studied it – if so, you can see how songs can be a powerful tool to motivate students and to learn languages in a fun way. You can use Lyrics Training to teach and practise 13 languages, including major world languages like English and Spanish, but also less widely-spoken ones such as Italian, Polish or Catalan.
The main exercise is a fill-the-gap using the lyrics of famous songs. In addition to this you have some other really interesting tools. With the “print the lyrics” function, for instance, you can just click on the words you want to remove and then print the page; in this way, your activity is ready to be played in class in just a minute.
3 | WORKING WITH VIDEOS
Every teacher knows that one of the keys to successful teaching is using diverse methodologies. For this reason, including multimedia tools in your activities is very helpful for those students who struggle with paper or text-based documents.
There are several great programs that you can use to convert a simple video into a video-lesson, by doing just few simple tasks:
- add questions to the video
- provide additional educational material (links, PowerPoint etc…)
- check each student’s answers online and give them feedback
In this way you can create an assignment in a multimedia educational environment where your students can practise and learn in a different way.
Ed.TED is just one of these programs, that can be also useful for flipped activities.
4 | EDMODO
Edmodo is known as the most famous “social media” for education, which means that you will only see topics connected to education and nothing else.
This platform is a classroom and school manager program. It allows you to create classes with your students or groups with parents and teachers where you can communicate and share material.
It is based on posts where you can simply write a text, or attach any type of file (pdf, PowerPoint, images and videos, links). Edmodo is very easy to use as a tool and you will immediately discover all its potential.
5 | THE DOWNSIDES OF THE INTERNET
At Europass you can also learn something about the downsides of the internet. The smartphone has been a little revolution inside the big digital revolution of our age; the smartphone basically means having access to the internet anywhere, anytime. This can be dangerous for two reasons:
- the use of social media and the internet is highly addictive; as an addiction it can have negative consequences
- these new technologies are often referred to as “technologies of distraction” and are directly connected to our deepest cognitive processes (for example the learning and discovering processes). It is easy to understand what is happening if you think about the recent growth in ADHD cases, or simply about how difficult it is for today’s young people to stay focused or read a short article without getting distracted.
We have seen just few of the programs and topics that you can discover at Europass. In our courses, you will develop a detailed understanding of all these applications and have the chance to practise using them, as well as to prepare practical, interactive activities that you can bring back and use to make your classroom a more effective, digital learning environment.
You will love it; and your students will too.
About the Author
Iacopo Falciani, Teacher Trainer at Europass for ICT courses
From Italy, he was born in Florence and your vocational training is focused on ancient history and classical philology, but he finally becomes a social science teacher, with a huge passion for geography and technology. Concludes a Master’s degree in teacher education from the University of Florence. Iacopo taught social sciences for two years, in Italy and Spain and worked also a volunteer teaching Italian to immigrants.