The classroom just isn’t what it used to be. It used to be all pencils, paper, and books, but as the 21st century unfolds, more and more of these materials are being replaced by screens.
That can be a good thing! Children respond well to technology, and the right kind of technology can actually enhance the learning experience. That’s why it isn’t uncommon for millions of people to download a single app!
If you’re a teacher, an administrator, or an associate in the classroom, it’s your job to make sure the apps you use are educational, but exactly when should you allow students to use those apps?
Use Apps in Reading or Math Stations
One of the quickest and easiest ways to integrate apps into the classroom is to include them in a reading or math station. While the teacher is working with a small group of students, other students rotate around the room and visit different stations.
While some stations may require students to write a story or use Legos to solve a math problem, another station could use an app that relates to the subject students are currently learning. As students rotate through the stations, they all get a chance to use the app.
Allow Students to Use Apps to Create or Enhance a Presentation
Even very young children practice creating presentations. That used to mean heading to the store to grab some poster board, but today it can mean downloading a presentation app.
From simple slide presentations that students can share with the class to screencasting that enables students to take a digital video recording of something they did on the computer, there are tons of ways for students to use apps to create a presentation.
Let Them Use Apps to Work on Group Projects
Working in groups can be frustrating. Letting them use apps is one way to get students to work together better!
A few ideas include:
- Evernote can save everyone’s info in one place
- SimpleMind can enable students to create mind maps
- Trello can teach kids how to prioritize the details of their project
- Asana is a great way for students to organize information
- Google Drive allows students to work on the same document anywhere at anytime
Let Students Take Turns Playing Fun Apps at Special Times Throughout the Day
Unwinding and relaxing can be difficult for students. Meditation techniques and an extra recess can help, but so can allowing students to decompress using technology.
Allow students to take turns throughout the day playing fun apps. Students can play during indoor recess or use a reading app during free reading time. You can even start a fun contest where students can compete for time spent playing apps on a tablet!
There are tons of ways you can use apps in the classroom. From helping students learn to teaching them how to collaborate with others, your students, their parents, and even you will appreciate giving them a little screen time every day.