10 Incredibly Powerful Teaching Tools of the Future
- Visual Learning
- Evolved Currencies
- Social Media
- Game-Based Learning
- Project-Based Learning
- Digital and Physical Merge
One source that I find useful to keep me current on new technologies and fresh with my lessons and planning is the edudemic site. On this site, I found the list above. All of these ten items are very high priority for me as I plan my new upcoming school year in teaching 7th grade mathematics. Especially new this year is the new common core standards that New York State is adopting right away. Of course, the mathematical content and the intent of the common core is my number one priority.
But I would be remiss if I did not center my new approaches with the above list in mind.
1) Visual Learning – I am a strong believer in visual learning, (as well as learning that invokes sound and movement). I have been fortunate to have taken workshops on brain research, and have learned the power of visualization. Now, with interactive white boards and other technologies, the sky is the limit for using color and visuals. See my post on “You should be dancing” for ideas on visuals. The use of videos is a new area that I am determined to use creatively this school year. It will be a reality!
2) Evolved currencies: I am not totally sure what is meant by this, so I will need to research this. Maybe you have some ideas and can help me to interpret.
3) Personalization: Learning can be more personal. I have done some experimenting with the flipped classroom. Not in the context of thinking that things like the Khan Academy will replace teachers. Quite the contrary. My videos are personalized for the students that I am currently teaching; the videos are made and produced by me; references are made to our school, our classroom, our community, past activities, etc. In addition, when the students return to me in the classroom, that is when really great personalized learning can take place. Finally, there is a unique opportunity to attempt to truly have a differentiated classroom in the 7-12 mathematics classroom. I am much more available for personalized help to the students during the school day; the “lecture” portion of the teaching is done at their home; in class we are working together to explore, hone our skills and develop understanding, either by working with me or working with each other.
4) Gamification: My students love games. With emerging technologies, there are more and more opportunities to use this vehicle for skill building and formative evaluation. In addition, one of my goals is to find new and creative ways to enrich gamification to be more than just “drill and kill”. To make it a unique experience using technology to its limits.
5) Social Media: Yes, Yes and Yes! Voicethreads is an awesome. wonderful web2.0 tool to use in the mathematics classroom and every teacher should be using this wonderful social media tool! Collaboration is the key here! See my post “Math Conversations in the Clouds”
6) Game-Based Learning: Not sure how this is different than item #4. I welcome your input, please!
7) Connectedness: I am a firm believer that if I incorporate real life experiences to make a rich learning environment, my students will see the connectedness of what we are exploring in the classroom with what is encountered in life. This is a unique period in history in which emerging technologies make connectedness something that goes beyond just finding connections within a discipline. I want to create social media gamification that includes connectedness with students around the globe.
8) Crowdsourcing: this is quite the “buzzword” in society right now, and with entrepreneurial start-ups as well. Well, this is, after all, all about mathematics. I welcome anyone’s ideas on how to capitalize on this in the classroom. It will be one of my goals (perhaps a lofty one, but a goal nonetheless) to use this idea in my mathematical teaching (statistics and probability ties, oh yeah!!)
9) Project-Based Learning: I have some project based learning ideas already in place (Toys R Math, The Vestal 500). These will be shared in a future post, I promise. I vow to come up with one more project based learning activity. Ideas are percolating in my mind for ties to You Tube (child appropriate) real life videos to tease out real life math learning from videos popular on the internet. Do you have any project based learning ideas you’d like to share? Please feel free to send me links to your blog or wiki!!
10) Digital and Physical Merge: This will be more and more prevalent in our society. It is a reality, and we must face it, whether we like it or not. We must find the very best ways that we as professional educators can use this reality to achieve our goals of providing our students with a top notch education. We can give them the exposure and arm them with the 21st century skills to help them to succeed in an ever changing and exponentially growing technological world.
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions! Please send me links to any blog, wiki, etc that you may have on these topics. Together we can do great things!