As the New Year approaches I tend to reflect on what I can do as an instructor to engage my students. The new generation of learners, from Kindergarten to Grad School, are learning and interacting extremely differently than they have in the past. I believe all teachers, instructors, and educators should consider incorporating these ideas into their curriculum as a New Year’s resolution.
E-learning class components (social networking)
The first item on my New Year’s resolution list as an instructor is to add more E-learning components
to my teaching curriculum. Let’s face it. The world is living its social life on Facebook, Twitter,
and LinkedIn and the old ways of educating students are becoming less effective. Bringing online
media and collaboration will help to engage the students. The most intriguing online application for e-learning education seems to be Schoology, which offers instructors the ability and the tools to develop a full online courses or curriculum. As the New Year draws closer, it is time for educators to get their classrooms “Socially Networked”.
The next thing I believe educators need to add is more interactive multimedia. As an Instructor it can be difficult to teach to the many learning styles and learning paces. A great way to keep students involved and learning in the New Year is to let them play learning games, and allow them to study through other interactive methods. As an multimedia developer through my company BLU Alteractive, I have had the opportunity to use many of the tools such as Adobe Captivate and the Adobe ELearning Suite that are available to teachers and educators to add multimedia presentations, learning games, and interactive learning modules. My hope for this New Year is that educators will take a more interactive approach to teaching this new generation of learners.
I can’t recall ever going on a field trip during college and Grad School, but an instructor for a college I have begun to see the significance in showing students that learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom. Taking students on relevant and engaging field trips will solidify what you are teaching and motivate your students to want to learn what you are teaching.
As teachers it is our job to give students a true understanding of how the “real world” functions, and nothing says “real world” like group work. In the New Year I plan to have more group activities incorporated into my curriculum in order to aid in my students’ personal, professional, and communication skills. The ability to do a job is only a slice of the pie, being able to work with others while doing the job can make or break an organization. As a New Years Challenge for educators, try to incorporate more professionally relevant, project based group work to their assignments.
Gain better knowledge of current pop-culture
The Nintendo Wii, Twitter, Lil’wayne, WoW, Justin Beiber, Poptropica, Farmville, and Kim Kardashian… if none of these things sound familiar to you, as an instructor you may be out of touch with what is current (don’t worry i added some wikipedia links to help you out). In order to engage students we must be able to relate to them. As a New Year’s Resolution take the time to get caught up on popular culture so that you can better relate to what your students are interested in and therefore become a more relevant teacher.