Getting Students to be Independent Learners is a big Challenge for Teachers Everywhere. How do you do it?
Put a pizza or a smart phone in front of a high school or young college student, and they’ll probably jump at it! Motivation in action! You can probably think of things that would grab the attention of your students, whatever their age. Wouldn’t it be great if we could easily translate that excitement to learning?
In a recent survey we did here, getting students to be self-directed learners came up as the biggest challenge cited by most survey takers. Of course, readers of an instructional technology blog are generally proponents of using technology to help engage students, so we’ve got that at our disposal, but it can still be quite challenging.
It would be great if you would share a tip about anything you’ve done that seems to have motivated students to learn and complete assigned work. Have certain uses of technology really inspired some of your students? Maybe creating some content of their own – a fancy graphic, a video, a digital presentation? Perhaps you tried some blended learning or flipped classroom techniques and had students tell you how being able to rewind and review content was helpful, or another reason it got them more involved in their learning.
Of course, this doesn’t have to be just about technology. Maybe an extra credit assignment or a field trip did the trick for one of your students. Anything is fair game – I’d just love to see a collection of motivating ideas from inspired educators like you build up in the comments in this post!
And just to help motivate YOU to share, we’ll select three readers who submit feedback to receive a free one year Premium Membership on EmergingEdTech.com (a $70 value)! Get unique content, network with other educators, influence this site’s content, and more! (The free memberships will be awarded on April 30th).
Allow me to share an example of my own
Here’s a little story I’d like to share. Last fall, in a freshman course I taught at The College of Westchester where I work, the final project was to create a persuasive presentation about the importance of a 21st Century Skill, and how that skill is being increasingly leveraged through the use of technology tools in the modern era. Several of my students were motivated by this and really threw themselves into it. A couple were excited to use Prezi or Powtoon, stepping away from the ‘comfort zone’ of Powerpoint. It was great to see the pride in their faces as their presentations were delivered! I was delighted with the results and shared some of these presentations in this post here on EmergingEdTech: Sharing Student-Created Presentations About the Importance of 21st Century Skills.
So How About You?
I think most teachers have a couple great stories about times that the light bulb over a student’s face light up, or the spark they saw in someone’s eye when they got excited by a particular assignment or something they had learned. Tell us one of yours and you could win a $70 Premium Membership for free in the process!
Thanks in advance for taking a moment to share a little about some teaching approach or technique that helped you encourage a student to take learning to heart and put a little extra effort into their education.
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Student Created Content is an Exciting and Inspiring Learning Tool that Teaches Many Skills
What are Teacher’s Biggest Challenges in 2014?
Can the Inspiration for Learning be Captured and Empowered Through Technology?