Enhance Digital Literacy Skills While Teaching to the Common Core
The common core has become standard in schools all across the country since it was introduced in 2009. So far, 42 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the standards for literacy and mathematics, but not everyone feels that the implementation has been successful. Unfortunately, 47% of teachers in states that have accepted the common core standards feel that they are not getting enough support. Others feel that it’s difficult to teach the common core methods using creative curriculum. While new systems always present challenges, they also present opportunities, and the common core is no exception. After becoming familiar with the common core standards, for a full year, 84% of teachers are enthusiastic about the new system, and are eager to work within the framework in creative ways. Not sure where to begin? Here are 5 methods for teaching the common core that use technology to spark students’ interest and creativity in learning.
There are two ways to use podcasting in the classroom. The first is as a tool to disseminate lessons, making them portable, readily available, and good for different learning styles and subjects. The second, more creative way to use podcasting is to have your students participate in the planning and creation of their own podcasts.
Even from a young age, students love to tell their own stories. Podcasts are an excellent creative project for the classroom, because they are only loosely planned, and encourage collaboration and communication. Try having your students listen to a few podcasts before they jump into their own project—and make sure duties rotate so everyone gets their chance at the mic.
2. Creating YouTube Videos
Video is a dynamic medium that kids love—and YouTube offers a platform for students to learn, share their work and express themselves. Most students have already watched countless clips and will be enthusiastic about making a video of their own. Whether they want to share a project they’ve been working on or simply share their stories, students can learn a lot by going through the process of shooting and posting a YouTube video.
One of the best ways to ensure that students are grasping their classroom knowledge is to have them explain it to someone else. Why not in a video? Have members of the class work on storyboarding, shooting the video, and other contributions toward producing a finished clip. Just make sure you have all permissions in order before sharing the work.
3. Augmented Reality
A particularly engaging tool for classroom use, augmented reality (AR) is becoming more popular all the time. AR uses the existing environment and superimposes digital information onto it, in order to enhance a specific experience such as learning.
Though AR classroom applications are still relatively new, there are countless ways the technology can be used to enhance student learning. One AR app, Aurasma, allows students to record and listen to themselves defining words—and can also use the app to learn definitions and pronunciations. This app is also great for hearing-impaired students, as it helps them build vocabulary with virtual flashcards that support ASL signs.
Other applications allow students to scan their homework and see a video of their teacher explaining concepts, scan lab items for safety information, and share their own book reviews with peers.
4. Social Media/Student Blogging
A new frontier in education, social media can be a great tool for student communication and discussion if it is closely monitored. Students can participate in brainstorming sessions on social media, learn about online audiences, and develop respectful communication in an online environment—critical skills in our connected world.
Blogging can also be a fun classroom project your students can engage in to harness their creativity. Allowing everyone to participate in the project can help build camaraderie and community within the classroom, while helping kids build their writing skills and develop creativity.
5. Interactive Games
Video games are a popular pastime for many students—an interest that has been harnessed by educational game makers in recent years to help students learn complex concepts. Math and coding games are easy to incorporate into the classroom, and can make subjects that might seem intimidating to students more approachable.
Incorporating Tech and Creativity Within the Common Core
The common core sets standards, not curriculum, but it can be daunting to ensure that all those standards are met. By leveraging technology and approaching learning in creative ways, it’s easier to engage students and ensure that they are all getting the same opportunities for learning. Now that technology has become cheaper and more readily available, it’s easy to use free platforms and resources to develop students’ knowledge and creativity. Try implementing some of these ideas in your classroom, and see how your students engage with technology, the curriculum, and one another!