These days, teachers and professors know that technology doesn’t get turned off in the classroom. While teachers may view their students’ attachment to their technology as an obstacle to learning and intellectual development ,it is becoming increasingly necessary to address the problem directly.
Solutions to this widespread problem are becoming difficult to find. While some in the field of teaching preach the practice of eliminating all technology, teachers with a more realistic perspective know this is nearly impossible. Students’ are attached to their smartphones for a reason. Providing entertaining graphics and a release from the dull view of blackboards, smartphones have become the first choice for students to turn to the minute their attention begins to waver.
Actively engaging students using methods such as polling is one way teachers can keep their students attention on class. Rather than limit the use of phones and tablets in classrooms,some progressive teachers have decided to garner enthusiasm for learning by using the smartphone to poll students as well as provide a catalyst for relaying necessary information.
To assist with such a transition, there are resources teachers can buy for their classrooms to make polling options available to all students. The software is accessible through laptop, tablets and of course, smartphones. Once a polling vote is opened by the teacher, or another student who is conducting the vote, students can send in their vote via text or the web.
This kind of advanced technology not only engages students in learning, but gives teachers valuable information about their students comprehension as well as likes and dislikes. For example, students may be interested in one particular unit of study over another, which allows the teacher to engage the students even further by taking those preferences into account. With a polling resource, teachers can know which subject fascinate their students the most and consequently, which ones to focus on.
Additionally, teachers can set up live, real-time assessments before an exam in order to poll which areas must be recovered or more thoroughly examined in future classes. In the past, this sort of data was only known after an assessment, or possibly even the entire course, was completed, thus being useless for the actual students in the class.
New polling software combined with the use of laptops and smartphones provides a vast array of opportunities to teachers at all levels. Once teachers are willing to think of creative ways to put the polling software to good use, the possibilities are endless.
In addition to the advantage of garnering information through polling, teachers can use similar resources to allow students to present their own opinions and ideas. Giving students the opportunity to have a voice in the classroom is becoming a revolutionary way to keep students aware and engaged in the information presented to them. Also, studies have shown that when given the option to respond anonymously, students are more likely to engage in lively discussions and answer questions posed to the class without the fear of being wrong.
Text and web polling resources are a simple, but effective way to keep a student’s attention, and while the benefits are great, the cost is far from prohibitive.
Attempting to stem the tide of technology in the classroom is a losing battle. Instead, teachers need to move forward and meet their students half-way. The destination, in this case, is at the polling sites.
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