The Role of Digital Media in Classrooms
Nowadays, digital media has become ubiquitous with modern living. Because of this, educators and schools are changing the way students are taught. Change can be scary but as technology impacts virtually every aspect of our daily lives, it is important that, rather than reminisce over simpler times, we focus on the silver linings.
The capabilities of digitally-equipped classrooms have given rise to a myriad of learning-enhancing tools and resources, allowing for a more complete and flexible learning experience. We must adapt to our modern society's requirements with the added benefit of making learning more fun and less of a burden for students (and teachers.)
"Benefits of digital classrooms are a lot more than one can ever think of. They are ideal for educating the little angels about the most basic rules of learning and also help them in retaining their knowledge." -Digital Classroom in Education
For this article, we've gathered data from "Digital Citizenship Plays a Role in the Classroom" by Ben Pankonin, "4 Ways to Integrate Media Literacy in the Classroom" by Rhys Daunic, "Digital Media and Technology in the Classroom and Beyond" by Sytze van Herck & Richard Legay, and "The Importance of Media in the Classroom" by Renee Williams to put together a list of useful and helpful teaching methods & resources that you can implement in your classroom:
Appeal to Multiple Learning Styles
We now know that not every student learns the same way. For example, some are visual learners, while others may be kinesthetic learners. The old 'one size fits all' teaching approach, as useful as it has been, is on its way out. With the help of technologies, such as interactive whiteboards and individual touchscreen tables, educators are now able to appeal to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.
With the recent rise of "fake news", it is important -now more than ever- to equip our youth with the techniques and knowledge that they require to think critically about the content (news, ads, social media posts) that they are being constantly exposed to. Incorporating digital media into contemporary lesson plans can prove very effective in helping students better understand the world around them.
As many of you may already know, not every student learns at the same pace. This simple fact has complicated classrooms for centuries, however, digital media has helped solved this problem by making screen-recording videos easily accessible to teachers. It is now possible to record a demonstration/explanation of a concept, or procedure for students; that way, they can look at the video afterwards following at their own pace.
Sometimes, it is crucial for students to understand a key concept before moving forward with a lecture. One way to test comprehension levels in your classroom is to quiz them during the presentation. There are several tools, such as Plickers, that provide QR codes. These codes allow students to answer questions from their seats; the application then automatically compiles a small bar chart containing the number of students who answered correctly.
As technology permeates every aspect of our culture and changes the set of challenges we face on a daily-basis, it is important to update students' curriculum to reflect this change. Not doing so would be irresponsible, and would leave our youth ill-prepared to face the digitally-centric world that we live in today.
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