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Make Learning Memorable with Tech (and Without Overwhelm)

We have to use technology in the classroom—whether to take attendance, deliver content, or engage with student work. When we have choices about what technology to use, we may not know where to begin. If you feel cautious about using technology in your classroom, that is an okay place to be. You don’t have to be an expert to become better at using technology in teaching. 

So how do we move from uncertainty to confidence? Matt Miller from Ditch That Textbook helps us make learning more memorable with technology, but without overwhelm.

listen here:

Why Use Technology?

  1. Technology can save us time. There are many resources available online that make it so you don't have to recreate everything from scratch.
  2. Technology can engage students. It can really  draw them into learning in a whole different way.
  3. Technology prepares students for the future. Technology is going to continue to increase and evolve. When students practice engaging with it in school, we have the opportunity to help them learn how a computer can be a productive, academic device. We can help them to see how this can be a transformational way for them to do work now as students, and in the future.

Start Small Where You Feel Stuck

Is there an opportunity to leverage technology to help students study, respond to questions, or create something? Think about parts of your class or curriculum where you feel stuck, where students are not engaged or enthusiastic. These are places where technology can start to help you. 

You do not need to begin with the most cutting edge technology. Some technology is tried and true because it really works well.

  • Any time you need students to practice repetition for storing something in long-term memory, try a flashcard technology like Quizlet
  • Think about some of your worksheets. Is there a way to make those more engaging using technology? Try Pear Deck or Nearpod, which transform slide decks into interactive activities. Curipod takes this to the next level by allowing students to write in answers and providing AI-powered feedback.
  • Use AI to create engaging images to support your content. Students can use AI to create images for their work as well in Canva, a graphic design software with a lot of amazing features.
  • Reviewing material can get an upgrade using these apps: Kahoot, Quizizz, Quizlet Live, Gimkit, or Blookit.

You don’t have to start using everything at once. Choose something that feels attainable, maybe something that uses slides, which you might already be used to, or simply exploring Google Docs more. If one of these doesn’t work, you don’t have to keep using it. Try again and see if something else is a good fit!

Listen to the Podcast episode for more insight about these tools. Which tech tools have transformed your classroom?

Matt Miller from Ditch that Textbook

Matt Miller taught in public schools for more than 10 years, teaching all levels of high school Spanish. In his career, he planned nearly 12,000 class lessons. He taught more than half a million instructional minutes. And he graded work for nearly 2,000 days of class. His blog, Ditch That Textbook, and six books have equipped and inspired tens of thousands of educators in more than 100 countries.

He lives in west central Indiana and says that he’s living the dream -- happily married with three kids, three dogs … and a mortgage.

T4TH+ MEMBERSHIP Free resource

DITCH THAT TEXTBOOK’S GAMIFIED LEARNING COURSE

Each month in our Teach 4 the Heart plus membership we partner with other creators to provide stress and time-saving resources and we're so excited that this month (May 2024) Matt is sharing with our PLUS members the Game Show Classroom Course to help our teachers skyrocket student engagement by sharing tools, ideas, and the inspiration needed to make their classroom learning more game-like. For more info and to join T4TH+ to get Matt's course for free click the button below!

heRZOG FOUNDATIoN

The Herzog foundation believes that teachers are the heartbeat of schools and the role models to our future leaders. In June, they will host the Making A Leap: Teacher Symposium at Wheaton College, Illinois to explore questions, concerns, and myths around Christian education. During the two-day symposium teachers, administrators, and graduates looking to go into Christian education will explore topics like Reclaiming Faith and Freedom in the Classroom, launching your own Christian school, and more. If you are thinking about making the leap into Christian education, this two day event is for you! Find out more at teach4theheart.com/leap.

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