Embracing Digital Diversity in Modern Teaching
Why Students Need the Internet
Nearly 100 percent of schools are connected to the Internet, and 45 percent offer Wi-Fi access to students. Computers and mobile devices are an important tool in our everyday lives, and modern education needs to reflect this reality. Frontier Internet deals and other money saving solutions make it possible for schools to bring this essential connectivity to students and teachers.
To succeed in the real world, kids not only need access to the Internet but also a comprehensive knowledge of how to use what it offers.
More and more companies expect employees to be able to work from mobile devices, so some skills required by the modern workforce are tied directly to the digital realm. It’s a trend that is only going to expand as data becomes an ever-larger driving force in the business world.
Incorporating Online Activities into Classrooms
Since 93 percent of students conduct their research online, knowing how to discern between good and poor information when researching is a critical skill that should be taught in the classroom. It’s also possible to use tools such as Skype and Google Hangouts to connect directly with experts in fields related to current projects and lessons. This provides a more in-depth understanding of the subjects.
For everyday teaching, videos, images, articles, educational games and even mobile apps can all make lessons come alive:
A variety of learning styles are represented in your classroom, and the resources available on the internet can cater to them all. This diversity makes individualized instruction much easier and more effective since each student can learn using the medium that they understand best.
Internet Connectivity and Teamwork
Online resources allow students to work on projects in the classroom and at home with collaboration tools similar to those used by businesses. This flexibility means that kids no longer have to be at school or even gathered together in groups to work on projects. Teachers can create and manage teams, divide assignments up into smaller tasks and set due dates, giving students a structure in which to work whether they’re in the classroom or at home. When projects are done, the groups can use online presentation tools to share their work with the class.
Extending the Classroom
Tools for online learning and resource sharing allow you to reach out to your students even when they’re not at school. Colleges and universities take advantage of this by offering degrees where a percentage of the classes are presented online.
Other schools can follow this example by:
- Uploading lectures for students to access anytime
- Providing lecture notes for review
- Posting a list of current homework assignments and project deadlines
- Creating social media groups where kids can ask questions or start discussions
This connectivity can bring clarity to a confusing assignment or remedy problems such as falling behind due to illness. Students can connect with their teachers and classmates from their own computers and get the information they need to stay on track.
The Connected Teacher
As a teacher, you have access to a wealth of digital resources. Websites for educators offer free and low-cost teaching aids such as:
In addition to using the internet in the classroom, around 51 percent of schools report that they offer online professional development. Another 83 percent say that they’re making it a point to train teachers how to use the Internet to enhance education. With real-time collaboration possible, administrators and teachers can stay in close communication and create more effective plans for student growth.
Making the Internet an integral part of your curriculum prepares kids for a world that requires them to be able to use a variety of digital tools.
Students already have interest in the technology, but schools and teachers have the opportunity to transform that interest into real skills that pay off in higher education and on into adult life. Get familiar with what digital diversity can offer your classroom, and start your students on the right track toward a well connected future.
Melanie Nathan is a Canada based writer, digital marketing consultant and technology professional. Her thoughts can be found on Huffington Post, Examiner, Business.com, her Twitter feed and elsewhere.