By Rachelle Dene Poth,
Sometimes it is fun and beneficial to try unconventional tools or methods, to immerse students more in learning and do things differently than what they have become accustomed to. Making a change to the traditional style and structure of the classroom can feel uncomfortable at first, but giving students more control in designing their learning is worth it. The flexibility of these tools enables learning to happen anywhere and at any time, based on the student’s or school schedule, which helps to foster a blended learning environment. Here are a few ideas to immerse
One of the biggest areas of growth in education has been the use of Augmented and Virtual Reality in the classroom. In my own classroom, we have used a variety of tools and students have enjoyed the time exploring new tools and definitely different ways to learn. The idea of teaching by using tools for AR or VR can seem challenging, but it really can be quite simple to add it into the course and there are tons of resources available. I recommend exploring the resources shared by Jaime Donally on all things related to Augmented and Virtual Reality in education.
These tools can offer more powerful ways to immerse students in learning, to “travel” and “explore” places and things more closely. Students can create, problem solve, become more curious and experience something unique through the use of these tools, which enable learning to happen beyond the classroom walls and involve students in more collaborative experiences.
Tools to try:
Learning beyond the classroom: Virtual Field Trips
It is important for students to experience learning and explore the world, beyond the limits of the classroom time and space. While we can't easily take students to faraway places, there are different tools that make these “trips” possible. The right tools bring in a world of learning for our students, enabling them to closely look at a location rather than by simply watching videos or looking at pictures in a book. We can even connect students with other classrooms and experts around the world by using one of these options in our classes. Many of these tools are easy to get started with and some even have lessons available, which makes the lack of time factor, not an issue.
Tools to Try:
Tools for anywhere learning
With blended learning, students have the online component as well as the traditional in-class instruction. One type of blended learning involves the use of stations. By using some of these tools, especially if access to devices is an issue, students can participate in station rotations and learn in multiple ways. The best part is that these tools are accessible when convenient for students as well.
Finding new tools to explore is always fun, especially when we have students create with them and share their work with classmates. We learn more about their interests and needs and they have a more personalized experience.
These tools have
About the Author:
Rachelle Dene Poth has been teaching at Riverview High School in Pennsylvania for the past 21 years. Rachelle currently teaches Spanish and a STEAM course What’s nExT? In Emerging Technology. Rachelle is an attorney and has a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology. She was President-Elect of the Teacher Education Network and Communications Chair for the Mobile Learning Network and was selected as one of “20 to watch” by the NSBA and received the PAECT Outstanding Teacher of the Year for 2017. At ISTE 2017 San Antonio, Rachelle received the Presidential Silver Award for Volunteer Service to Education. She is a regular blogger for Getting Smart and Kidblog. Find Rachelle regularly on Twitter @Rdene915.
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