Like many teachers, I begin each school year with great optimism of all of the things that “I will definitely do with my students” for that year, only to find myself exhausted by the end of Term 1, and the many promises I made to myself are already broken.
This is particularly the case when trying to implement new technologies and helping my students use devices on a more regular basis to create meaningful learning tasks.
Making a realistic list of teaching objectives that you would like to fulfil in your classroom is actually quite simple to create and just as easy to implement all year long.
Build it into your program.
The best way to create connected digital citizens is to build it into your programs.
If it is in your planning, you will be able to accommodate the necessary time to allow students to use technologies.
This is particularly important as teachers often use technology as a quick activity to sum up a learning task and not as the main resource in their lesson.
This will also help you dedicate sufficient time to the activity.
When building this into your lesson, always have the resources that you will use listed.
This will make it easier to implement. A great method I use is a learning platform that is linked to all of the resources that I intend for my students to use.
For example, using OneNote, Moodle, Google Classroom and Edmodo with a dedicated class page that links to all of the resources, apps and websites that students will need to complete learning activities.
The great thing about these learning platforms is that they can be modified throughout the year.
Have resources readily available.
In addition to having your learning platform ready to go, also determine which devices that you will be using in the classroom. If your school has a shared pool of devices, book the devices you require as early as possible to ensure that you will be able to create digital lessons that are regular and consistent.
Practice a flipped classroom.
The best way to create digital citizens in your classroom is to create a flipped classroom. This is extremely easy and can be done as part of the student’s homework.
Using a learning platform, students can collaboratively create learning tasks, communicate with one another and complete work outside of class.
Students can also research topics that can facilitate class discussions.
Find out what technological tools your students already use.
Finally, another great way to encourage your students to be digital citizens is by finding out which ‘mindmap’ tool they already use at home.
This can prompt students to take ownership of developing their own skills.