How to use technology to engage students in and out of the classroom

Published: August 18th, 2020

In recent months, the role of technology in supporting teaching and learning changed rapidly. Instead of being used to engage students in the classroom, technology became a practical solution for delivering lesson content remotely.

And while remote learning was the only option for some time, with schools now open again classroom-based learning has returned – bringing it with the challenge of re-engaging students in lessons.

When it comes to interactive displays and interactive whiteboards, here are some ideas on how to leverage the technology to support student engagement.

Keeping it social
Children are naturally social learners, who thrive in team situations and collaborative settings. After periods of independent learning at home, students will need to readjust to learning in the classroom – using the ActivPanel can help with this by facilitating social situations and promoting peer-to-peer assessment.

As the interactive hub of the classroom, the ActivPanel interactive display has been designed to support learning in the moment and encourage collaboration. With a range of pre-loaded apps, teachers can transform the lesson into a discussion-led model by using the Instant Whiteboarding App. Alternatively, educators can encourage healthy competition among students by using the Timer and Spinner apps.

Interacting with change
The ActivPanel’s ability to connect with student’s handheld devices is another way teachers can encourage students to interact within the classroom using technology. Using Screen Share, teachers can mirror content from devices to the ActivPanel, allowing for immediate feedback and peer discussion.

Similarly, wherever learning takes place, students can connect their devices to the front of class display, allowing them to participate in discussions, polls or quizzes – therefore helping students who may be learning at home to collaborate with the class.

Supportive software
With its accompanying ActivInspire lesson delivery software, the ActivPanel interactive screen enables teachers to create and deliver dynamic and engaging lessons. Its digital tools make it easy to explain complex concepts in a visual and interactive way, putting powerful resources at the teacher’s fingertips to facilitate group discussion.

While students learn best in the classroom, current circumstances dictate that schools also need to be prepared to pivot back to remote learning in the event of local lockdowns. Where this is the case, ActivInspire provides a flexible software solution that can be used not only in the classroom – but also to support students learning at home.

This is thanks to the ActivInspire Screen Recorder, which allows teachers to record their screen and talk students through the key learning points. The recording can then be converted to a video file and uploaded to the school’s preferred platform.

Crucially for the teacher, this avoids duplication of effort with lesson planning as the same resources can be used whether students are in the classroom, or at home. Given that the shift back to remote learning will come at very short notice, this flexibility with software use will not only save time – it will also give students continuity with their education experience.

Schools continue to be faced with the challenge of uncertainty, which means being ready to adapt lesson delivery will be key. By leveraging the functionality of the right technology, responding to this challenge will be made much easier – and teachers will have the tools to support student engagement, wherever they are learning.