Teacher's Guide: How to Use a Smart Board in the Classroom
3 Innovative Methods of Teaching for High School Educators
Innovative methods of teaching are a goal of many educators. Teaching students in ways that keep them engaged and interested in the material can sometimes be a challenge. This can prove especially true when it comes to high school students. In this short-attention span world we now live in, thanks to the internet, it seems to be harder than ever to keep high school students excited and engrossed in learning what they’re there to learn.
However, finding new and innovative methods of teaching can prove to be one of the best things an educator can do for high school students. Brain research has shown that certain methods and approaches can truly enhance the learning process for students. Encouraging them to visualize the outcomes they desire is one way to enhance lessons in all subjects. Technology can provide students with opportunities for using important learning principles, such as pre-existing knowledge, mental models, active learning, transfer and learning for understanding. Applying innovative energy and attention-management techniques in schools is a win-win for both students and teachers.
1. Organization and Visualization
A list of disconnected facts will not lead to a deep understanding in students or an integration of knowledge from one situation to another. Knowledge that is organized and connected to concepts with a goal of mastery, including the ability to visualize the concepts, can lead to the ability to transfer knowledge and lead to a deeper, longer-term understanding of what is taught.
Many new technologies are interactive, and because of this it is easier than ever to create environments where students can learn by doing, get feedback, refine their understanding and actually build new knowledge. New technologies can also help students to visualize difficult-to-understand concepts and thereby understand them more rapidly.
However, whether technology is used or not, the organization of concepts and the ability to visualize a successful result can go a long way in fostering student success. Blending technology and learning strategies can be highly effective. For example, online video clips offer a visual image of a concept — but so does a descriptive discussion of it. It need not be an either-or prospect.
The role of being able to transfer knowledge among contexts helps to more broadly educate students — not just “train” them to complete a task by rote.
Technology is everywhere, and never before has there been such broad student access to it. Used wisely, it can very much enhance the learning process. Used ineffectively, it will function as a distraction, at best.
Computers, tablets, digital cameras, probeware, video conferencing technology and GPS devices can positively add to a student’s experience of otherwise somewhat mundane topics. Students can put technology into action by, for example, filming school and community activities in order to gain an even better understanding of them, and creating projects with the footage. They could come up with public service announcements for local organizations, as well as use software programs to learn more about certain aspects of a topic. The uses of technology are wide open, and there are many ways to innovate the learning process there.
3. Brain Gym
Another innovative addition to school curriculum are energy-based modalities such as energy medicine or “Brain Gym.” While not necessarily a class in itself, its application can enhance student performance in all of their classes. Brain Gym has been used in Australian schools and in other parts of the world with great success.
With Brain Gym, students do a series of 26 movements that enhance whole-brain symmetry (instead of one-hemisphere dominance.) Brain Gym combines principles from Asian modalities such as qigong and tai chi. Exercises involve marching in place with alternating arms and legs, rubbing both cheeks or placing two fingers on the chin while moving their eyes up and down, just to name a few. These exercises help to promote concentration, better memory and organization, improved language skills, and can help in many other areas of learning. A daily Brain Gym program implemented in schools can help students to be less distracted during the day and more focused on tasks overall.
Innovative methods of teaching can be of great help in aiding high school students in getting the most out of their education. These are just three ideas for directions you can go in your quest for innovative learning for your students.