For any teacher and parent, ensuring that children are fully engaged during lessons is crucial not only to enable the children to get the most from their education, but it helps the teacher too. Capturing the children’s’ attention and maintaining motivation throughout the day at school isn’t just about the capabilities of the teacher but also the teaching tools and aids they have at their disposal.
According to the Glossary of Education Reform student engagement refers to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism and passion a student shows when learning. This then extends to their level of motivation to learn and progress in education. With that in mind, one thing that has become of interest, more so in recent years, is how interactivity can increase student engagement.
So shall we find out more about whether this is true?
What do the experts say?
Research conducted in recent years demonstrates that there is a clear correlation between the use of interactive technology, such as whiteboards, and the level of student engagement with what they are learning, so yes interactivity is key to student engagement at school.
Not only has this been shown through how students respond and interact with technology but it has been found that teachers rated the use of interactive technology very highly in particular for making learning interesting, relevant, appealing and involving for students.
Obviously student engagement isn’t dependently influenced through interactivity, teacher motivation and skills, parental activity and use effective use of technology are all contributors. One must also bare in mind that all classes will have a very mixed ability within them too. Some schools, particularly in the inner cities have very large class sizes too.
So it is important to remember that the addition of interactive whiteboard technology can have a positive impact on engagement for sure but the effects will be variable. And if the technology isn’t used properly or to its full potential, it would just be like having a fancy chalk board.
In addition to this, the use of a variety of multimedia, as well as standard teaching methods, and physical interactivity seem to be the most effective way of increasing student engagement, after all that does make sense do you remember being a child during a lesson and completely switching off because it was so boring! The use of a variety of teaching methods should help to increase attention of students as their brains are constantly being engaged and made to think outside the box sometimes.
So what have we learnt today.
Benefits of Using Interactive Technology
Other than the already identified benefit of increased interactivity, the use of technology, such as smart whiteboards, has even more benefits.
Not everyone learns in the same way, so an additional benefit of using interactive whiteboards is the ability to adjust teaching material and lesson plans to suit different needs. We have identified these three types of learning style and how whiteboards can be used to aid each.
Visual – use of pictures, text, animation and video
Auditory – use of oral text, sounds and music
Tactile – physically interacting with the board
Not only do a number of these elements actually help increase the appeal of what is being learnt by making it more interesting and fun, but some of them can’t be used without the presence of a whiteboard in a classroom.
Bringing Interactivity into the Classroom
If you haven’t come across an interactive whiteboard before; it is a combination of a dry erase whiteboard and a projector usually mounted on a wall, floor stand or one of our handy teacher walls.
Not only can your teacher wall combine the latest in interactive screen technology but is also the perfect storage and space saving solution. So you combat two issues in one, you have the perfect place to incorporate a smart whiteboard allowing for increased interactivity whilst creating a clutter free learning space all at the same time!
Not only do they tidy away all your classroom equipment but keep wires and cables neatly tucked away from inquisitive fingers and inevitable accidents.
Are you ready to Increase Classroom Engagement?
With technology, the way we learn and the way we teach constantly changing and developing it is really important to keep up with these changes, and creating the best learning environment possible for our children.
If you agree that you need to bring more interactivity into your classroom then call Tony today on 0117 3600 123 or alternatively fill out our contact form.
Categorised in: Educational Spaces
This post was written by Tony Randall