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BizReport : Internet : September 03, 2015

How technology can improve the classroom

We talk a lot about how technology can improve business and marketing initiatives, but technology can also offer an assist in the classroom. One expert offers his tips on how.

by Kristina Knight

First, by improving learning outcomes.

"When combined with sound pedagogical techniques, response technology helps instructors improve student engagement to increase knowledge retention. Using response technology in the classroom enables instructors to quickly poll student knowledge levels, spark in-depth discussions and engage students in problem-solving exercises. In one study, the percentage of students earning A's increased from 23% to 40% when using a response technology solution in the classroom," said Mike Broderick, CEO, Turning Technologies.

Second, by keeping students involved.

"It's a challenge to keep students focused during lectures. When instructors embed questions into slides and frequently ask for student input, it motivates students to pay attention and allows everyone to participate - 87% of students report that response technology makes learning material more engaging," said Broderick. "Response technology that allows instructors to embed questions in PowerPoint presentations or any application can enable students to answer using clickers or smartphones. That way, everyone gets to participate. With response technology, introverts and extroverts alike provide their input during classroom discussions."

Third, by helping teachers gauge knowledge.

"With response technology, instructors can ask questions to test topic knowledge and display the results from everyone in aggregate via a chart right on the screen. This allows instructors to alter lesson plans on the fly, spending more time on subjects students are struggling with and moving on when the class understands the topic. Studies indicate that this approach improves instruction quality, with one study measuring a 40% increase in material retention after 30 days for classrooms that used response technology vs. traditional methods," said Broderick.

Fourth, by offering peer-to-peer options.

"One of the most effective teaching methods is Peer Instruction, which was pioneered by Harvard Professor, Dr. Eric Mazur. With response technology, instructors can use questions embedded in presentations to facilitate classroom discussions. Students can work together in teams or as a class, leveraging their collective knowledge to solve problems, which facilitates greater knowledge retention. This is just one of the proven pedagogical approaches response technology supports," said Broderick.

Fifth, by gamifying lessons.

"One great way to capture and hold students' attention is to make learning fun. Response technology allows instructors to "gamify" lesson plans, using software to provide a quiz-show style learning experience in which students can split up into teams or play as individuals for points and bragging rights," said Broderick. "With the right software, instructors can enable students to respond with clickers or smartphones to questions in wagering-style games and other game show formats."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: learning technology, tech in the classroom, Turning Technologies

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