4 steps to better classroom engagement through social technology

Oct 3
4 steps to better classroom engagement through social technology

4 steps to better classroom engagement through social technology

Traditionally, we’ve told students that the key to success is to sit still and be quiet in class. This certainly forces students to pay attention (that is, until they start doodling), but does this really teach them? More importantly, we live in a world fueled by social connections, long- and short-range communication, and teamwork. How can we teach our students these important social skills if they’re expected to sit quietly? Instead, incorporate technology that prompts active learning through social content.


Step 1: Allow smart phones and laptops in class

You may be cringing right now, after all, allowing access to these devices opens the classroom up to all kinds of new distractions. However, these devices not only aid teaching, but also teach students a valuable life lesson. After all, outside of class, in most college classrooms, and even the workplace your students will be bombarded with potential distractions. Introducing students to these distractions now will teach them to cope earlier, setting them up for better focus in all settings.


Step 2: Create a platform for online student interaction

Classroom technology only works if students uses an application that truly engages them. Look for a platform that allows students and teachers to send comments to each other, up and down vote responses, blog, and more. Luckily, you can do all this, plus take attendance with nClass.


Step 3: Provide incentives for thoughtful socializing

In order to get the most out of new classroom technology, give students a reason to stay focused: take record of social interactions for a participation grade. Introverts will appreciate this the most, but everyone will have fun. After all, the more students use social technology the better class discussions–text or speech–will become.


Step 4: Gather feedback

Every once in a while–perhaps each week or at the end of each class–ask the students about social learning. With nClass, you can send students polls and quiz to test their level of engagement.

Got any more steps for better classroom engagement? Let us know in the comments.

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