Speak to anyone involved in teaching, whether that’s someone stood in front of a class of 25 primary school pupils or a handful of adults in an evening college course and they’ll no doubt explain one of the hardest parts of the teaching process is keeping the students interested.
It doesn’t matter how fascinating the topic is or how much the students may want to learn, if it’s not delivered in a way that intrigues and engages, your audience aren’t going to respond in the way you need them to – which is to ultimately leave the lesson more knowledgeable than when they started it.
So how do you increase the level of engagement in the classroom to do this? Is it something that is based on luck or can you actively make improvements that impact on the engagement levels of the students?
Firstly, it’s important to understand it’s not based on luck. As with all scenarios, you’re always going to get periods of teaching where it’s more positive than others, but you don’t have to leave your engagement levels to chance.
And the one thing you have to understand is that to see the most engagement and interaction possible, you have to make the students want to learn.
Although this may be easier to say than it is to do, there is an increasing number of resources available to help you do just this, once you understand students generally want to be involved with all things digital.
Take something such as interactive whiteboards as an example. On the most basic level, they’re simply a heavily-developed blackboard upon which the teacher can write content that’s viewable to the full classroom.
But being interactive, it’s no longer something that students simply look at it, but they can become involved with it, such as by receiving any document that’s been shown on the screen with the edits made by the teacher.
Look at something like BYOD – Bring Your Own Device – too. If you were a student today, would you prefer to bring your own laptop or tablet that you know and love into the classroom or be forced to use what could easily be an out-of-date machine?
Increasing classroom engagement is in no way a quick and simple process, but it’s also not one that’s unachievable – and as long as you understand that students today want to work digitally, you should soon start to see just what’s possible when you begin looking at the vast amount of digital learning resources that are available.