Let’s face it: being a teacher in 2017 is pretty hard because it’s difficult to excite the curiosity of students who have access to basically everything in the world. They travel, read the latest news on the Internet, have the newest gadgets, and, frankly speaking, are familiar with some things you’ve never thought existed. But there is no reason for giving up and being one of those teachers whose students can hardly sit through your lesson. All you need to do is to keep up with the latest trends and use them during your lectures. In fact, we have already prepared a few ideas from the digital world that will help you to make your classes more interesting for modern youth and motivate them to engage. You’re welcome!
All people on the Internet are crazy about infographics – pictures that use images, text, graphs or tables to explain a concept or render some information. You can use one to tell your students how to write an essay or research paper, and it doesn’t have to be an infographic you find on the Internet: you can do it yourself in a free and fast way using online tools (Visualize.me, Google Charts, Easel.ly, etc.). We also recommend you subscribing to DailyInfographic.com to get fresh ideas and latest pics every day.
It’s super cool when you use technologies during lessons because, firstly, it makes your students respect you (you’re not so hopeless after all). Secondly, it is easier for them to perceive the information when you illustrate the material with additional words, pictures, videos, etc. You can take advantage of all the functions of PowerPoint, but it would also be great if you also used a service like Prezi.com. You’ll be surprised how much can be done with these resources.
3. Funny Gifs
Youth adores funny gifs – it’s a bait that all marketing specialists use. So, why wouldn’t you benefit from them? Take some hard topic, create a presentation and illustrate each statement with a funny, moving picture: it is scientifically proven that students remember information better when it is presented positively. You can find free gifs on Tumblr.com and Giphy.com, but don’t forget about copyright and plagiarism rules that exist not only in writing – always add the source your pictures are taken from.
4. Customized Pics
If you don’t want to use gifs or infographics, create your own visual material. You will be surprised, but you don’t need any advanced Photoshop skills to do that – just use an Internet page like Canva.com: it is a free online constructor that is especially handy when you don’t have an hour to draw one image. It allows you to produce images quickly and make them just as you imagine them to be.
Have you ever heard about Jimmy Kimmel and his Twitter flashmobs with hashtags? If you haven’t, you should find out about him more. He asks his audience to tweet some information (like “Have you ever been on a blind date?”) under a certain hashtag. You can do the same: give your students a question and ask them to tweet the answer in 24 hours with a hashtag #myteacheriscool. Can you imagine how motivated they will be?
See? Even 2017 digital trends can be used during simple school or college lessons. If you are really interested in this topic, you can even conduct a research on what students type in the Google search bar (e.g. essay 24 hours, how not to procrastinate, Netflix blocker, etc.) and tackle these topics during your lessons – that will make you a superhero teacher in the eyes of your students! And returning to the tools we’ve mentioned in the article, they are too useful to be ignored. Moreover, a lot of them offer you the possibility to realize your plans quickly – create a last-minute presentation, generate an urgent picture or find a necessary illustration for a definition. You don’t need to spend days on preparing for one lesson. Take this chance and become the teacher of the year!