Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Student Engagement and Technology Resources

Student achievement is a popular topic of discussion in the world of education today.  These days school success is tied strongly to student achievement.  No doubt the concept is important.  Perhaps even more important is the idea of student engagement.  If you asked 100 people the meaning of student engagement there is no doubt about the variety of answers that would follow.  I believe without engagement the achievement level of a student will never reach full potential.

One of the most powerful components of student engagement is for the student to have a voice.  Students should be able to choose different ways they can explain/demonstrate/prove they know something.  That's one of the features of technology.  There are so many different ways for students to assign meaning and expression to learning.

Let's face facts - everyone likes to talk about themselves.  Our kids are no different.  They want people to acknowledge important things in their lives.  How many times in class do we try to relate the content to sports when we have an athlete in our class?  Technology gives us an outlet for all students to express an opinion.  Students may not raise their hand in class, but they will participate in a poll or a discussion board.

An engaged student wants to learn more about the topic.  Engaged students become very resourceful in finding answers.  For example, a student is watching a TV show and a new term is used.  Does the student know how to place a meaning?  Do they know what resources to use?  Do they know if the resource they've chosen is accurate?  I wonder what it would be like if the student picked up a device and looked it up what they might find.  I wonder how many people actually do this.

Providing methods for students to create is essential for student engagement.  As educators we must also realize that these tools must continue to be expanded.  With this in mind here is an A-Z Resource List.  It’s not comprehensive, but does include several resources to help get you started.  It is also continuously updated with new tools.  Feel free to use and share the link. 

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