How Tech Gets Kids More Excited About School
There is now an entire generation of students brought up using technology and interacting with it on a daily basis. For these students, the technology that once seemed revolutionary and exotic to previous generations is now common place and a simple fact of life. Unfortunately, not all areas of society have fully modernized to adapt to and take advantage of these so called “Digital natives”. Education in particular presents an interesting case. This is one area that can benefit greatly from modernization and the increased use of technology, yet the adoption of this technology is often inconsistent, completely non-existent or even dangerous but having a career where you can pick from a handful of jobs for electrical engineers can be a very promising thing.
For a generation of students accustomed to a certain level of access to information and ease of use, a traditional school setting may seem boring and fail to capture their full attention. This is often attributed to a shortened attention span and dismissed as students being lazy or lacking a work ethic. However, with the correct implementation, school administrators and teachers can utilize technology to tailor their school experience to be more in line with the type of world they grew up in. By adopting such an approach, educators may find that unmotivated students are not lazy, but simply not being reached in a way they understand and appreciate.
One of the more recent and exciting trends in the consumer tech world is a concept known as gamification. Gamification is the process of taking concepts traditionally used in video games, such as high scores and achievement badges, and applying them to non-video game technologies. For instance, gamification is commonly used in products such as weight loss apps which assign the user with scores and badges for achieving certain goals. This concept lends itself beautifully to an educational setting. High scores and awards for achieving goals provide an excellent incentive to students who otherwise struggle with motivation. Badges can be awarded for goals such as high grades on tests, completing certain sections of the class, and excellent overall performance. A high score system works great as an incentive for the student to compete against him or herself on quizzes and homework.
As has been proven in research and business applications, technology provides a way for students to collaborate more easily with one another. Students can work together on long term projects and assignments by communicating over the internet and being able to easily monitor each other’s progress. This is a great way to engage students who are otherwise shy and don’t usually fare well in a group setting. By removing the social pressures that bar more reserved students from participating, these children can often find themselves able to contribute to their full potential and more excited about their school work as a result.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of using technology to get kids more excited about their schoolwork is the ability to replace traditionally tedious work with the speed and ease of near instant access. Activities such as research, while an important skill, are often monotonous and fail to hold children’s attention. This leads to sub-par work and lower grades for otherwise bright students. Internet research and access to specialized online databases dramatically reduces the time students spend looking for information and allow them more time to actually utilize it.
Technology is exciting, even for students whose lives are immersed in a web of inter-connectivity and instant access. Using technology in place of traditional methods for research and schoolwork keeps a student’s attention span much longer and delivers an educational experience more in line with the world they are familiar with. Techniques such as gamification provide educators with a great motivational tool for student to get excited about their work and take pride in achieving higher “scores” on tests and homework assignments. Many students who seem unmotivated are not lazy, they simply need to be taught to in a way they can relate to and understand.