The use of technology in the classroom is changing the landscape for inclusive learning and exchanging information. It also has the potential to engage all students in non-traditional ways and has the potential to foster participation regardless of ability.
For a variety of reasons, some students find it difficult to participate in class. This might be because they are uncomfortable speaking in front of others, they have difficulty communicating verbally or they feel different from other students. While not all students can be outspoken, the ability to participate is critical to all children’s learning and to teachers’ ability to gauge each child’s understanding.
In an article on Think Inclusive, the author outlines five ways to use technology in the classroom to encourage participation.
The first is the use of mobile devices for class quizzes. One application that can be used for this purpose is Kahoot, which allows students to respond to questions whereby only the teacher sees the answers. This type of testing encourages everyone to participate, not just students who tend to speak in class.
There is also software that gathers student responses into one pinboard, such as Padlet. This fosters class discussion, whereby students can respond using their mobile device.
Collaborative learning can also play a role in student projects and presentations, with software such as Explain Everything. This is a screen capturing app that animates presentations. Each student works on a tablet device and creates screencasts that are then collated into one project and produced by a group of students. Other apps that fall under this category are Nearpod, Blendspace and Notability.
To learn more about technology tools that foster class participation without obligating students who don’t like to or have difficulty participating verbally, read the blog post here.