Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.
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5 Tech Tools for Learning by Doing

5 Tech Tools for Learning by Doing

By Patricia Dimick

Hold students accountable for independent reading with Whooo's ReadingEducational researchers have long known that there are different methods for learning. Each student’s learning style reflects their preference for audio, visual or hands-on approaches to education.

The learning pyramid explains the different learning methods and their respective percentages of retention. For example, passive learning methods, such as reading, have just a 10 percent retention rate for information that is new to the learner, while active learning methods, in which the learner practices by doing, have a 75 percent retention rate.

More: Why The Modern Learning Pyramid Matters for Teachers

The use of interactive technology in the classroom has changed the ways lessons and activities are designed, thereby ensuring that learners are actively engaged throughout the learning process.

Not to mention, the Global Digital Citizen Foundation performed a research study that helped them determine the crucial skills that students need to acquire, including problem solving, creativity, analytic thinking, collaboration, communication and accountability. With technology, these skills can be acquired simultaneously.

Here’s what you need to know about supporting learning by doing with technology.

Tools That Facilitate Learning by Doing

As students practice learning by doing, they absorb the information and the learning becomes meaningful to them. With technology, students are able to acquire organized multidimensional knowledge that crosses over many types of media. No matter what subject you’re teaching, it can easily be integrated with technology to give students a chance to interactively learn and create.

Blogger

A creative approach to learning by doing is blogging, which is improves reading comprehension, writing skills and more. A simple and easy-to-use blogging tool is Blogger, integrated with Google, so students can use their existing Google accounts.

There are many ways to use blogs to encourage learning by doing:

  • Have students write a blog post about what they’re reading from the point of view of the main character.
  • Track student progress through the book and post additional research questions as blog comments.
  • Provide feedback in real-time to encourage further critical thinking.
  • Have students provide feedback to their peers, encouraging one another to elaborate on interesting points.

More: 50 Creative Writing Blog Prompts 

Minecraft

There’s a growing number of teachers using gamification as a way to bring learning by doing into the classroom. A modified version of the popular game Minecraft, MinecraftEdu, is tailored for classroom use. It has a custom server with additions and teacher-only blocks.

Use it for teaching history of ancient civilizations while incorporating lessons about historic architecture, interactions among members of different civilizations, and development of trading systems between cities and nations.

minecraft

Scratch

Coding is another essential form of technology exposure that helps learners perceive computers as tools rather than toys, while learning by doing. Easy to use coding tools such as Scratch, allow students to do things like coding a game after playing one and studying the commands and how they work.

Students could even code their own games by creating blocks in Scratch and determining which command is used most frequently by players.

Adobe Photoshop

Make your lesson plans more creative while fostering learning by doing with Adobe Photoshop. An engaging approach to a history class, for example, would be to have students design a travel brochure for their hometown, including photos of the famous landmarks and their short descriptions.

In this case, besides learning about important historical facts on their hometown, they get the chance to master the basics of graphic design.

More: 7 Ways to Inspire Classroom Creativity With Technology 

Trello 

Another app that can be integrated with any subject is Trello. As a visual collaboration tool, Trello can be used for cooperative learning projects. Geography teachers, for example, could use this tool to help students collect, share and organize in-depth knowledge about countries of the world.

Divide students up into groups of three to four, create a board for each group, with instruction sheets and basic project requirements. Students then Trello to create and organize new boards with lists.

Each list is further broken down to cards, i.e. activities or steps related to the list. Students are encouraged to brainstorm ideas and record their research by including checklists, links and media files. They are responsible for their workflows and they decide how their results will be presented.

Using technology in the classroom not only gives students a chance to learn by doing, but improves their digital literacy skills. This will set them up for success in school and their career, helping them develop critical skills in communication, analytic thinking and collaboration.

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5 EdTech Tools to Learn by Doing

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