How to use technology and visual aids in classroom
Technology and visual aids in classroom. The use of visual aids, web tools and clickers in classroom can quickly enhance classroom interaction and student’s learning ability. Students generally have an enduring understanding of several big-ideas, but must develop strong problem-solving skills.
Students should be confident that they are capable of solving quantitative problems by using general principles and systematic logic. Using problem-solving heuristics like diagram, analysis, and review also helps students to develop knowledge in their subject of expertise.
The task of a teacher is to test students by using several methods of assessment. Practically, there are two options as to what the teacher would like students to do in class:
1) Students working on end-of-the-chapter style problems with the teacher leading the class, and
2) Groups of three students work together on complex, context-rich problems with the teacher facilitating by walking around and probing.
These problem-solving sessions can help students in the basic skills of setting the problem up, especially if the teacher emphasizes moving beyond plug-and-chug in student strategies. While working in groups, the students are meant to come to consensus by discussing the concepts before moving on to the next task.
A common workspace like a whiteboard or butcher-block paper can be provided as the focus of the group’s work. The board can be placed on a table with group members sitting around it, and the teacher will quickly identify where the students are in the problem solving. The teacher can wander around, talk with each group, ask for explanations and offer productive suggestions to help.
The students learn very little during a traditional lecture, where the teacher explains the material, works out example problems and performs few demos. Student evaluations can be high, but studies show that little learning occurs.
Adopting active learning is critical, and a good method to include is concept tests where after a topic has been introduced in lecture, a multiple-choice question is posed to the students. The question is designed to probe their conceptual understanding of the topic. This time the students will work individually and then enter their answer on a clicker.
A histogram of student responses can be shown to the whole class. If less than 75% of the class gets the correct answer, the teacher can ask the students to discuss the question in small groups, come up with a consensus, and recommit their answer. The chances that the percentage of correct answers will dramatically increase after the discussion will be high.
The clickers will force students to commit to an answer so that the feedback occurs when they are actively engaged in the conceptual challenge. The teacher will also get an immediate sense of whether the concepts are being understood.
A student learning with online problem sets is about the same as that using written problem sets. Online assignment can save the teacher time, approximately 1.5 hours per section.
Making use of web tools for distributing homework and instant grading after submission will make it easier for grading. There are some commercially available software that are meant for academic purposes only.