Using technology in the classroom can be nerve-racking. What if things go wrong? What if the devices somehow didn’t charge overnight? What if the internet isn’t working? It’s easy to let these concerns keep you from using technology, but in my opinion, the pros outweigh the potential cons. With so many online games and platforms, technology can enhance your lessons and help students apply their knowledge in new ways.
Ways to Use Technology in the Classroom
#1 PhET Simulations:
PhET simulations are one of my favorite ways for students to explore different science concepts. It’s mess-free and online, so all they need to do is load the platform – and begin “playing” around. I usually give a brief introduction to each PhET simulation, but then I give students time to experiment. Try it out with this energy PhET simulation.
Just the sound of the theme music gets my students excited! Kahoot! has tons of pre-made online games, so you can easily grab a review for your next unit.
Blooket is definitely in the realm of online games for the classroom. They can play games like “Gold Rush” where they have to answer questions in order to get points and advance. I love that students are actually engaged in the review!
Quizizz has online games for class, and you can also assign the quizzes for homework. Students “race” to answer the questions correctly. There are several pre-made quizzes, so check there before you make one from scratch.
#5 Online Research:
This is a super practical use of technology in the classroom. Students will use the internet for research for the rest of their lives, so why not teach them the skills to find accurate, quality information?
#6 Project-Based Learning:
With PBL, students can create digital projects (like slideshows or posters), research their topics, and use tools like Google Docs and Slides to plan.
#7 Virtual Meetings:
Invite a scientist or other professional to Zoom with your class and share their real-life work! Your students will be so engaged in these virtual meetings they will remember them for a long time to come.
#8 Virtual Field Trips:
Taking in-person field trips can be difficult, but you’d be amazed at how many virtual field trips are available out there. The Georgia Aquarium has great live cams, for example. This is a great way to bring the real world into the classroom – without having to actually leave the classroom.
#9 Digital Concept Mapping:
Lots of platforms these days make it easy to create concept maps digitally. You can do this in Google Slides, Canva, and more. Concept mapping is great for making connections and building on previous knowledge.
Nearpod will 10x your PowerPoint lesson! Instead of simply flipping through slides, Nearpod allowed you to add virtual reality, checkpoint quizzes, games, and more.
On this platform, students can create short videos. This is a good alternative to class presentations. You can also have students explain their work or create guided videos for other students.
#12 Canva for Education:
Say goodbye to the mess of creating projects. With Canva, students can create infographics, brochures, posters, and more. Canva is a user-friendly website, and students will have fun putting their projects together.
#13 Google Slides:
Slides aren’t just for the whole group. You can use them for stations, too! In fact, I’ve created an entire integrated science Google Slides bundle that includes digital activities for physical science, life science, and earth and space science.
#14 BrainPop Science:
Even the big kids love Tim and Moby. BrainPop has short videos that teach complex concepts in an easily consumable way. I like to use these videos to introduce or review topics.
I hope you feel inspired to use technology in the classroom. Don’t worry about trying everything at once. Just pick a few tools and slowly introduce them to students!