Times have changed. Gone were the days when teachers deliver the same old lectures day after day. Now, everyone expects teachers to integrate technology in the classroom. Why not, technology has become the best learning tool in the classroom making more students engaged in the lesson, improving collaboration and making learning more fun!
The good thing is that the Internet is loaded with tools that can enable teachers to bring a sense of fun and engagement to their lessons. However, it is important to seamlessly incorporate these activities into the lesson and not to force to use them for the sake of using technology.
Here are some ideas for leveraging technology to kick those lessons up a notch!
Kahoot and Quizlet
Kahoot is a student-response gamifying tool that lets teachers create multiple-choice quizzes and polls and is a great way to incorporate fun and games in the classroom! It provides quick, real-time results and gives students instant feedback on their devices without anyone being called out individually.
I use this platform mainly to review concepts and vocabulary. My students always ask to play Kahoot again and again so I decided to establish a Kahoot day for quick revision and informal assessments. You can also challenge your students to create their own Kahoot quiz to allow higher order learning.
2. Photo Scavenger Hunt
Students are handed a list of things that can be found within school grounds ranging from very easy (ex: a world map) to moderate (ex: a student reading a book) to difficult (ex: a lizard). Vary the amount of points for each level of difficulty.
Then, students are instructed to take photos on their smartphones or tablets and cross off the items they have found. They can form teams or work individually. Each team should decide who’s phone or camera will be used to take scavenger hunt photos. It should be the same phone for all of the team photos.
The winner is the player or team that find the most items on the list.
Optional: I try to combine this activity with the elements of the Treasure Hunt game. For example, I give clues or unlock new challenges when a team has successfully emailed their photo to me.
Webquest is an inquiry-based approach to learning and a perfect way for teachers to begin integrating Internet searches into their curriculum. It provides an authentic, technology-rich environment for problem solving and information processing.
A web quest guides students to search the Internet for specific information. For example, in a webquest called What Is the Most Serious Problem Facing Earth?, student teams vie for funding from the fictional Help Our World (HOW) Foundation. Each team builds a case for a critical environmental concern. Which threat is the most critical? Which team should be awarded the foundation’s $1 million grant? (see more here).
There are tons of already-constructed webquests out there like these ones from Zunal.com or you can create your own based on your lessons. A well-designed webquest lets you turn your students loose on the web for a specific project and get results that both you and your students will love.
4. QR Code Hunt
This game is similar to the classic treasure hunt game except that students have to search the school for QR codes which contain questions or clues to the game.
Playing this fun activity is easy. First, I prepare a list of questions from the topics that I want my students to learn or revise. Then I create and print the QR code for each question and place them across the school.
Students are put into small teams or pairs with one person owning a mobile device. They need to download a QR code reader first which is free on App Store or Google Play. Internet connection is not required once they have the app since the QR codes decode as text files.
Now, students need to search the school for these clues and scan each QR Code to get each question. They must then work together to find the answer to this question. The team that brings the most number of answers wins the game
You can create QR Codes online using Classtools QR Treasure Hunt Generator.
5. Word Cloud
A word cloud is a list of words arranged randomly and forms into a shape. It is a great way for students to summarize information, increase vocabulary and make connections between concepts. I love creating word cloud with my students because they are fun and easy to make!
6. Lyrics Training
Lyrics Training is a fantastic website to learn a language with music! Students will watch and listen to a music video and fill in the missing lyrics of the song. The website has a huge collection of songs in all genres and caters to different proficiency levels such as beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert.
Incorporating infographics in the classrooms is one of the best ways to engage students in the lesson while having fun at the same time.
Allow your students to digest complex information they have learned by creating eye-catching infographics. It can help students learn to interpret data, organize ideas, and make important connections. There are different free web-based applications that students can use to create infographics such as Piktochart and Venngage, but my students find Easel.ly very user-friendly.
We are all familiar to this classic learning activity where students write and draw a story in a comic format but did you know that they can do it easily online? Storyboard That is an online storyboard creator that offers hundreds of scenes and characters organized by time period, as well as a variety of styles of text bubbles to fill the storyboard frames. Students can print their saved storyboards or download them in a PowerPoint version.