Enhanced Teaching Through Technology

Student Responsible for Their Own Learning

October 12, 2018 by Judy Nguyen, Teacher & Learning Consultant

Technology enhances learning by providing opportunities for students to take ownership of their learning. Integrating strategies like blogging, podcasting, and video creation allow students to share their personalities and passions. By providing opportunities for student voice, students become more interested in their learning because it becomes personal. By taking an interest in our students as individuals, we validate the contributions they bring to the classroom. When teachers use technology as a tool for student voice, we are not only teaching a particular tool, but we are also guiding students in strengthening their critical thinking and communication skills.

Blogging

Educator George Couros promotes student blogging as tool for “giving students a space to share their voice.”[i] Blogging provides students a chance for open reflection where they can share what they have learned with an outside audience that provides feedback. In this exercise of sharing and responding, teachers gain insight to the students’ learning experience and their passions. Teachers do not have to limit themselves to one medium for student blogs. Couros notes that students can add voice, video, presentations, etc. using other tools to their blogs while also adding character.

Podcasting

Podcasts have grown dramatically in the last several years. It’s an accessible tool for people to share their stories with the world. Matt Miller, author of Ditch That Textbook, lists two reasons why podcasting is important for the classroom: (1) Students are most likely to produce their best work if they have an audience that is important to them and (2) In order for students to be great speakers and communicators, they need to develop their voice.[ii] Whether students work on a collaborative podcast to synthesize their learning or recording an episode as a part of a culminating project, podcasts become a great instrument for sharing students’ voices.

Video-Creation

Video creation is now easier than ever. Any student with a smartphone or tablet can be a budding film maker. With the advent of YouTube stars, young people are looking to video creation as a way of standing and sharing themselves with the world. Courtney Sears, in her Edutopia article “Student-Created Videos in the Classroom” finds that “video taps into the current interests and habits of my students and can easily connect them with authentic audiences. They use video to document their knowledge, reflect on the learning process, and teach others how to do new things.”[iii] With video creation, students can share their talents, reflect on current events, or teach their peers a special skill.

The tools available to teachers and students for blogging, podcasting, and video-creation are easily accessible and affordable. By offering students the opportunity to develop their voice by using these technologies, teachers are empowering their students to take the lead in their education.

When we invite student voice using technology, we not only help students develop the soft skills they will need when they enter the workforce—leadership, communication, and collaboration, we also help students develop technical skills that will be helpful throughout their professional careers.