Technology Tools for Teaching Generation Z Effectively

“If we teach today’s learners as we taught yesterday, we rob them of tomorrow”, rightly said John Dewey. Education is evolving, we cannot teach our students in the same manner in which we were taught two decades ago. Change is necessary to engage students in the curriculum for GenerationZ or digital natives, who are highly connected with technological advancement. We must leverage this treasure of online knowledge, teaching learners to navigate the digital world competently and responsibly. We have to change our direction from conformity- standardized testing and curriculum to divergent thinking.

iGeneration Skills 

For ensuring the holistic development of the learners we need to incorporate pedagogical innovations in the classroom teaching. Inculcating the habits of Peer learning, Collaborative learning and Cooperative learning in learners will lead to the development of the five C’s, viz. Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, Communication, Collaboration, Citizenship (global and local) and Creativity & Innovation, which are critical to this generation that we teach today.

The classroom teaching must be such to provide an experiential, holistic, integrated, inquiry driven, discovery oriented, learner centered, discussion based, flexible and joyful experience to the learners. That is, we must encourage questioning, provide opportunities to enquire, investigate, apply, create, present, hone metacognition, develop computational thinking and allow humor in classroom. The learners benefit best from their joint efforts.

ICT Driven Pedagogy

A strong emphasis on ICT driven pedagogy is the need of the hour. Multimedia classrooms make learning an enriching experience for the learners. This is because it is packed with various elements such as text, graphic, sound, video and animation. This is very good for showing what things look like, how they move and how they change keeping audience’s interest, establishing personal contact, establishing the identity and academic credibility of a speaker and communicating the speaker’s enthusiasm for the subject. The effective use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in the form of videos, simulations, animations enhance the visualization, and the learners gain an insight of a concept in a very short interval of time.

ICT Tools you can use

The ICT tools like PHET simulations available for all the branches of science and mathematics can be used to supplement the learning for all the grades. The use of Simulations can enable the learners comprehend the concepts with great ease . Besides, the learners can explore the simulations to understand the Cause- effect relationship between various physical quantities, thereby strengthening their analyzing and interpreting skills.  

The use of ICT tools like Graphic Interchange Format (GIFs) in the teaching learning process makes learners imbibe multiple aspects of the concept, substantially, in a fraction of a second.The use of GIF’s can  boost  the learning and  understanding of the 3D world they live in and make the concepts more relatable.

The use of Microsoft Excel or Spreadsheets can supplement the understanding of various concepts related to Mathematics, Physics , Accountancy & Economics.The use of Spreadsheets can enable the learners to explore multiple aspects for  a  given data  , like drawing a graph , pie –chart , bar graph or  gain further information by analyzing a given data.

Smart boards are an effective way to bring the classroom to life while helping learners experience a deeper level of engagement and understanding. This can be done by making the course content interactive and visual. The smart boards transform the teaching experience into an interactive and collaborative experience as the teachers use dynamic multimedia content, to help convey the topic more effectively to the learners making it a visual, engaging experience.

Teaching Through Virtual Reality

Teaching through VIRTUAL REALITY offers learners a valuable opportunity to learn in an immersive manner that creates a lasting impression on their minds. It makes learning fun and helps the learners retain the content for a longer duration. Exposing the learners to a number of mobile apps like COSMIC ZOOM, EARTH PRIMER , SCIENCE 360 makes them totally thrilled to see the virtual world of science, the teachers can use 3D technology to explore ancient civilizations, travel to distant countries for a class in geography including Microsoft power points, Microsoft Sway, ICT Tools like PADLET, Quizziz, MENTIMETER, KAHOOT etc.  in the classroom not only engages the learners remarkably but aids in the instantaneous assessment of the learners too. 

I truly  believe that, if we don’t keep pace with the techonological explosion, we are surely going to lag behind. In the Era of Explosion of Knowledge and  for the confluence of 21st century skills, it is thus imperative for a teacher to be a life -long learner constantly re-evaluating the  teaching learning process, giving opportunities wherein  the learners constantly interact and pool their ideas.

The Author is Ms. Monika Sindhwani, Teacher at Bal Bharati School, Rohini, New Delhi.

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