Join Aaron Quigley for an in-depth discussion in this video Increasing student digital skills, part of Teaching with Lynda.com.
- Helping our students prepare for the real-world should be a subtle part of every educational experience, but sadly, that's not always the case. I read a great tweet by Sage Boggs, this most recent tax day, it said, "I'm glad I learned about parallelograms, "instead of how to do my taxes. "It's really come in handy this parallelogram season." Now, while I personally think there are some great benefits from learning geometry, I think this serves as a reminder about what we are ultimately preparing our learners for, and sometimes we forget the bigger picture of helping our learners be ready for what comes after the classroom, and that's their careers.
Today's jobs are more technologically demanding than ever before. Not only is more technology being used in careers today, technology is also growing at a faster rate. This year's hot new software program will most likely be completely different next year. As educators, we can help prepare our students to be successful in the high-tech digital workforce by creating classroom environments that utilize the same skills and tools as common workplaces, and also by showing students how to be self-motivated learners. Cultivating digitally savvy students doesn't have to detract from your core learning objectives.
In fact, if done properly, it can even free up some classroom time for more active learning. A good first step is simply exposing our learners to digital resources, such as Lynda.com. Being a good digital citizen, in part, requires the ability to sort out what is a good resource from all of the bad ones, and encouraging students to use resources like Lynda.com, over whatever may appear in their Google search results, is the same as encouraging them to use scientific journals instead of Wikipedia. Lynda.com courses are carefully curated, and taught by industry experts, so students can be confident that they're learning from the pros.
Making these courses available to students may not be enough motivation to get them utilizing these skills. So, here's a few ideas to consider that can make sure students are leaving your classroom with more technical knowledge than when they started. First, incorporate technology as a form of assessing students. Instead of having them always write a paper, why not have them visualize their learning by creating a PowerPoint, a Keynote, or even a Prezi? You can link to the Lynda.com courses for these tools, along with the assignment. That way students have the resource, as well as what's expected of them.
Second, utilize digital communication tools to streamline your classroom communication, and increase group participation. Many learning management systems offer the ability to create student groups, and using digital cloud sources, like Google apps, or SharePoint, can allow students to collaborate on learning projects the same way many professionals collaborate in the workplace, and increasing digital communication through email, Slack, or your LMS, can make sure students have access to core course information, anytime they have access to the internet.
Often, you can even accomplish this by using tools your students are most likely familiar with, such as Facebook, and Twitter. Be sure to check out Social Media in the Classroom course for a deeper dive into using these social tools with your learners. Finally, while not right for all educators, I encourage you to become a paper free classroom. Think about everything that you print, ask for students to print, or pass out, that's a paper-based resource. Could you move these to a digital format? Now, using tools like Lynda.com, you can introduce the digital textbook, and using your learning management system, you can collect, grade, and comment on student work.
Also, if you use a communication system that's digital, such as your LMS, or even Twitter or Facebook, you can make sure students have 24/7 access to what's required of them to be successful in your classroom, and think about how well your classroom teaching is preparing students for success in their next play.
Use the knowledge checks and Lynda.com's built-in note-taking tool to practice what you've learned and remember ideas for your own teaching practice.
- Finding courses in the Lynda.com library
- Refreshing student skills
- Extending learning with a flipped classroom
- Supplementing Lynda.com training with your own videos
- Increasing digital skills
- Mapping curriculum to skills
- Creating learning playlists
- Assessing student learning
- Adding Lynda.com content to Canvas and Moodle