We often think of our students as being ahead of us when it comes to technology. After all, many of us had to learn to embrace the fast changing technology through our lifetimes, while students today have grown up with many of these modern aspects their entire lives. It’s easy to forget that even among this new generation, there are still students who struggle when it comes to implementing the technologies of their everyday lives in the classroom.
Identify the Problem
The key to helping any struggling student in any classroom is to keep aware of when their daily assessments suggest there is a problem. Keeping up-to-date on which students are succeeding, which are improving, and which remain stagnant are signs that students may need extra attention to help them succeed with the assignment. This is especially true when students work with computers, tablets, or other technologies. A student’s lack of improvement in scores may not be confusion with the lesson, but how to use the tools to achieve higher results.
Review for Everyone
Whenever a new learning tool is introduced as the way to complete a task or assignment, take a moment to review how to best use it. This can be a reminder on how to use a website, app, or audio device. The key is helping students in need without waiting for them to admit they’re confused. This will help build their confidence and ensure everyone is capable of reaching their goals.
Make sure to include time during lessons and classroom work to give each student personal attention in regards to their use of the learning tool. Watch the student work and ask motivating questions to determine if the student is on track and understanding how to use the technology. A little personalized attention can remind students you are there to help, and they are not alone as they work through their tasks or assessments.
Have Students Model
Whenever a new device is needed for an assignment, find ways for students to actively become involved in the directions for use of the technology. Choose students to model the assignment for the rest of the class. This can help you identify potential trouble areas in the process, and also allows students to be actively engaged while the stakes feel lower and more comfortable. Having students watch each other discover the benefits of the technology will empower them and help them discover their ownership of their new skills.