Our Top Three Innovative Teaching Methods
Technology is not the only reason why the evolution of teaching has accelerated in only the last few decades. Innovative teaching methods have developed because teachers have advanced as well.
Nowadays we can understand and communicate with our students better. We understand that their needs are not always synonymous with academic achievement.
New teachers know that education is more than just retaining some of the information given. What we teach to our students needs to be useful in their lives and directly applicable once they leave school.
Additionally, we need to be able to explain the connection between the curriculum and its application. If the pupils can see the benefits of what they are learning, they will have more focus and more success in their studies.
The role of the teacher as a simple information dispenser is over. We need to become guides that show where the information is, and how it can be used. Putting knowledge in context is our primary goal, and we can leave the info itself to the machines to retain.
What is the Goal of Innovative Teaching Methods?
Regardless of the subject being taught, there are two issues that new teaching methods aim to change.
The changes focus primarily on how the students' analytical skills are developed around the subject. Also, it should increase their ability to communicate their knowledge, as well as pose questions, concerning any part of the information discussed.
Additionally, innovative teaching methods can rely heavily on new technologies, which wasn't a possibility even a decade ago. Teachers of today don't need to find expensive visual aids made by others but can create their own instead.
Simultaneously focusing on something that every student needs and using new technologies to give free access to information gives remarkable results. Even those students who objectively have a lower potential can find more utility from their education this way.
#1 Audio/Visual Lessons
The benefits of having something visual and audible to give you the information you need are multi-faceted.
Primarily, it has the same advantages as listening to a lesson from a very dedicated teacher. But unlike a regular lessons, this one can be paused, bookmarked, add subtitles, etc. Also, you can have a variety of different additions that would otherwise be impossible.
Probably one of the best ways to quickly and easily innovate your teaching is to record your lessons. Then these clips can be shared with your online classroom.
Having this material will allow you to improve it visually and add the notes and explanations, as well as references to what you were saying, and for it to be always accessible to your students. Not to mention that this can help you improve future lessons because you can see your own mistakes in delivery.
Small Digestible Bits
The current length of a class has more to do with the organization of a school and different subjects than with any benefit to the student. But the materials you record and improve don’t need to suffer from this same structure.
The best way to improve how much is learned to cut everything down. Ideally, you will want for each point to have its own video, or at least to be clearly marked from the other. For an average lecturer, this shouldn't be more than five minutes.
Also, you may remove the tangents and other things that might not be as useful for learning as they were for the pace of the lesson. Because now your students will be able to pause there will be no need for a collective mental rest.
Work on Your Editing Skills
While there are teachers who also use tricks to add to their lesson, that is not a common skill. But everyone can learn to edit videos and do it easily.
By learning to work in user-friendly editing programs like Nero Video or iMovie, you can improve the online visual aids for your students significantly. You can even use apps on mobile devices.
With these additions, your students won’t only be able to see your lesson multiple times, but also with tool-tips and added visualization that wouldn't have been possible during live viewing.
#2 Participation through Technology
The same technology that allows for your lessons to be improved also allows for better student participation. Not only can they ask you questions in better detail and concerning some specific point, but they can also ask other students without influencing how the lesson takes place.
The biggest benefit of this approach is that even students who are not extroverted and might be shy to ask questions during class can pose them later online.
And this lowers the workload for the teacher because you can reference other answers and literature directly. Also, you will have more time to answer everything in detail without breaking the flow of the class as you would in person.
Innovative Teaching Methods Borrow from Video Games
Today it is very hard to argue how video games stunt the growth of children and students. This is because we have a lot of fellow teachers who grew up playing them.
And while escapism alone is bad for academic achievement because of the time spent on it, the mechanics of gamification are something that we should copy.
Having quests and rewards, as well as puzzles and obstacles is something that most young students will find more interesting. The main issue with prolonged learning is the lack of connection of the frontal lobe for young people, and this biological incapability is solved when every step has its reward.
Life is a Role Playing Game where you play yourself. The only difference is that time goes much slower in real life, and the rewards are not always so obvious. But if you make some of the rewards more direct, even if they are nothing but ceremonial, you will push them to play the "game" with the same intensity they play online.
Let them Teach Each Other
Working in groups can bring everyone forward. This is especially true when you are already supplying online assistance and visual aids. By forming groups of four to eight people you can allow even the best to excel faster.
We can borrow further from video game logic. These new "parties" will all have their strengths and weaknesses and they should learn to work together to achieve their goals.
And if there are collective rewards as well as individuals, you will see both the under-achievers and over-achievers settling their differences very quickly.
#3 Guidance and not Delivery
Innovative teaching methods are different from the traditional approach in the fact that the teacher is no longer someone giving the data to the students. Today that wouldn’t even be possible, let alone beneficial.
A modern teacher is there to be a guide to their students. We should teach them how to use the information they are finding. This way, even if they stumble upon something you haven't explained, they will have a good idea of how that piece fits and how they can use it.
The result for your students shouldn't be their ability to retain the textbook in their head. Rather, they should know how to use the textbook to solve a problem they might face. This development means that your lessons will be ''evergreen''. Because even if new information comes to light, your students will have the tools to accept, access, and adapt these new ideas into their overall knowledge.
Like most good ideas, innovative teaching methods are there to help everyone in multiple ways. They make teaching easier and more fun both for the teacher and the students.
By incorporating technology into your lessons you won't need to repeat yourself. Your students can just play the video if they didn't remember something. This allows you to focus on further development and optimization.
And by changing the approach, you can significantly increase the future impact of your teaching. By knowing how to use the information and not only retain some of it, your students will be able to prosper with future teachers and specialization because the good base you helped them establish.