How to Teach in a Digital Age Without Having a Wired Classroom

You’ve heard about the amazing success teachers are having by going online – turning their classroom into a digital one. But, your school can’t or won’t jump on the bandwagon. Sure, you have access to the Internet, but it’s still restricted to the library or study halls. On top of that, the connection is not very reliable. What should you do if you want to teach in the digital age without having a wired classroom? From guest author Paul Moss

Learn by opensourceway on flickrDownloading Videos To A Laptop

It’s hard when you don’t have access to the latest adaptive learning software, online streaming videos, and video professor tutorials. Still, you can turn your class into a multimedia learning experience with videos.

How? First, get some software to download youtube videos. Next, hop onto YouTube or some other video sharing site and start downloading non-copyright protected educational videos. Check with your school’s principal and board. See if you can get an approval to download videos for educational purposes that may otherwise be difficult or impossible to get.

Once you’ve got permission, load them up onto your laptop and connect the laptop to a T.V. in the room – instant “live” video. The sky is the limit, really. Because there are so many different kinds of educational videos out there, you can teach almost anything.

Bring a Tablet To School

What if you don’t have a laptop (or you’re not willing to bring one to school)? You have another option: a tablet. Most of the new tablets are pretty sleek in design. They all have touch screens and are fairly simple to operate. All you need to do is load up some videos and bring them to school.

While you might not have enough money to furnish every student with their own tablet, you can certainly encourage every one of them to bring one to school so that you can share the video with the whole class.

There are two basic ways to do this. The first one is to get students to bring in tablets for the whole class to use. Then, transfer the video onto all tablets and divide the class up into groups so that everyone can watch the video.

The second option is to push the video wirelessly via bluetooth.

Use BlueTooth-Enabled Smartphones

Most mobile devices are bluetooth-enabled. So, you can load up a video onto your tablet or even a smartphone, and then stream the video to all other devices in the classroom and even a T.V. if it’s a “smart TV” or capable of bluetooth connectivity.

This is probably the best option for when there are a limited number of tablet devices in the class, but you have a very capable T.V. set.

Students can gather around the T.V., watch the video, and everyone can discuss it as it’s happening. If you’re using a smartphone, you can probably even download a remote control application to start and pause the video periodically for discussion. This gives your students a unique learning experience, and can help them grasp even the most complex ideas that just aren’t a good fit for a lecture-style method of teaching.

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Guest author Paul Moss is a teacher at a low income high school. He frequently shares his best learning and teaching tips with others on teaching blogs.

Image from used under the Creative Commons license. Image by opensourceway.

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