Interesting studies suggest that the average attention span in humans is approximately 8.25 seconds. Now, the number would be significantly lower in children. Children are so easily distracted, and their attention will wander at the slightest distraction. Teachers must be creative and develop innovative teaching strategies to keep them engaged.
The right training is a prerequisite to unlocking innovative potential. Teachers must be willing to grow and develop by seeking opportunities to improve their skill set. Online courses like those offered by Florida Teachers of Tomorrow provide flexibility with scheduling. The self-paced learning with programs tailor-made to specific learners’ needs provides the necessary tools to become an innovative educator.
Let’s explore some real-life classroom examples of innovative teaching strategies.
A lot of educator and learner time goes into reading classroom material. Yet, that environment should be about collaboration, practice, group projects, and more. Classroom flipping is an innovative idea that allows for better time utilization. Students complete coursework as homework rather than in the classroom setting.
A teacher’s role is no longer about issuing instructions, which tends to make them the center of attention. Students can actively engage in group discussions, peer-to-peer collaborations, debates, and more. In this case, the teacher’s goal is to guide, provide direction, or help when necessary.
Gamification is by no means a new way of teaching. For a long time, indeed for almost a century, educators have implemented this teaching method using the terminology game-based learning.
Gamification includes the use of game-like mechanics to encourage specific behavior. In the case of education, it would be the use of technologies in non-game entities like project-based learning, exams, and classroom discussions. The earliest example of gamification in education goes back to 1985, thanks to Broderbund software, video and computer games.
What makes gamification so exciting is the flexibility that technology offers. For instance, Florida teachers use gamified learning platforms that come as a plug-and-play. But they also have leeway in designing educational games to increase student enjoyment and interactiveness.
Peer-led teaching allows students to take control of their learning. Students pick areas of interest within the subjects in the curriculum. They do independent research, develop presentations and teach other students, much like the teacher would.
For the students, peer-led teaching sharpens their independent study skills. They also build more confidence by standing in front of other students and taking the role of an educator.
For the teacher, assessing how well the learners understand the learning material is an excellent opportunity.
Inquiry-based learning allows students to ask questions, research, explore and investigate. The teachers stop being the only source of information. They can also let go of legacy teaching systems where they pile mounds of information onto young minds.
The advantages of inquiry-based learning are numerous, the most significant being sparking the students’ curiosity about everything. Learners become critical thinkers and also develop problem-solving skills.
There is no education system, no matter how good or advanced, that will meet all the capabilities of different students. Every student is unique in their educational requirements and, thus, the need for personalized learning. Educators customize when, what, and how they teach every single student.
Countries like the United States were early adopters of this teaching method. By 2014, 65% of American high schools were already creating personalized student plans.
Personalized learning incorporates different strategies such as:-
● Blended learning is more student-led, with the teacher only coming in to guide or oversee progress.
● Adaptive learning bases lesson plans on how a student responds to specific questions. That could show their level of understanding or knowledge gaps. The teacher then tailor-makes teaching material based on the insights.
Another favorite, innovative teaching method for Florida is project-based learning. Students identify problems and then develop workable solutions. The advantage to students is critical thinking, honing research abilities, problem-solving, and collaboration. Also, it takes away the dependence on memorization for actual knowledge implementation.
Innovative Teaching Techniques Have Changed the Educational Landscape
Learning has become fun because of innovative teaching techniques. What stands out is that students take a more active role in their education. They can explore, research, ask questions, develop solutions, educate their peers, and more. Teachers must also keep up with the changes by continually improving their skill sets. And, with tech innovations like online learning, educators can plan lessons when it is most convenient for them.