Teachers face new generations of students every day who have a very close relationship with technology and social media. Therefore, it is very important that teachers learn how to combine classes with the new interactive materials that mobile devices allow, and the many options they offer.
The truth is that using interactive learning strategies in class enriches education and makes students feel more motivated and interested. The aim is to take advantage of how easy it is for students to operate a tablet, and thus integrate it into the classroom to encourage participation and interaction.
Interactive Learning Strategies for the classroom
One way to achieve this is to implement some interactive learning strategies that use technology and digital extensions.
# 1 Interactive exercises
To spice up classes, teachers can weave interactive exercises into their conversations and students will have to answer on their tablet.
For Dexway language courses, these exercises can include matching, fill in the blank, indicating the image that represents the dialogue that you heard, unscrambling sentences or phrases of a conversation, or completing word searches.
Utilizing classroom add-ons such as Dexway Classroom Companion, specially developed to operate inside and outside the classroom according to the teacher’s preferences and instructions, is an effective way to use tablets in class (and at home, if desired), with a variety of interactive exercises.
# 2 Upload content to online communities
Surely your students are no strangers to social networks like Twitter or Facebook. However, in addition to looking at funny memes and reading news about celebrities, you can do a lot with social networks and microblogging.
Interactive exercises capture students’ attention and encourage them to participate in closed online communities where they can replicate the benefits of a social network, but in a safe environment monitored by teachers.
The Dexway student community (private or worldwide) allows teachers to open up discussions and have students participate in them as they would in any other online network or forum.
Using virtual networks and communities in an educational setting is an interesting but effective practice, provided that it is used in a safe environment guided by a teacher and for educational purposes. This is supported by Christine Greenhow’s study for Michigan State University: “Twitteracy: Tweeting as a New Literacy Practice.”
# 3 Flipped classroom
The cornerstone of interactive and active classes is the Flipped Classroom (or inverted classroom) method.
The teacher selects the course content to be studied at home before the next class. That way, time in the classroom is spent on doing more interactive learning strategies, such as discussions or hands-on activities.
In the classroom, all the material is stored on the students’ tablet so they can reference it at any time.
A flipped classroom helps to respect the learning times of different learners’ profiles in a class, especially with regards to language education, where acquiring knowledge tends to not be as uniform.
This is because, in addition to formal education, the individual abilities of each student depend on other factors such as what they have read, their travels, if they watch movies or TV series in the original language, etc.
It is clear that tablets are here to stay in classrooms, many times displacing the need for computer rooms because of the mobility advantages tablets offer.
Making the most of this resource is the teacher’s responsibility, and Dexway facilitates this with blended learning and language labs (online, LAN/Wi-Fi, offline). Combined with Voluxion’s scalable LMS or LCMS platforms, they offer specialized language functions such as the industry-leading Dexway Community, which is in line with its pursuit of interactivity.
Dexway courses, structured in accordance with the CEFR, use a “learning by doing” approach, which guarantees that students grow linearly from 0 to 100%, without gaps. Students practice the four main skills of language learning (listening, reading, speaking and writing), while at the same time working on grammar and pronunciation in a hands-on way.
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