Like it or not, your classroom is full of digital natives. This means, you spend your teaching time with the most technologically advanced generation in history, the one that is connected to the world like no other generation before. So, why not embracing this fact and start planning daily activities according to this social-oriented and highly intelligent generation?
Diversity beyond tolerance
Digital natives, also known as generation Z, have definitely moved boundaries of tolerance and acceptance of diversity cultures, people and their lifestyles. We find this quite amazing! They casually disrupted the grounds made by old generations, and smoothly wiped the borders on the world’s map. They are blind to differences and care less about where you are from, and more about who you are. With this in mind, you are free to plan weekly activities that include different style and culture, unusual teaching tools, as well as uncommon situations and solution discovery. You can be sure that none of it is unknown to them, and even if it is, this generation is not afraid to explore and embrace new challenges.
Multitasking has never been so exposed
Yes, digital natives go hand in hand with multitasking. It’s the skill they are born with due to ability for digesting a massive amount of easy accessible information. This is perfect for both them and us! What we can do with this skill is, set more tasks at the same time, learn and improve together while doing several things in 1 activity.
Tools they use to connect
Digital media, social media, apps, blogs are just some of the tools the digital natives use in order to stay connected with each other as well as to explore the world. Find out which of those your classroom enjoys more and set homework by using one of the tools. Let us give you a few ideas below.
Blogging for essays
You can ask the whole class to create blogs, with you joining them. Assign essays via blogs and encourage students to read each other’s blogs, make comments and rate them. Talk about blogs in your classroom and award the best ones with assigning another task via another of their favorite tools. Or simply give grades.
Social media for homework
Talk to students and try to find out which social media channels they use the most and which one the least. Choose the one they use the least and the ones appropriate to their age. Encourage them to meet there at a certain time and do assigned activity with them online. For example, if you choose Instagram, give photography homework and comment their work online. This is great for field trips and outdoor activities. Students can take photos of the nature and describe the photo within the limited character length. The best description can be awarded with a grade.
Cloud storage vs. USB
Online book report
Every teacher has books planned for the upcoming school year. Find yours online. They can be e-books or audio books. Encourage them to read or listen and prepare an online book report for you via blogging or file sharing on Drive or Dropbox.
Apps for progress and grades
Explore educational apps that are great for their age. If you work with preschoolers, download Lipa games, they are all educational. Create groups and assign different apps to each group. Talk about the process in apps, set goals (best timing, best score), monitor progress and give grades once the assignments are done.
Visual learning during outdoor activities
Digital natives have an amazing ability for visual learning. Take advantage of it by using digital images in lessons and subjects. This can also be a way to attract them outside and do an outdoor activity. Let them take pictures and videos which you will use in the classroom. For a foreign language subject, assign speaking, vocabulary and pronunciation tasks they will record with their mobile cameras. For science, ask them to take photos of specific things you will work on the following week.
Selfie turns boring into fun
Most of the students might roll their eyes when you invite them to a museum or a theatre. They think it’s boring. However, you can attract them in a very fun way for them. Assign selfies as homework to those who come with you. The next day you can explore all the taken selfies together, vote and award the best ones.