Engaging Students with Technology

Think outside the box with technology.

There are 2 ideas here – both from high school teachers.

1) The following information comes from a high school language teacher in England.  Mr. Picardo is also a consultant and speaker who educates educators on using technology to enhance education.  More about him and his endeavors can be found @ http://www.josepicardo.com/ and at www.boxoftricks.net

The following is gleaned from a youtube video referenced below.  My additions / comments are in italics.

Top Ten Tips for using technology in the classroom

Tip 1: Use Streaming Video

Tip 2: Use music more often.

May I suggest “Groovin’ in the Hippocampus: Songs to Learn A&P By – seriously any excuse to include a little bit of music will get their attention.  The pulmonary and cardiac systems offer lots of possibilities for bits of songs to play to introduce a topic.  Try “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, or “Heartbeat” by King Crimson.  Better yet – challenge the students to bring in or suggest a song that has words related to the current A&P topic.  Pick a song and play it at the beginning of class – or even as students are coming into class.

Tip 3: Use teleconferencing tools such as Skype

Link to other professors/students to share or watch presentations.  Link to an MD or nurse who is willing to answer a few questions about the topic at hand and specifically what they see at work in regards to your current topic of study.

Tip 4: Create your own interactive exercises.

There are websites like hot potatoes and content generator that allow you to make games using your own content.  Content generator has a few free downloads you can use to do this and hot potatoes is all freeware but doesn’t look to have as much creative variety.

Tip 5:  Use your interactive whiteboard more effectively : take a course or use on-line tutorials  (one place to check for tutorials http://rmtc.fsdb.k12.fl.us/tutorials/whiteboards.html#resources

Tip 6: Create your own podcasts.

Making special demonstrations or presentations available as podcasts will help students review.

Tip 7: Start a blog or a wiki – showcase pupil work and achievements.

A place where students can discuss or respond to your ideas.  An earlier newsletter of mine suggested establishing a ‘student body’ wherein each student represents an organ or component of a system (such as pH level, BP, respiratory rate, or the heart or kidneys)  Introduce stressors to the system and allow the ‘student body’ to react in the blog by each ‘part’ describing how it would react to or counteract a stressor or change.

Tip 8: Use social networks – can create closed groups on Facebook

Tip 9: Use internet tools ; try animoto which will help you make videos from slides or shorter videos.


Tip 10: Make the most of your pupil’s gadgets – cell phones, i-pods, etc.

Video any student presentations and post on Blackboard with student permission.  Encourage students to create videos that explain or expound on classroom topics that can be posted as appropriate.

Link for Jose Picardo video covering the 10 Tips:



2) Blogging on A&P

High school teachers must engage students who have little choice about being there, so some pretty interesting ideas for engaging students are coming out of high schools.  Below is a link to an article about a high school English teacher who used a blog and interactive web application to interest her students in “Romeo and Juliet.”

Okay, so “Romeo & Juliet” is a story and your students have to learn facts, not stories….. Or do they?  A little anthropomorphization goes a long way.  You could set up a community on-line wherein different students play different body parts / systems or even specific hormones.  Introduce something into the system and let the players act it out.  Or, ask the students for ideas about using the web to make A&P engaging in the way most students under 30 are engaged : on-line.

Offer prizes for sharing ideas and connections on-line.  Ask students for their creative suggestions about how to create an interesting on-line learning environment.  Alter egos could be used (as long as they do not flame or use profanity) that share weird connections they think of within the field of A&P or between A&P and other fields.

These thoughts are based on an article on the National Education Association Webpage.  It is titled :

“Students live in a Digital World. Are schools ready to join them?”  By Tim Walker


Enjoy – and let your creative side go wild thinking of ways to digitally engage your students!



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