Ed Tech

How to Engage Students

3 Strategies for How to Engage Students No one likes a dull classroom. It’s harder to teach and even harder to learn. We want to help teachers crack the classic puzzle of how to engage students.   1. Sell the Lesson   One of the most common questions teachers will get at both K-8 and High School levels is: Why do I need to know this? When will I ever need to use this skill? And this makes sense. The students value their time just like all of us and if they don’t think your lesson will help them in life, why should they raise their hand and ask questions or engage instead of thinking about lunch?   So the first strategy is  to sell your lesson to them in a similar fashion as to how businesses sell products. This sounds strange at first, why would I try to sell something to my students? But if you have an iPhone, you didn’t just buy it because Apple said, “Look, here’s an iPhone 5!”. Instead they said, “You can take amazing pictures and videos and always stay connected!” So give examples in how you’ve personally used this knowledge, and  in math, make case problems instead of plain numbers and in history try showing how similar events are happening now.   2. Let Students Help Each other   If you’ve had a really engaged class throughout the semester or even for the day, let them start doing in-class assignments together. Sometimes students are afraid to ask too  many questions during a lecture or while working individually, but when they have the chance to work with their peers they are much more comfortable asking for help. This can be even more […]

By |January 20th, 2015|Ed Tech, Education, Gamification|Comments Off on How to Engage Students

Student Engagement: Back to Basics

It’s hard to teach in a barely engaged classroom  and it’s even harder to learn. Here are 5 tips on how to increase student engagement. You might already know these, but are you doing them?   1.       Create Curiosity  It’s what killed the cat: curiosity is an essential driver for deeper understanding. It’s the same reason why Google and Wikipedia are so popular- curiosity creates a deep need for understanding therefore motivating us to seek out and understand the answer. By tapping into students’ natural curiosity, you can increase student engagement in the material being presented. Incorporating elements of mystery can incite curiosity within students.  “Why do Earthquakes happen?” or “What killed all the dinosaurs?” – allow students to work in small groups to uncover the answers allowing them to explore their own curiosity and autonomy Present a broad topic like ‘Space’- Give students 5-10 minutes to ask any questions they’ve had regarding that topic and answer them or incorporate those topics into the lesson   2.       Make it Fun Have you ever gone to a professional development day consisting solely of sessions and speakers telling you what you ‘need’ to know or just watched CNN? During those 8 hours of presentations, power points, and speeches- how do you feel? Nobody likes to be talked at for 8 hours. Find ways to inject fun into the lessons. Students are more likely to remain engaged if they are having fun and have the opportunity to participate. Find ways for students to get up and get moving. Here’s some ideas! Use games to get students thinking about the material. Create the opportunity for students to explore the material in different creative ways with presentations, group breakouts, and projects. […]

By |January 8th, 2015|Ed Tech, Gamification|Comments Off on Student Engagement: Back to Basics

Youtopia named by The Challenge Cup as one of Chicago’s Hottest Education Startups

http://tech.co/challenge-cup-chicagos-hottest-showcasing-startup-education-2013-10

By |October 31st, 2014|awards, Blog, Ed Tech, Education|Comments Off on Youtopia named by The Challenge Cup as one of Chicago’s Hottest Education Startups
  • Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 6.05.18 AM
    Education: How Games Help Your Academic Achievement Education: How Games Help Your Academic Achievement

    Education: How Games Help Your Academic Achievement

Education: How Games Help Your Academic Achievement

Approach the education system in a progressive, yet open innovative manner, introducing the power of “Gamification” within the education system as it exists today might just be the next best step to take. The education system is at the core already a game: you earn points (Grades) you get challenges (Exams) there are levels (For example: first to second grade is leveling up). Feedback In the current education system you’ll get lectures about a certain subject for weeks and weeks, closing the subject with a formal exam that will measure how much you know. Or how much you still remember from the last minute studying the day and/or night before. Splitting the subjects into smaller pieces, making them true “challenges” that you can accomplish very quickly one after the other would allow the players to go through the materials at their own pace. Adapting gradually to the complexity and difficulty of the subject, applying their newly discovered skills and/or tools for the next challenge. Engage A goal to engage users is by getting players to acknowledge their achievements! This is a very visual and audible sign indicating that the player was intrinsically motivated and is proud about his/her achievement. It is this kind of motivation that will trigger the urge of the player to continue towards the next challenge that is slightly more difficult to go through. Don’t Forget Social Media Of course it is not only the challenge concept and allowing people to fail that will motivate them to play, that would be too easy in this complex world we live in. The most important part here is to come up with the right “story” that incorporates the challenges and all other game-elements. Without a good story, the players […]

By |March 11th, 2014|Ed Tech, Education, Game Mechanics, Gamification|Comments Off on Education: How Games Help Your Academic Achievement
  • Gamification
    Gamification in Education: Creating New Techniques for Students Gamification in Education: Creating New Techniques for Students

    Gamification in Education: Creating New Techniques for Students

Gamification in Education: Creating New Techniques for Students

Gamification in education can be an effective motivational tool for engagement. Some educators spot increases in student engagement while others see skill acquisition benefits. It can also be a tool for enabling teachers to guide and reward their students and in terms of game mechanics, urgent optimism is a powerful force to get the classroom to take action quickly, keeping them on task and highly motivated. Some schools have developed a common core-based language arts curriculum that is entirely based on “World of Warcraft.” Algebraic equations are being solved by the implementation of “Angry Birds” to illustrate parabolic movement and provide students with impetus. Other programs, primarily those that focus on physical education, have even introduced “Dance Dance Revolution” to get the kids moving.

By |February 20th, 2014|Ed Tech, Education, Game Mechanics, Gamification, Infographics|Comments Off on Gamification in Education: Creating New Techniques for Students