The internet has many valuable resources for teachers and students.  Here are some great ideas for complementing a lesson or activity you already do with your students.  Consider a lesson that could use some sprucing up or needs a touch of something to liven it up (I know I can think of a few of my own) and see if something here fits your needs.  ~EMP

Maintaining classroom attention, whether you are a grade school teacher or a college professor, is never an easy task, and since the advent of smartphones and social media, it has become even harder. Because of this many educators outsource non-traditional lesson plans, such as a music composition, encouraging students and their parents that the best bet is to take private music lessons. With dwindling budgets in the school system for arts and music programs, private lessons provide great supplementary learning.

Another way to meet students on an even playing field and regain their attention is by simply incorporating the technology they love so dearly into their everyday lesson plans. Technology is a shared language and can be an indispensable tool for educators. A few great ways online media can be used include:

Take a Virtual Field Trip

While every teacher would love to take their classroom to great art museums and national natural history museums, many school budgets have been cut and are therefore unable to allow for such expensive adventures. However, that doesn’t mean that teachers have to forgo learning outside the classroom.

With sites such as the Google Art Project, teachers can now take their students through exhibitions at some of the world’s leading art museums including the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.   Consider a social studies or science lesson you are doing that may be enhanced by taking a trip to an art museum.  Simply dim the lights and let your students explore some of the most famous art selections around them.

Prompt a Debate

When it comes to striking conversation or debate in a classroom, many teachers struggle with prompting their students to do so. This is usually no fault of the teacher, simply a basic unawareness that many students have for controversial notions or current events around them.

To help your students strike about debates or push the envelope even further, consider having them watch a TED Talk. TED TV consists of some of the world’s foremost minds in terms of science, society, religion, creativity, technology, and psychology, and is a great way to open your students to a whole new world of thought. Simply pick a talk that complements your current lesson, have the classroom watch, and then ask them how they felt about it. You’ll be sure to have a debate in no time.

Engage Other Virtual Classrooms

Through forums on Wikiversity, teachers can bring other students, and therefore other ideas, right into the classroom. There, students can join other students, attend online lectures and then further discuss them with their fellow virtual classmates. Not only does this give teachers a way to supplement their own lessons, but it creates a strong learning atmosphere for students.

When it comes to bringing the best education possible to your students, there is no reason not to include the internet. Not only are there several sites that can complement your own lessons, but this type of technology is what students need to be familiar with in order to succeed in the future. So if you are looking for a fun way to liven up the classroom, look no further than the internet.

Knowledge on the Go: Insightful Podcasts for Educators and Students
Growing Up Online: the Tidal Wave of Devices in the Classroom

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