Technology and Teaching Trends

Engaging students in school work has always been a goal of teachers everywhere.

And with the advent of smart phones, tablets and WiFi in our schools, teachers are finding more and more fascinating ways to get students interested in learning through the creative use of technology.

Here are three of the newest teaching trends. For even more, check out the Engage Their Minds blog at

The Game is Afoot

Kids love games – board games, video games, outdoor games, indoor games.

What if learning a new subject in school could be just like a video game? What if you could earn badges, level up and go on quests?

That is the concept behind “gamefication,” one of the newest trends in education. Websites offer teachers digital badges they can award their students, plus ideas on how to give students challenges and quests to make learning more fun.

Finding Your Inner Genius

You might see it referred to as “20% Time” or “Passion Time” or “Genius Hour,” but the concept is to give students time each week to pursue topics on their own that interest them.

Students research a topic, create presentations and share them with classmates, all without being graded.

The folks at Google use this tool with their employees and have found that about 50% of their innovations are ideas generated by staff their Genius Hour.

Every Picture Tells a Story

A free app for cell phones and tablets called Aurasma allows your device’s camera to recognize real world images and overlay them with “auras,” like animations, videos, 3D models and web pages.

Teachers are beginning to create their own “auras” for books, photos and other items in their classrooms.

Educators can let students create their own “auras.”

For example, students could create their own oral book reviews that their classmates could then view on their classroom tablets or cell phones just by pointing them at the book.