Engaging students can be more exciting than PDF and Power Point slides

Simple is not the word teachers use to describe the process of creating and sharing engaging digital learning content.  Most teachers feel like they don’t have the skills to learn complex content authoring systems, let alone find the time to build and format resources they are proud to share quickly with a class and peers.

This is why the photocopier has been and today remains the most powerful competitor to many e-learning platforms. When you know what you want to do, it should be quick to get it done! After all it is 2022.  It’s true to say that teachers nowadays must work harder to engage students in something they believe can be Googled.

Teachers need  a simple and quick way to create and share engaging, flexible and shareable lessons that reach the audience and make the mark, in minutes. After all, it is 2022 and the green button on ‘that’ photocopier machine needs to take a break.

Some teachers quietly envy teachers who create ‘those’ special learning materials and engagements that activate learning. Teachers Pay Teachers is really Teacher Envy online. How is it that teacher A, good at PowerPoint, is a ‘better teacher’ because they can whip up a lesson template quicker than teacher B? Unfortunately, very few teachers have the time to create their own engaging materials. Besides, one dimension worksheets are “boring” to quote 85% of students. 

Sadly, these super accessible lesson notes and PDF handouts often land in an LMS and bore everybody for eternity. Most teachers are so over-worked they take the ‘phew-view’ that calms them with the thought that ‘at least I have something’.

The tragic end point of this story is that teachers work harder using someone else’s ideas to get the engagement they are looking for. That’s crazy but true. 

Many years ago my economics teacher photocopied the financial pages of the newspaper three times a week. We had to stand up – read the two or three copies pinned to the wall and then talk about what it meant. 

News and views in our class were fresh, engagement was about reality-economics and how lives change if governments get it wrong. We were always engaged in the moment. Now, students have digital access to every newspaper but who reads them? 

What if every teacher took some time to save some time and reimagine learning engagement? 

The single mission of all technology is to  support super teaching powers rather than serve up another way to work all night! The technology support should be quick and simple or it won’t work, and then it has to work!

Never forget that technology cannot replace teachers. It’s only real job is to make teaching more effective.

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