Engaging Students Before They Drop Out

 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 8 percent of students drop out of high school each year.  The number is higher for African-American, Hispanic and American Indian students.  While there are many reasons students drop out of school, the majority of them cite disinterest and a lack of real-life learning as one of the reasons for dropping out.  Incorporating technology in your teaching can help combat the dropout rate by helping material become more interesting and relevant.

Incorporating Technology by Subject Area

When you incorporate technology in your classroom, you take the material beyond the textbook.  If you teach history, let students visit virtual museums, view historical artifacts, watch historical videos and read first-hand accounts of historical experiences.  As a science teacher, access games, online labs and simulations to help students understand difficult scientific concepts.  English teachers can utilize digital publishing tools, let students blog or allow students to access eBooks and listen to audio books online.  Digital cameras, video cameras, MP3 players and interactive whiteboards helps teachers and students in any subject share content with students or help them create creative presentations and responses to the content.

Building Relevant Skills

Bring technology into the classroom to help students build relevant skills.  While the focus of your teaching may not be on teaching students how to blog, conduct online research or use a variety of web 2.0 applications, by incorporating technology into your lessons and activities, you give students a chance to develop practical skills.  As the world becomes digitally-focused, no matter what job students take, they will have to learn how to use different kinds of technology.  Whether you study Ancient Greece or the Laws of Physics, the material becomes more relevant when you incorporate technology.

Connecting to Generation Z

Your students are part of a connected generation.  From computers to cell phones to MP3 players, eReaders, video games and other digital devices, their daily lives are full of technology.  A classroom without this technology is no longer relevant to most students, including potential dropouts.  Bring in technology to automatically help students connect the material to their daily lives, thereby making it more interesting and relevant.