How Can Teachers Find Additional Resources for the Classroom?
Sep 29, 2021
Do you often wonder why some students always seem uninterested in class? Textbooks can only take one so far. In this highly competitive world, teachers must be able to achieve something more than they have hitherto. On top of that, because of the increasingly collaborative nature of the work we do every day, limiting ourselves to the textbook and the curriculum will only hurt us in the long run.
Did you know most students lose interest in mathematics because they see no use for mathematics in real life? For teachers, this is a complicated thing to address. How does one convince students that mathematics isn't just limited to textbook calculations? Perhaps teach them about the golden ratio (the divine proportion)? But how do we find resources to do that? How about Newton's law? How does one effectively convince students that ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction' without using additional resources like videos or interactive content?
In this article, we shall look at the importance of finding appropriate additional resources for a classroom. Furthermore, we shall also look at potential resources that can be used in a class straight away!
The Rise of Online Education
Online education has been on and around for a while now. However, since 2020 a majority of classes and learning has shifted online. This shift has its good and evil. However, it has become increasingly difficult for teachers to practically demonstrate what students would learn inside the classroom. As a consequence, the need for additional learning resources and interactive media has been on the rise.
Imagine the school visits you'd take students on to show them the biodiversity around. Or when you took students to a robotics lab to show them what cool machines can do! Because of the restrictions online, all that is no longer possible. It may be so in the coming days since we still have a major climate change problem right outside the door. All this demands that we make our classrooms virtually interactive and not limit ourselves to coursebooks.
What Can Teachers Do?
It seems challenging, but with a little effort, we could achieve outstanding results. Think about Newton's 3rd law that we talked about. Perhaps you believe you've done your best in teaching the students, but could they gain more insight from somewhere like Legends of Learning? Research also suggests that most of what children learn in school is outdated in about Eight years. For this reason alone, teachers need to look beyond just textbooks inside a classroom. When one finds resources online, students also get an idea of what curriculum evolution is like and how to be updated even when what they've read becomes history.
Firstly, teachers can find resources like learning modules, additional readings, relatable videos that they can roll out in class. For instance, when teaching about something like communism, teachers could assign Animal Farm by Oscar Wilde. Or, when teaching about paradoxes, teachers could assign videos from platforms like Oversimplified to make sure students are exposed to a broader spectrum of the subject matter.
Secondly, teachers could teach students about searching for resources. Visits to the library and training on accessing online repositories could come in handy when students need to be updated regarding changes in education and concepts.
Finally, teachers can make sure students are in sync with changes to the curriculum. When teaching concepts, teachers can reinforce the idea of nothing being stagnant. Laws, principles keep changing all the time. Even A for Apple becomes A for Aeroplane as time moves by. Teachers can ensure students know this and know this well.
Some Resources That Teachers Can Use in Classroom
While there are tons of resources that teachers can use in a classroom, we've listed out a few that one could try right away.
Book Wizard - A handy tool to find about books, additional readings, and the level at which particular books should be taught.
Common Sense Media - An excellent tool for finding films, videos that can be used as a learning supplement. Appropriate age guidelines are included, too, so teachers can ensure safety.
Crayola - Great for arts and craft projects and helps aid visualization.
Google Earth - Can be used for a wide range of activities. A great option for virtual tours. Teaching geology, space, atmosphere, etc., becomes incredibly easy with this particular tool.
SanDiegoZoo - Platforms like these enable teachers to teach biodiversity in a manner much detailed and informative than textbooks.
Flocabulary - This paid service helps teach, learn, and remember vocabulary with ease instead of traditional methods. We've also written about adapting games in a classroom to enable better learning of vocabulary, mathematics, and much more. You can read about that here.
Learning for Justice - Although west centric, teachers can use resources like these to teach about major historical events that involve justice. For instance, women rights and the rise of the feminist movement. These enable students to know and encourage them to explore options in their native country.
WeAreTeachers - An all-in-one tool for resources ranging from classroom ideas, free printables, virtual tour information, pass information, career training, etc., that makes a teacher’s life so much easier on their way to enabling an all-round learning environment.
We're Here to Assist
Everything mentioned above entirely places the burden of research on teachers. We have tried to merely lend a hand as far as possible. That aside, with Veda's school management system, teachers can take care of classroom affairs with ease online. That would leave them ample time to search, select, and implement resources they think would help students the most.
Our education system has slowly been making progress to allow teachers to explore options other than curriculum-based books. Given that, we must be careful in selecting resources that we want to use to assist students in their learning process.