Originally found on: http://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/04/06/edtech-student-confidence/

Edtech is making is easier and more efficient to help students at every level, and to bring even the most timid of learners out of their shells. Dr. Kenneth Shore, a psychologist and Chair of a child study team for the Hamilton, New Jersey Public Schools, explains that “Low self-esteem can lessen a student’s desire to learn, his or her ability to focus, and his or her willingness to take risks. Positive self-esteem, on the other hand, is one of the building blocks of school success; it provides a firm foundation for learning.” 

7 Ways Edtech Boosts Student Confidence in the Classroom

1. It gives students the ability to review or change their answers before submitting their work, which gives them more control over their contributions. Especially for students with a fear of embarrassing themselves when sharing work in a group setting, being able to type their thoughts on a Chromebook and review it for clarity, grammar, and quality can give them the self-assurance needed to present their findings with the rest of the group.

2. For a student who is hesitant to raise his hand when the teacher asks a question, the Google Classroom family of products can create virtual class discussions that engage students in question-driven content, where they can feel comfortable thinking through and then submitting their questions through the software platform.

3. Often with quiz or test taking apps, there is a prompt to proofread and correct errors, and students can mentally confirm their answers before making it ‘official’ and submitting.

4. Using edtech also lets students mind-map their thoughts and organize responses more efficiently, which then makes them more confident in their work. Mind mapping is a visual form of note-taking that creates an overview of a topic and helps students sort and organize its complex information. Bubbl.us and MindMeister are two apps available for classrooms to facilitate easier mind mapping. With these apps, students can easily make colorful mind maps online, then share and work with other students.

5. Edtech programs also operate on a student’s individual level of understanding, so no one feels behind or “slow.” Customization of lessons based on specific students’ abilities boosts confidence because working at appropriate levels and speed can help them feel accomplished. Even when mistakes are made or a wrong answer is given on a virtual worksheet, there is no negativity or judging by peers; just effective redirection and correction that the student can view privately. Building from a success encourages students to undertake more challenging and complex lessons and topics.

6. Voki is an app that has students create their own virtual avatars that are then used in classroom presentations and online communications with the teacher and other students. Having a virtual representation of your physical self can open up even the shyest of students, since they’re not required to verbally articulate their thoughts. Instead, they can have a custom avatar communicate the material for them.

7. Equally as important, technology use integrated in the learning experience helps students feel more confident and prepared for their future. Over half of students report that they feel being well-versed in technology will help them land a job, and 61 percent of STEM college majors say technology is a significant portion of their learning. Teachers who utilize and embrace available technology give students more confidence for learning today, and equip them with the tools they need for the post-education world tomorrow.

Written by Na’ama Y. Rosenberg

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