Everyone has their favourite subjects at school. Sporty folk look forward to their weekly dose of football, gymnastics or swimming in Physical Education, whilst bookworms will revel in their English teacher’s knowledge of Shakespeare, Dickens and Orwell.
However, a teacher has the ability to make or break a subject for their young learners. Their own enthusiasm for their chosen area of expertise will rub off on their pupils and will shape their learning experiences as they grow up. A child with a natural inclination towards sports may also learn to love social sciences with the right teacher at the helm.
History, for example, is one of those subjects that most youngsters can learn to truly love. It can arouse their imaginations as teachers transport them back to the times of the American Civil War or even further back to when William Wallace was fighting for the freedom of Scotland.
With the right approach, History can come alive in the classroom. By the time a child reaches five, they will probably be well versed in the wonders of modern technology, with games consoles, multimedia players and a myriad of digital tools at their fingertips from the day they were born. By the time they reach the age of secondary education, they may well be masters of technology, which is why a dusty old textbook on the French Revolution might not quite tickle their learning taste buds as much as an interactive whiteboard (IWB).
IWBs are becoming increasingly popular tools in the classroom, with teachers tapping into their multimedia-rich capabilities to engage with the young minds. Not only can teachers play-back re-enactments or actual footage from real historical events, they can also call upon the youngsters to collaborate in question and answer exercises.
Learner response systems (LRS) are personal handsets that enable the class to submit answers and ideas that are then displayed on a large screen at the front of the class. Interactive whiteboards and its associated supporting technology encourage children to collaborate and interact and help to bring history – and other subjects – to life in the classroom.
Pre-class planning is an integral part of any subject. One of the core underpinning facets of a successful class is the lesson plan. Teachers must arrive in class prepared to pass on their expert knowledge to children in a way that engages them and enlightens them. There are many tried and tested history lesson plans and resources available for use with interactive whiteboards, developed by history teachers around the globe.
It’s easier than ever for teachers to bring Napoleon and Christopher Columbus together in the classroom for an educational experience that will engage children of all ages. Technology and teaching go hand-in-hand in the 21st century classroom and its benefits shouldn’t be ignored.