It’s no question: technology is shaping how or students engage (or don’t) with us.
From the apps nagging our students for attention during class to the learning management systems (Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, etc.) we and our students are asked to wrestle with, technology is absolutely altering how we interact with our students.
That said, when leveraged the right way,
Technology can be a way to increase engagement in the classroom.
In this post, we share some of our favorite tech tools you can use to flip the script on technology and use it to re-engage your students.
Active Learning vs Passive Listening
The first thing to know is that lectures are the antithesis of engagement. If your class is full of:
- Glazed eyes
- Distracted fidgeting
- Lethargic discussions
Remember that it’s not that disengaged students don’t like to learn, the truth is most students love learning. They just hate listening.
Ask yourself, what do Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Netflix all have in common? They are all visual-based technologies that our students have grown up with and spend far more time “learning from” than they do lectures.
Now ask yourself, are your bullet points genuinely more compelling than their latest Instagram story?
If the answer is no, the next question to answer is:
How do you create an active learning experience for your students?
If you’re looking to shift from a “sage on the stage” class to an active learning environment, Kahoot! is a great tool to use.
How to Leverage Kahoot! In Your Entrepreneurship Lesson
Gamification is a great way to increase engagement in class. Using technology like Kahoot! you can create multiple-choice competitions that foster engagement or as an assessment tool.
Here’s what we love about Kahoot! in the classroom:
- Produces real-time competition
- Encourages instant collaboration
- Boosts energy with a real-time leader board that students love seeing their names on
- Inspires discussion among all students
Kahoot! works by showing students a series of multiple-choice questions on your projector and each student (or team of students) uses their smartphone to quickly answer each question. Teams are awarded points for correct answers, and the faster they answer, the more points they get and after each question, they can see how well their team is doing compared to other teams in the class.
If you want to easily try Kahoot!, we’ve actually integrated it into our free Customer Interviewing Cards Exercise. This lesson plan was presented at USASBE 2020 and teaches valuable customer discovery skills.
Give it a shot and you’ll not only teach your students what questions to ask (and questions avoid) during customer interviews, you’ll do it in an engaging way with full class participation.
Nothing Compares to Learning by Doing
Another way to engage students is to have them teach themselves by creating a “learn by doing” experience. For example, if you want to teach students about the power of Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), why not use Wix and Powtoon to have your students create their own during class?
Wix: Launch Websites (No Student Experience Required)
Wix is a free and user-friendly website creator. Some of the features we’ve found helpful when using in our lesson plans include:
- Drag and drop editing
- Pre-built templates
- No technical skills required
Powtoon: Your Students Can Create Explainer Videos
Powtoon is an incredibly useful tool to make simple explainer videos fast. Here are some of the features that make Powtoon a useful teaching tool:
- Wide-variety of templates
- Change elements with a simple click
- Animate a video in minutes
While you can plan an entrepreneurial lesson using Wix and Powtoon, we’ve found they can be combined for a powerful lesson. You can try our 60-Minute MVP this semester to introduce your students to Wix and Powtoon so they can see how quickly and easily they can start testing demand for new products, even if they have no tech or video editing skills.
This lesson plan was a finalist in the USASBE 3E competition, and it’s one of the most popular on our site. We hope you give it a shot – not only will it use technology to teach your students new skills, they’ll be completely engaged while they do it.
Design an App Prototype Without Technical Skills
So many of our students want to build apps, but most of them will lack the technical skills to even prototype their apps. Marvel changes that.
Marvel is an easy to use app that lets your students quickly prototype their app designs by first drawing them on paper, and then simply taking pictures of their designs with their phone, but that’s not all!
Here are some of the exciting features you can leverage in the classroom:
- Design easily with Marvel’s UI builder
- Perform usability testing with a simple link
- Get customer/usability feedback immediately
Marvel is free to use and is perfect to encourage design thinking and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. We created our Marvel App Lesson Plan below to introduce you to this new entrepreneurial teaching tool.
It’s free for any/all entrepreneurship teachers, so you’re welcome to share it.
Incorporate Technology in Your Entrepreneurship Class
When used well, technology can transform your classroom into an experiential, fully-engaged experience for your students. If you’d like to learn more about the technologies we use in our entrepreneurship lesson plans, click to learn more. We hope that it supports the work you do in the classroom, and if you and your students enjoy, check out the full Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC).
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