t’s no secret that kids learn better when teachers provide learning activities that keep them engaged. Teachers work tirelessly to plan engaging lessons that capture and keep the interests of their students, thereby making content more accessible. However, teachers continue to feel the daunting pressure to compete for their students’ attention amidst the ever-evolving and rapidly-hanging mass media, social media, and entertainment industry, as these elements do a stellar job of keeping students highly engaged outside of the classroom.
Although it is vitally important for us to know and understand our students' interests and the best conditions under which they learn, there is good news: It’s not necessary that we focus our efforts on competing with the devices and activities our students engage in during their downtime outside of the classroom! Recreation, entertainment, and downtime for students outside of the classroom are just that: recreation, entertainment, and downtime. Students expect to come to school to learn and to be challenged (although they may never tell us that).
Corporate training is vital for any business, but employees don’t always retain what they’ve learned. Businesses often lack skilled instructional designers and instead leverage in-house experts with no background in training.
Instructional Designers and eLearning scriptwriters will always be challenged with the daunting nature of the blank page. Granted, no custom/bespoke project is ever easy; especially when attempting to engage cynical audiences that are often resistant to training of any kind. But when tasked with creating off-the-shelf eLearning for global audiences, i.e. content which is both industry and job role agnostic, Instructional Designers face a formidable test that requires a much different approach.
The entertainment industry has been a great teacher for our eLearning industry in providing a blueprint for engaging global audiences. In my 17 years in eLearning with much of that time focused on compliance training designed to change behavior, my eLearning teams have always borrowed from entertainment’s effectiveness in reaching audiences worldwide.
Check out these fun, easy ideas to engage students using Blendspace, a free tool to create interactive lessons, activities, and more with digital content! Compiled by teacher Mike Gershon, these ideas will refocus your students on learning.
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