- Interactive lecturing
A method used to involve each and every student in the class, by giving an engagement trigger the immediately gets the students’ attention towards the task. This is followed by an activity where the student is allowed to practice what was learnt or it gives an idea of the upcoming tasks. For instance using think-pair share to allow students to discuss and then respond accordingly. This way they get help from peers and a bond is developed between the peers and also the students feel more confident with their responses. Hence in this way students and teachers both value cultural differences and become involved in the class.
- Active learning
- Using Cases
- Rapport on the first day
Every student is the same for teachers no matter whatever their background or color. Once the child enters the classroom it is a student and none else. So it is the teacher’s responsibility to develop a rapport with the student right from the first day of school so as to make him develop trust and understanding of the new environment. A number of techniques can be used by the teacher to remember and learn students’ names for example, keeping the seating arrangement of the students the same for a few weeks, use name tags, have students introduce each other till they and the teacher knows most of the name, using the name and characteristic technique is another way of remembering a person’s name and so on.
- Classroom Map
Having a class with students from diverse backgrounds and cultures gives teachers an opportunity to introduce new cultures and styles in the classroom. A bulletin board could be used for this activity where a huge map of the word can be put up. Teacher can ask every student to locate their country and share information about it. They can bring artifacts from home if they have any or pictures showing what their homeland looks like and put up on the bulletin board for others to see and comment. This activity can go on for a couple of days till all the students get a chance to share and put up their information. For older students we can go in depth of understanding cultures whereas for younger ones just an overview could be done.
- Uncommon Commonalities
This activity works well when there are students of various cultures present in a class. The teacher can divide students in groups of four- all should be of different cultures- and have them sit and share their cultures. They make a sort of flower, for younger students, or a Venn diagram, for older ones, where they write down their common aspects and hence learn to respect each other’s backgrounds. They can even make a picture or slogan or posters to represent their group when they come to present in front of the class.
Students can be asked to go around the class and introduce themselves using their names as description of cultures. They can ask questions as to what their name means, who gave them their name, if they have any nickname and what are some popular names in their culture so on. Basically they can share their name stories with their classmates and teacher to help them understand each other better.
- Celebrating Differences
- Portfolio collections and Performance projects
Students can be asked to make portfolios of their work and given projects to work on in order to find out their academic level. The difference in the categories of the portfolio would create distinction according to how the projects and portfolios are presented and interpreted. This would enhance the capabilities in the students and would create interest to present better work.
Assessments cannot be taken in one way in a multicultural classroom because every child is coming from a different background. Hence the most important tool of assessment is observations of the students done on a regular basis, while students are engrossed in the tasks given by the teacher. For instance social behavior can be observed when the student is working in a group, how he/she reacts to certain situations, and also the participation in class discussions and so on. How the child is working in different areas in the classroom can be observed and then the teacher can find out the strengths of the students and work on using them to improve other areas as well.
- As a teacher I can help reduce the Digital divide by grouping up children who do not have access to technological sources with the ones who have access so that they are helped by peers. Children learn more from each other than adults; hence I will monitor their performance thoroughly so as to make sure they are not facing any difficulties within their groups. As a teacher I will need to find out which of my students have access to the internet and who does not so that I a lot them sometime in school to complete any assignment which requires the use of technology. Moreover as a teacher I need to be aware of the different technologies that my students are using in the present so as to be able to use it myself and reduce the digital divide between me and my students. This digital division leads students towards social inequality issues compelling them to feel different in their own communities as well as the entire world. Such students could be encouraged to think about technology and ways to improve it with the help of teachers. They would question on various topics where they face challenges in comprehending what is digital division. This will enable them to navigate out of their difficulties and finally bring improvement in it.
- Where there is technology there are issues that come with it. These issues can be legal, social and ethical and also security risks. It is very important as teachers that we understand these issues clearly and are able to explain them to the students also. Many a times while using technology we do not even realize that we are doing something illegal or by a click of a button on an unknown website link can cause damage to the computer software. There are security risks that we need to be aware of when we are using technology, and hence as an educator I need to make sure that my students are not affected by such issues. For instance a computer virus, which is designed to corrupt the computer by encrypting the data stored in it. Hence, I should always have a strong antivirus installed in the computer that will help protect it from such viruses. Also to save the data from hackers, who are unauthorized users, a user ID and password should be set up to protect the data.
Information theft is very common issue people face when using technology. Hence this can be found within education systems also. Students can steal data from each other’s computers and use it as their own. Hence as teachers we need to teach our students to save themselves from such thefts. Teachers should ask students to not leave their computers unattended even for a few minutes, also not share their passwords or IDs with anyone, and delete all history and cookies etc. once they have finished browsing so as to save their information. Moreover, teachers can develop class agreements which all the students sign and accept so that they don’t try to use unethical ways to complete their assignments.
System failure is another important issue which computer users come across frequently. Though, machines are helpful but not entirely reliable hence they can stop working anytime. Every machine has a time span within which it works well and once it crosses it gets destroyed. Hence teachers should teach their students to develop backups of all of their information and assignments so that they do not have to worry about their work if their system is somehow destroyed.