Homework is not extremely appealing to students and some educators have their doubts for the same as well. Few kids, if not none, actually feel thrilled at bringing homework to home from school. Students have to spend a couple of additional hours at home, in the school library or in some other place to get their assignments off their back.
They have to set some extra hours aside to find a calm homework zone and finish the pending assignments. Although the experience is not fun, the use of technology and fresh approach over the years has helped make the process relatively easier over the years. Find out how homework has evolved over many years.
Mobile Devices and Apps
There are calendar apps as well as to-do lists available on tablets and smartphones that can track the progress of students on projects. The lists ensure that students are never at a risk of forgetting to finish their homework. They can get homework reminders on time.
- As many as 31% students report that they use a tablet for completing their homework.
- 65% of students report of using a tablet for homework completion.
- 39% of 11 – 14 year olds use smartphones for homework.
- 42% of 6th graders use smartphones for homework.
- 57% of 8th graders use smartphones for homework.
These have brought a new approach to homework assignments. A pilot program in California saw students using an interactive algebra app that help them perform better than they did with conventional textbooks.
Designing their Own Homework
Many academic institutions allow students to design their own homework assignments and complete them. Students are allowed to handle the following two types of assignments:
- Simple assignments –
These can include educational approaches of a more traditional nature, and these include direct questions and answers to the learning material. The instances include tests or providing homework.
- More involved assignments –
These can include designing an original assignment, like experiments, presentations, interviews and various other project activities to show what they have learned.
Online Connection of Parents
The use of internet to connect parents online has also helped improve the standard and ease of doing homework. Numerous schools have integrated an interface or a learning management system that can be accessed by parents to check homework assignments and see the progress of students in classes. It is important to involve parents in the process of homework as well, so that students get the motivation, support and encouragement that are needed for completing assignments in the best possible way.
Integrating Social Media and Games
Many schools and academic institutions are using social media and games to improve homework, and make the completion of assignments easier for students. For instance, rather than writing a paper on photosynthesis, students can design a Facebook page on the same. It can motivate them to think about the process in a fresh way.
A teacher of social studies re-imagined his own class like a post-apocalyptic video game set in the year. Students were asked to study about various civilizations and devise ways for the destroyed society to build itself again.
Similarly, a teacher of history had students use Twitter as a platform to discuss the presidential debates that occurred in the election of 2012.
The concept of a flipped classroom helps improve the standards and process of homework. Lecture at Home and Activity at School are the constituents of the homework process.
In this concept, homework is really readings, a short-recorded video lesson or other online videos that are watched by students at home. In class, students have to do exams, experiments, projects and various other assignments whereas the activities in class are overseen by the teacher. Teachers also offer online assistance and answer various questions that students put to them.
Computers and Calculators
Students from high schools and colleges have been using computers for many years to type their homework assignments and print the same. They are using the internet for conducting research on school reports and term papers. They use electronic calculators for solving and graphing complicated equations. Tech-savvy students use websites and new software programs as their toolkit for:
- Preparing science projects
- Learning new languages
- Cramming for math exams
- For writing essays
Digital storage and submissions
The digital age is all about storing work online. Students can also submit digital work online. This means homework can be accessed by students and teachers at any time they want for reference work. Rather than just one party having it at a time, both can access the work simultaneously – as long as they have access to an internet connection.
This has ensured that there is no loss of homework, crumpled papers or need of folders any more. Also, teachers do not have to make their way through illegible handwriting. In many prestigious academic institutions across the globe, homework is typed rather than written these days.
Feedback from students is as important as the assignment itself. Teachers have to know about the difficulties that pupils faced while dealing with their homework, whether they needed any more reference or guidance than they had already, the type of skills they should focus through the year, the areas that they needed to improve in etc.
Teachers are using technology tools such as email to know about the feedbacks of students and access them at any time. With proper feedback, they can guide students better and help them to succeed more easily in their subsequent attempts.
Electronic posting of information
The homework process has evolved and changed for the better not only for students, but teachers as well. Students can now post assignments and their due dates in an electronic format. Thus, there is no forgetting of due dates or misunderstood information. Students can get proper assignment descriptions along with their due dates on time. They can access the information online, and cannot give any excuses of having lost them.
Today, homework might not still be a fun process. But the burden has lightened with the use of technology and out of the box approaches.