Adding interactivity into lessons with PDF Expert: 5 easy tips for teachers

There’s hardly a child or adult in the world who can sit for hours doing just one thing. Experts in child development say that a reasonable length of attention that can be expected from a child is two to three minutes per year of age. 

This is why it may take a week for a student to read a book, not just to read, but to read in a way to truly remember it. Let’s face it, it’s a luxury sometimes to keep students engaged throughout class time. When they are given a task that seems to be challenging, they are more likely to give up trying to solve it and switch their attention to scrolling their social media, searching for memes, or doodling in the fields of their Moleskin.

Applying interactive techniques to education

Teachers have managed to find secret keys to smooth communication with eager-to-have-fun minds over the years. But capturing concentration consistently is a complex art.

Words sound nice, but is it true?

There’s something peculiarly ordinance in teaching interactively. This is about learner-centred methods such as work in groups, pair work, and educational tools. In a nutshell, anything that involves interaction between peers, teachers, and students.

Studies show that games can help increase student engagement, enhance social and emotional learning, and motivate students to take risks. There’s an explanation that is hard to disagree with. The student becomes active, not a passive reader, listener, or observer. 

Games have become an important outlet for keeping children remotely connected and motivated with the pandemic. Kahoot has become a staple tool for students looking to find ways to make their lessons more interactive. But why stop there, PDF Expert has five features that make it a valuable teaching tool. Let’s dive in and find out more. 

Requesting student's feedback on tasks' difficulty

If you notice that your student consistently shies away from work or seems too distracted, ask them to rate the task's difficulty level on a scale of one to ten. You can use stickers to do this. The student can glue a post-it or write in the margins of a workbook or file.

If your student rates the assignment an eight or higher, ask what you can do to make the assignment a two or three. This way, you can learn how to help your student do the task, and the student won't be afraid to admit that something is difficult or not completely clear. 

Using audio notes to record voice

It's not a secret that the voice can evoke emotions. To evaluate the student's work, use audio comments in PDF Expert. Even if the work requires critics, firstly, an educator can give feedback sounding smooth, patiently, and soothing; secondly, that would be easier for the teacher to explain to students what was wrong, what's better to revise, and, most importantly, why something was wrong. 

Reviewing with care and using positive reinforcement 

Every time your student completes an assignment, provide positive feedback immediately. Things as simple as a mark, star, or sticker on a work assignment can significantly increase your student's motivation. And don't forget to mark yourself because you play an essential role in helping your students learn and develop.

I personally remember that my teacher could grant extra time for the class to discuss the errors made on the test. Learning from the mistakes of others is as practical as learning from your own. My literature teacher collected our essays to share with us at the end of the school year so that each student could feel progress in expressing thoughts and text interpretations. 

I think it’s a good practice, and in the digital era, this approach could be modernized by merging PDFs into one file. PDF Expert does that in a matter of taps, and the result looks good. It seems to me that merging files with the marks and comments will be great for students to have their own map of the writing journey. 

Creating a questionnaire for parents

Communication with parents is an irresistible part of learning, especially in primary and middle schools. This is why it’s crucial for a teacher to have all parents' contacts to access the information they need faster. I suggest using PDF Expert to create short questionnaires at the beginning of the semester and send them to parents so you have contact information, birthdays, allergies, preferred nicknames, emergency numbers, and wishes to improve the learning process. The thing is that some parents can be fully involved and help with some organizational tasks around the school or after-study activities such as visiting museums or animal shelters. In PDF Expert, select File > New > New Document. Then select Edit > Text tool to type your questions.

Storytelling through presentations

Harward Business Publishing says storytelling is appealing because “stories stick.” Peg Neuhauser, a researcher and psychologist, has found that knowledge gained from a well-told story is memorable and retained longer. To shorten the bridges between a teacher and students, it’s good to call for presentations. Indeed, a presentation is a way of telling stories visually, through auditory, and interactively. PDF Expert integrates with FaceTime, letting you share your screen and doodle on the slides together with others.

One way to make your presentation more interactive is to make it nonlinear, allowing your students to choose the path they would like to explore in the lesson you have prepared. Nonlinear stories that have room for interaction are always more engaging and intriguing.

Another way to engage students is to ask them questions often and allow them to ask questions and start discussions. There can be a question-and-answer section in the presentation and a quiz where you can check to see if students have followed the lesson and if they have understood you.

I just wanted to say…

Interactive teaching strategies bring excitement to the classroom and offer an alternative to the concept of passive learning where students have to listen to the educator and memorize the lectures. When students are active participants in the educational process, they learn while, at the same time, having fun and being active and engaged. Interactive activities stimulate creative thinking in learners and, in general, have the potential to be more effective in achieving learning goals. PDF Expert is your essential companion as an educator and is available now. 

Download PDF Expert to add a bit of interactivity to your lessons 👩‍🏫

Vita Vypovska Vita Vypovska

PDF Expert

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