For many years, students have spent large amounts of time in the classroom just sitting and listening to teachers lecture and provide explanation, and even today, very little has changed even with many new technologies with educational capabilities. There are many assistive technologies available today that make many new educational experiences and instructional practices possible.
Teachers can design classes to rely less on lecturing and more on differentiated learning by students. They can do this by creating many different experiences using technology that appeal to many different kinds of learners with differing abilities. Visuals can be given on a smart board and students can interact with it. There are many more, and some great ideas can be found on the following links:
http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/what-differentiated-instruction
http://differentiationcentral.com/
http://www.tpsnva.org/teach/best_practices/diff_instruct_bulletin_elem.pdf
In my opinion, there is an almost never ending list of teaching methods and assistive technologies that can foster increased student engagement. These methods I think, should include things such as an element of visual appeal and relevant examples. Discussions, role plays, and small group work using computer technologies are great, but have their own strengths and drawbacks. You have to make sure virtual experiences can be applied and used in the real world and apply directly to the content. You also have to ensure online security and make sure that students stay on topic and do not put anything inappropriate. They are great however, because they connect more people more easily and allow students to work together even if they are not in the same place.

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