Ah, homework. It has been complained about by students, parents, and teachers alike since…well, probably since the beginning of homework. There’s no doubt that there are times when homework is simply appropriate. Students need opportunities to master new skills and to review old ones, not to mention studying for exams.
But, what if you could make homework less traumatic (and dramatic)? We’re living in an age where that just might be possible. I do understand that not every student has access to a computer or a smart phone, so assigning games and apps as homework is something that would need to be tailored to each classroom. That said, if you can make it work, why not?
It seems like the internet is full of “best of” lists, so it’s not too hard to find games and apps that are actually recommended by parents and other teachers. The thing about them is that they’re entertainment as well as education, which means students don’t just learn, they also enjoy the act of learning. This, of course, helps create a pattern where children look forward to and enjoy the learning experience, rather than resenting and fighting it.
So, would it make you the “cool teacher” if you were to assign your students apps or online games to play? Of course, it might make grading a little harder, but with some creativity, you could likely come up with a screen capture method for “turning in” and validating that the kids did the work. Perhaps you could even develop some sort of contest with the highest scores receiving a special privilege or other reward.