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Motivating Students

Motivating people is one of the hardest jobs for teachers, parents, coaches and employers. In education, there are a lot of instructional strategies. Any instructional strategy that is used will reach some students but not all. The best advice I was told was to always vary your instructional strategy since you can not reach all your students with any ONE strategy. Many professors have also expounded that after 20 minutes of a lecture or activity, the students should switch gears and do something new. This could be a break from the work or a whole new activity.

Technology is  a great motivator and differentiation tool. Technology can be used by the teachers in many ways. Modeling good technology use if very important. One way is to use Wordle.net when showing a new topic. In a high school setting, I would find articles I wanted students to read. I would first create a Wordle from the article and ask them what they thought the article would be about. Teacher can also use technology with many other tools for presenting. Giving the students exposure to different technologies opens up opportunities for the students to use the technology in the future. Most students know how to use some technology. The technology also can be used to  find their knowledge. 

After reading Daniel Pink’s book “Drive”, I agree wholeheartedly that to motivate people, they need three things.  Daniel lists the the three things as autonomy, mastery, and purpose. These all relate to the video shown.  Humans need purpose, therefore, we want  an authentic reason to be studying the topics. Humans desire mastery so we want to know that they can attain knowledge. We don’t try to teach 1st graders calculus because they first need to master addition and subtraction. Humans need autonomy because we want to make choices that affect us. If there is a possibility of students using choice in learning, I try to allow them choice. This does not mean they can do anything. I am very interested in constructive play. Constructive play to me is when you give student three to five choices and let them have the opportunity to chose.

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