Interactive learning is a vital method of educating in the current school climate. But why is that? Why is it that this one practice has taken off and have become popular with teachers and students alike? It’s because it has many advantages over traditional didactic learning. Some of which will be discussed below.
First of all to make interactive learning work it has to be relevant to the student. In fact, they can’t be interacting with something, and it’s not relevant to them. It becomes relevant through the activity of interaction.
Making information and skill relevant to pupils is one of the most major issues in teaching. It has been proven that students are much more likely to respond well to and be motivated by topics and task that are made relevant to their own lives.
Basically, this is because they can clearly see how learning that thing will be of direct benefit to them. It makes sense really. No one wants to put a lot of time and energy into something that they don’t think they’ll ever use again. What would be the point?
A student may struggle to find how every topic itself is relevant to their lives. But by providing them with an interactive activity, it becomes relevant as they will get a positive experience out of it, right there and then.
Another reason that interactive learning styles such as gamification have taken off is that we learn really well by doing. Just think about it. Its easier to teach languages like English from reading it out of a book? Or do the kids learn better if they are attending a venue like English school, where they are immersed in the language?
It is better to get some interactive experience of using the language, in context. Just endlessly copying words and vocabulary out of a book is not an effective way to learn.
Of course one of the biggest strengths of interactive learning is that it is engaging. Anyone that has stood in front of calls of their kids and tried to keep their attention for an hour knows how difficult a task that can be.
Interactive learning helps because it naturally focuses them on the task that they need to do, and not just the sound of the teacher’s voice.
Interactive learning can be used to play to strengths of all types of learners. This includes visual, auditory and kinaesthetic.
In fact, it can be used to inject some variety into the classroom. Even kids whose strength is not being used at that particular time can get a lot out of it. This is because it stops everything being too similar. It also helps them to develop their learning skill in the areas other than where their strength is.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the kids of today live in a pretty interactive environment. They have the internet, computer consoles and now VR too. Children are used to accessing and assimilating information in an interactive way. So by providing interactive tasks, you are giving them something that they are familiar with and can succeed at.