Computer science has been an important part of the educational curriculum for decades. Professor Seymour Papert, a mathematician from South Africa that taught at MIT and University of Paris, taught computer science to his students in the early 1980s. About a decade later, computer science classes were a core requirement in most primary school systems.
Modern students are more computer savvy than ever. A lot of this is due to the fact that around 40% of children use a smartphone by the age of 6.
However, despite the prevalence of technology, many students are still reluctant to learn some of the more sophisticated skills related to computer science. They require complex math, which can be hard for some to learn. This means that computer science teachers need to find creative ways to motivate them.
How Can Computer Science Teachers Motivate Their Students?
Every teacher wants his students to study well and demonstrate their interest and desire to learn new information. Computer science teachers want to inspire them even more than many other teachers, because their students can easily get frustrated with the challenging curriculum they face. Parents are also interested in making sure their kids develop the right computer skills, but sometimes both parties are challenged by the fact that a pupil does not want to study.
In this case, the pupil simply has no will or motivation in learning, even if they are somewhat interested in computers. In elementary school, motivation becomes a rather big problem for computer teachers, since kids can become even more frustrated. Children are distracted, make noise, do not follow the rules, do not make enough effort to complete the task and homework, and begin to show complete apathy. If they are on a computer, they might be tempted to try to browse the Internet as well.
The older the student becomes, the more issues he has after developing an unwillingness to learn. The most popular approach used to be to try to stimulate learning activities of negligent students with poor grades, but this does not help anymore. That is why computer teachers have come up with various motivational methods, like giving them rewards like a special prize. For instance, US teachers pick up a relevant award template for students on https://www.storyboardthat.com/create/award-worksheets. The purpose for awarding students may be different – from particular achievements to expressing kindness.
When computer teachers are trying to encourage competitiveness in the classroom, celebrate the success of active kids, and praise them for their efforts, they can introduce a system of bonuses. These rewards, attention, and incentives can be powerful tools to encourage your pupils. Below, we will analyze why it is crucial to implement them in every class:
- With this approach, you show that you notice the efforts of schoolchildren and appreciate them. You can let them know that learning to use a computer can be challenging, and you appreciate their effort. If you add an individual approach in choosing an award, then you will forever live in the hearts of your pupils;
- You can offer praise and small rewards to motivate students to study better and reach new heights. If the student has stepped over himself or finally overcome an overwhelming topic, a reward will help him not only with self-esteem but will also become a reminder for the future that he can do anything;
- You can create a whole semester marathon using the right system of motivation and gamification. Thus, you will immediately set the vector for your classes, visualize the goals, and motivate your students.
- You can help students appreciate the benefits of knowing how to use computers. They will have an easier time finding the content they want on the Internet or potentially develop their own computer games.
All approaches can be conditionally divided into two large groups: individual and group. For large classes, you can use the group system, after dividing the class into several small teams. For individual awards, you can use:
- Certificates of achievement from the teacher for the best work in the class;
- Exemption from homework;
- The right to sit with any student;
- The right to choose a comrade for the task in pairs;
- The right to choose the topic of the next lesson;
- Reward points on the test;
- A chance to retake the test;
- The right to do only 1?2 of homework, etc.
As for the group awards, you can use the following:
- Free time from studies;
- Lesson outside the classroom;
- Visit an interesting place in the city (cinema, science museum, master class);
- Exemption from homework for a day;
- Watching cat videos in the last 10 minutes of the lesson, etc.
Computer Science is a Difficult Topic – So Keep Students Motivated
Students often have trouble learning computer science, so teachers have to take the right steps to keep them motivated. These are just a few of the rewards you can use in your lessons. Some may say that students are so spoiled. But with the right approach, they will enjoy the lessons and demonstrate their success. What motivation methods do you use? Let’s discuss this in the comments!