Digital worksheets combine the best of two worlds. In the past, when students needed to practice and internalize the knowledge, skills, or abilities they just acquired in the classroom, teachers traditionally reached for paper worksheets or workbooks. Then, along came educational computer games such as Quia (now IXL) or Math Blaster, and these became a part of the supplemental landscape.
Digital worksheets combine the practical aspects of worksheets with the engaging attributes of educational games in a healthy blend of direct lesson tie-ins and paperless assignments. It’s the best of both worlds for our tech-obsessed students! Still, there are plenty of other benefits to digital worksheets for students and teachers alike.
The interactive elements of digital worksheets fully engage students when it comes to learning. Technology with a hands-on approach draws in students, motivating them to see the assignment through and gain a better understanding of the subject matter. Today’s student groans when they have to write on paper but willingly reach for the keyboard!
Unlike physical worksheets, digital worksheets offer immediate feedback to students and their teachers. This alone is an advantage over traditional worksheets. Students can correct their mistakes or ask for help before they fall too far behind. And, because the teacher receives this information in real-time, too, s/he can intervene right when students need it. Success breeds success. As a student understands the lesson better, he or she will continue to practice and learn, applying classroom knowledge to increasingly complex worksheet questions.
Digital worksheets often have elements that encourage and motivate students. Progress bars show them how much they’ve completed, helping them gauge deadlines and push through to the end. Positive images and inspirational words when students complete an activity help their self-esteem and make them less likely to abandon the activity.
Digital worksheets can free up teachers’ time if the software auto-scores the student’s work. Teachers, therefore, spend less time grading worksheets and more time working with students directly. Less tedium also means teachers are more likely to design challenging lessons and activities more often because they don’t be concerned with the amount of work they’ve made for themselves. Software that does the grading for the teacher is freeing and causes a tremendous shift in the classroom, one where teachers are happier and students get more of the one-on-one attention they need.
Digital worksheets are new to many teachers. Some may think that state-of-the-art is represented by a fillable pdf! But there are more tools emerging all the time to help teachers supplement classroom instruction in the online space– like TeacherMade. TeacherMade offers teachers an easy path for converting paper into digital activities. Because the app is specifically designed for teachers to use to publish their classroom materials, it’s very intuitive. Using the app, a teachers loads a PDF or image, marks up the areas where students need to respond, and it’s ready to publish to Google Classroom. Students can’t delete or modify anything. All they can do is type in their answers. When they submit their completed assignment, TeacherMade auto-scores their work, making life a little bit easier for their teachers.
In addition to the TeacherMade app or the tools that come with your Google Classroom, there are several other providers. Though we think the TeacherMade app is the best of breed, see if you agree by checking out these sites: