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The Empowered Educator
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Engaging a new era of students


Since introducing digital in her class, Shawn Orr has found many tools and activities that use technology to drive engagement and improve student performance for 21st century learners.  Here are some of her favorites:

From Shawn: “Free Rice is one of my favorites because students are able to help children in another country while they’re studying so it also helps with their motivation to spend more time engaged, knowing they’re doing something good”. 




An augmented reality application that makes simple images into an interactive experience. 




Plickers is a tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices. 



Photo Scavenger Hunt

A DIY activity that has students use their smartphones to get to know course content as well as your campus. (see example in attached file)


MERLOT: Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching

A collection of free and open online teaching services. 


See the PDF of Shawn’s presentation slides for more ideas and a complete source list for her presentation on student success in the 21st century. 


What other ways have you found to engage students?  Share below!



Shawn Orr has over 20 years of experience as an educator and was selected as the 2011 North Central Educators Association Educator of the Year.  She is currently the Director of Faculty Services, Director of Faculty Development, and interim Department Chair for Communications at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio.