Engaging students

Primary school children pouring over an iPad, with Assessment caption

Assessment objective

Demonstrate how you will use the knowledge of your students to engage them at the beginning and the end of a lesson using digital resources in the classroom.


You know you want your audience to be absorbed. You want your students to care. You want them to be delighted with the content of your presentation and their activities. You can engage your kids by working with what they’re interested in and the current media they use. You want that ‘student who is quietly sitting at the back of the classroom not participating’ (AITSL) to be offered a stimulating enjoyable experience.

The minutes at the beginning and end of a lesson are crucial in engaging your students.

Lessons need to start off by discussing prior knowledge, generating expectations and setting some aims. Checking for understanding and getting/giving feedback at the end of the lesson will show you that the lesson’s aims were achieved.

Sidebars can be useful; if interest in what you are doing wanes, you can always abandon the planned lesson and go off at a tangent in response to a remark or a question from a student. If you don’t do this, then you will need to do some heavy lifting to get things back on track.


Digital resources in the classroomAssessment

Take some time to notice what engages your kids and reflect on what you see them doing.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in particular engage with listening posts, individual computer programs, smart boards and of course tablets and mobile phones.

How many of the kids in your classroom have mobile phones? How do they use them? Are they on Facebook?

Summarise your observations in 2-3 paragraphs.

Choose a learning activity/lesson and plan how you would use one of the following to engage the students in your class:

  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • a cross-discipline activity/a game plan using the classroom as a bulletin board
  • Blogging
  • a listening post using iPads

Detail your plan in a one page lesson plan.


AITSL n.d., Engagement in Australian schools, Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Ltd, viewed 22 September 2016,  <http://www.aitsl.edu.au/docs/default-source/learning-frontiers-resources/engagement_in_australian_schools-background_paper-pdf.pdf>

Image: student ipad 014, Flickr, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/