Confidence built in the classroom doesn’t just stay in the classroom — it extends to other areas of a child’s life, and helps lay the foundations for healthy self-esteem. But while the more outgoing members of the class are flourishing, how can the quieter ones be coaxed out of their shells? Here are five ways technology can increase classroom confidence:

A little privacy

To have high self-esteem, children must believe in their skills. Difficulties with spelling, handwriting, and knowledge retention can all cause students to have less confidence in their abilities, but laptops allow them to make — and correct — their mistakes in private. When they’re not worrying about how others will perceive them, it’s much easier for students to engage with the materials.

Using laptops in the classroom also helps students to research or fact-check before sharing their thoughts. Uncertainties around word pronunciation can be quickly resolved with a web search, allowing students to speak up without fear of embarrassment.

Actions speak louder

For many students, the most daunting part of class presentations is the element of public speaking involved. Encouraging students to engage with an Interactive Projector allows them to show rather than tell — so they can demonstrate their knowledge without stage fright.

This is an ideal way to introduce shy students to public speaking, as it allows them to rely on the projector as little or as much as they want to. As they grow more confident, their dependence on the projector as a prop is likely to decrease.

Safety in numbers

Group activities give students the opportunity to share knowledge among themselves before presenting it to the class. Our Interactive Flat Panel Displays are designed with group activities in mind — with 6 person multi-touch technology, several students can engage with the screen simultaneously. Confident students often take the lead in presentations, but when the technology allows everybody to get involved, the distribution of responsibility tends to even out.

Independent study

Store key study materials online so students can access them anywhere. To ensure these materials are not used as a substitute for in-class note-taking, begin each lesson by encouraging students to recap the last.

Lack of classroom confidence stems from students doubting what they know, or worrying about making a mistake in front of their classmates. When all classroom materials are stored online, and can be accessed from home or school computers, students can practice independent study to ensure they’re familiar with the materials.

Level up

When playing computer games, children are used to measuring character progress by “levelling up” — and the rewards associated with going up a level (new items or special abilities) positively reinforce their playing habits.

But for students in the classroom, measuring progress might not seem quite so exciting — there are no sound effects or special graphics, after all. “Getting better at maths” is a lot more abstract than “reaching level 10 and unlocking a new power”, and so it can be difficult for younger children to get the same sense of achievement from their progress.

Using an educational app to gamify the learning process can re-frame education in a context students find engaging, while helping them to better understand their achievements. This allows children to feel confident in their knowledge, and is essentially a modernization of the gold-star system.