I am an ardent techie and a teacher too. With that said, comes the fact that I have always tried to incorporate technology into education, in order to improve the pattern of education. There was a time, when I had to stay limited only with playing an audio or showing a video on the school computer, so that students to get more interest on their studies.
Thanks to advancement of science and technology that upcoming tools have changed this scenario to a great extent. Schools have become digital and students have been greatly benefited with this. The era of pen and paper and heavy textbooks have gone by. It is now the time, to proceed towards making the classroom a better learning space, where students will be able to learn with ease and understand the concepts better.
There are many tools and technological devices that are being used in schools, colleges and classrooms in order to teach their students. Not all of them are very useful and not each one is easy to handle. Here are the top 8 upcoming technologies that can improve education, make it easier for any teacher to build a better learning experience and make the classroom a better learning space. You can choose any one of these or more than one tool or technological device as a vehicle for communication between you and a student.
- Digital Projector:
This is probably the most common technological tool or device that is used in most digital schools. But, it is still not as popular as it should be. It lets you play slides and videos through a projector that will project the video or image on a projector screen. Learning becomes a lot easier with this technology as a teacher would get an opportunity to show exactly what she is referring to, to an entire class.
However, it is indeed quite expensive. Not everyone can afford to have this at a classroom. The most expensive part of a projector is the light. Replacing it would burn a huge hole in your pocket. So, try and protect that light as much as you can.
- Smart Board:
It is yet another interesting tool, rather technology that can be included in the classroom for educating students. When you are teaching a large classroom with a number of students in it, this smart and interactive whiteboard can turn the classroom into a fun learning environment. Whereas, the digital projectors could only play the pre-set videos, images and slides, the smart board would help you to instantly create an interactive communication and teaching opportunity.
Students learn better as they can touch, write, draw and follow instructions. This helps them to see illustrations, maps and graphs and proceed accordingly. The unhygienic chalks and dusters can be eliminated from your classroom. It will also help you to go green with the elimination of printing, photocopying and writing requirements for the students.
- Virtual or online learning:
Now this is quite interesting. Suppose your school has branches all over the United States of America. If you are posted in a school in California and want to connect with students studying in schools that are located in Texas or Florida or Virginia or anywhere else, this is the best way to connect with students, live!
An online and virtual learning environment can be created with the help of this technology. AAs a teacher, you will be delivering a lecture from one place and that will be seen live from every other school that is connected into that network.
- Mobile learning:
There is no denying the fact that this is an era of smart phones. Most teenage students have a smart phone of their own. Creating educational apps is a great way to make them learn even while on the go. Apps give you the opportunity to create interesting tasks and also give projects and assignments through these apps.
Parents can greatly be benefited with these apps as these apps can be created for young kids as well. Mobile apps can be accessed even through tablets and other computing devices. Regardless of how low-priced or how expensive they are, these apps will run on those devices. Hence, for a continuous learning session for your kids or teenage children, there is no better alternative to this technology.
- Tablet computing:
Many schools are nowadays shifting to this mode of green learning. Rather than burdening the students with a number of heavy books, they are offering a single tablet. I personally believe that this is very useful for the students as most of them are nowadays more attracted to the technology. This interests them more than carrying the burdensome heavy books.
The textbooks, study materials and every other reference can be accessed through these tablets in the form of e-books. The additional feature of the ability to capture images and sharing them with students will give them the opportunity to interact and share more and thus grow their interest. Various educational apps can be accessed through these tablets that make learning better.
MOOC or massive open online course is an online course that aims at offering open access to the student participants through the web or internet. This gives the students an opportunity to participate unlimitedly. MOOCs can be organized in any setting that has Wi-Fi connectivity or any other local connections. If you know the target audience, you can create the MOOC in any possible language you prefer.
Since you will be able to access the MOOCs from any place or global position, these are very useful for creating a lifelong learning environment. Accessing the global resources is very easy with these online courses. This technology has proven to be one of the most emerging ones. This is because this online learning course uses short tasks, assignments, quiz, puzzles and problems that the students need to solve while the lecture continues, before the lecture starts or even after the completion of the lecture. This engagement of the students in active learning session is quite beneficial and useful for them.
- Social media for education:
Now that’s one huge step in the field of incorporating education with what was only thought as a means of socializing. Think of Skype. You will be able to connect with one on one as well as a group of students through this system. Remote education was once entirely dependent on this system. Now there have been even more options that are quite useful and offer greater flexibility, I still consider Skype the easiest one.
Then comes YouTube. What can’t you technically find on this site? You create a video on a topic that you want your students to learn and they will be able to find it online. But, it certainly has a small technical glitch associated with it and that is, not all the schools allow access to YouTube. But, there too is a solution to this. You can use your smart phone’s internet connectivity to connect with YouTube and then with the help of the HDMI cable port, you will be able to connect it to the computer screen. This will ensure that a larger audience is able to learn from that video.
- Livescribe SmartPen:
This is an incredible tool that you can use in your classroom for teaching your students. Personally speaking, it is one of my favourite tools in my classroom that I simply cannot do without. It is small, but it is very powerful, useful and effective in engaging students to what I want them to learn.
It only requires a special paper to write or draw something with this Livescribe SmartPen. Although it is named as a pen, it also has a small microphone. This microphone can actually record anything and everything that it hears and then the audio can be played so that people can hear it. Once the sound is recorded and the text is written or the image is drawn, it requires about 10 seconds of sync up with a computer. The computer will be able to play the audio as a voice-over with the text or image that is written or drawn with this Livescribe SmartPen.
This technology is very useful in a brainstorming session or in a group discussion. My students also love this tool as it helps them to explain their concepts that they cannot explain with simple words.
Most of these tools and technological devices have huge benefits of them. However, some have a few cons like expensiveness and technical glitch. You can choose the one that suits you and the subject that you teach. Whether it is science, maths or arts that you are teaching, all these are useful in some or the other way. But, for an even better utility of technology, you must stay updated about the recent launches and the upgrade that is being brought to these tools. Updates and upgrades will ensure that the purpose of teaching students better, is served better.