Four Innovative Technology Trends In The Classroom
Technology has transformed the classroom. With the world at their fingertips – quite literally, in the case of Google Maps where students can explore the virtual solar system from their classroom – technology has enabled educators to provide a rich and immersive learning experience while supporting a wide range of learning styles. Recent research also indicates that students equipped with tablets score higher on literacy tests, are able to increase their math scores, perform better in class and study more efficiently.
Here’s a look at how technology trends being used in the classroom today:
1. Mobile Technology
Whether they’re supplied by the school or brought to school by the student (BYOD), children have increased access to tablets, smartphones and e-readers. More information is being digitized and stored on the cloud, including digital textbooks, which are more portable and interactive than their counterparts, and can easily be updated to include new information. Apps and other software are designed to engage a wide range of learning styles, which allows students to learn at their own pace.
2. More information stored on the cloud.
For parents, the cloud represents access to real-time information that was previously unavailable. You don’t have to rely on your child to bring home the school newsletter safely. Instead, you can log on and access class schedules and upcoming events. In some cases, parents have access to their children’s grades and regular performance updates, so they also don’t have to wait on report cards to review how their children are doing.
3. Classroom blogs or websites.
Typically maintained by your child’s homeroom teacher, classroom websites may feature a moderated chat room or discussion board that is used to share ideas and discuss homework. Assignments are posted online, which has the added benefit of allowing you to monitor your children’s due dates and be actively involved in what they’re learning in the classroom.
4. Collaborative online learning environments.
Doing a group project no longer necessitates hanging out in someone’s rec room to cut and paste a science fair project together. Much like professional work environments, children are now using Google Docs and Skype for project work. And with access to endless information at their fingertips, like a text-based resource or a YouTube video that explains a complex subject, students are both accessing and sharing information with their peers, which helps transform their role from learner to teacher.
Teachers are still key. Advances in technology allow teachers to more readily support different learning styles and facilitate student learning. According to one survey of Canadian students, 46 per cent of students said they would still email their teacher with a question, while 38 per cent want a teacher who is excited about a subject.