Technology has become a major part of our lives. We use various forms of technology when we’re working, socializing, and even during our free time. Teachers and students also utilize technology in the classroom in unique ways to inspire learning and participation.
It’s no question that technology is paving the way for the future of education, and there are many ways technology in the classroom can bring about positive change. Here are the top four technological tools that are being used in schools today.
1. Interactivity with Clickers
Classroom clickers, also known as student response systems, have become high in demand throughout schools, universities, and businesses nationwide. Clickers come in many forms – there’s the standard handheld clicker, but students can also provide responses through mobile devices like a smartphone or tablet. The teacher begins by simply posing a question out loud or on a projector, and students can participate or answer the question by sending their response instantly through their digital devices. Clickers allow teachers to immediately see how students answer and if the material is being taught efficiently. Data-driven and engaging, clickers provide teachers a new and different mode of instruction that can motivate learning for everyone participating.
Another way to gather students’ answers in real-time is through the free online survey tool on Google Forms. With this program, teachers can create surveys or questionnaires that students can respond to immediately with any device that is connected with Wi-Fi and able to run Google. In addition to documenting the comprehensive data from the survey, the program also archives individual responses as an Excel worksheet – making it easier for teachers to analyze students’ unique learning needs. Technology in the classroom is changing the way students interact with teachers and their fellow peers.
2. Chromebooks in the Classroom
A Chromebook is a personal computer that runs Google Chrome as its main operating system. This device can quickly connect to the Internet and support apps that are on the Web – giving students access to many tools of learning. With Chromebooks, students can use technology in the classroom to their greatest advantage. With access to programs like Prezi for giving presentations, Google Docs for writing papers, or Gmail for communicating or collaborating, students with Chromebooks can enhance their education tremendously.
3. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is the latest craze for businesses and schools alike, and it will most likely continue to change various aspects of our lives. In the classroom, cloud computing can eliminate the need for students to lug around heavy textbooks around school and provide instant access to read materials and educational content through a secure Internet connection. This means students have the freedom to finish up their homework or work together on group project anytime and anywhere. They can have access to a digital library of resources and get work done more efficiently and on time.
4. Online Social Media
Social media has become one of the greatest and most popular educational tools of all time. Think of it like this – students already use social media in their personal lives whether it’s to post a comment on YouTube or update their Facebook status. By incorporating social media into education, students can take the skills they already have and put them to good use. For instance, a student trying to learn more about a current event or get career advice can follow various Twitter feeds of experts in the field or even research hashtags for that topic. Students learning about video or production can showcase their work on YouTube, and students who want to improve their writing skills can regularly start blogging on different topics. The possibilities of using social media as a technology and learning tool are endless.