Advances in digital technology aren’t just affecting the way that we work and live—they’re also improving how students learn in the classroom. 82% of teachers agree that students who use technology for education are better prepared for their future careers.
The good news is that adoption of these new-fangled technologies seems to be on the rise. In a 2016 survey, 60% of teachers said that they planned to increase their use of technology during the upcoming school year, and three in four said that they use technology every day with their students.
This article will go over four of the most transformative digital tools that are helping students of all ages learn more and perform better in the classroom.
Often called SMART boards after their largest manufacturer, interactive whiteboards are large displays that imitate the function of a whiteboard — without the need for messy chalk or smelly dry erase markers.
For one, interactive whiteboards are more “fun” to use than chalkboards, boosting students’ interest and engagement. Interactive whiteboards allow teachers to easily incorporate multimedia into their presentations, from text and audio files to videos and images. Teachers can even record lessons and save them for future playback.
Laptops and Tablets
Laptops and tablets are a vital part of students’ digital lives. It’s only natural that they’re taking a more prominent place in the classroom.
In 2017, sales of Apple’s iPad to schools rose by 32% when compared to the previous year. Chromebooks, which are Google-issued basic laptops that run the Chrome operating system, made up just under half of all device sales in the education sector. More than 30 million children in the U.S. use Google apps for education such as Google Docs and Gmail.
There are a variety of benefits and use cases for laptops and tablets in the classroom. These include taking notes, watching lectures, finding useful information during lessons, collaborating with other students via Internet forums, allowing students to download and submit assignments online, and more.
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Students need access to a class website as their one-stop shop for learning. Class portals can host everything from lecture videos and homework assignments to blogs and discussion forums. These can allow students to help each other and share their ideas about what they’ve learned.
Depending on the institution and the tech-savviness of the teacher, this website may be custom-built. It could even be hosted on a third-party content management system such as Google Sites or WordPress.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
The latest release of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system, iOS 12, includes support for augmented reality for the first time. While still not widely used, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) offer tremendous learning opportunities for students of all ages.
By overlaying additional information onto real-world inputs, AR devices make it easier for students to learn through experience. For example, students looking at the night sky through AR glasses could see the names of the different constellations. It would be a great way to view more information about the stars in our galaxy.
Final Thoughts on Technologies for Schools
Regardless of the specific technologies for schools, all schools should seriously consider investing more in their IT infrastructure in order to improve educational outcomes for their students. By partnering with a managed education services provider, you can improve the predictability, efficiency, and security of your school’s IT resources.