Today, massive amounts of information (books, audio, images, videos) are available at one’s fingertips through the Internet, and opportunities for formal learning are available online worldwide.
Technology is a central part to learning in not only many college classrooms, but also k-12 education as well. Technology is a central part of our everyday lives now, so of course it should be a key aspect to education in order to prepare students for the real world and their future careers where they will most likely be using mobile devices. Technology in the classroom is changing education as we speak, and here’s how:
A form of blended learning, where students learn their lessons at home, by watching video lectures and studying content online. Basically it engages students to learn from each other through a process of small groups using critical problem solving.
By using Wi-Fi enabled classroom technology and various mobile-app solutions one can create the interactive environment that students benefit the most from. The value for educators comes from generating powerful analytics to measure student responses while also having the ability to stay engaged with your students in and out of the classroom.
This model allows students who can't make it to school still attend virtually. They attend class through video and access content online. Other technologies can also be used including video conferencing, class forums, pre-recorded videos, social media, and email.
In the same way you can bring in students remotely, you can also bring in teachers or subject matter experts. This provides a higher quality of learning that would otherwise be unavailable due to distance or time. Education becomes tailored to the needs of the student, making it accessible to everyone. The challenges of time and distance become inconsequential when all you need is a reliable wifi network paired with the right mobile technologies.
You might think it would cost more to provide tablets for every student in your school but think of how many textbooks you are saving every year. Textbooks are getting more expensive and they are usually used for seven years before a new edition comes out.
A digital textbook would be more cost efficient and can easily be updated to reflect the most recent information. For the one-time cost of a tablet) students are able to access every book they'll need for the year anytime and anywhere.
Social media is usually considered a huge distraction when it comes to the classroom. From Facebook to YouTube and Twitter many educators are fearful of its use, but this is a short-sided view. With the right strategy in place and the right wireless infrastructure social media can be a very useful and powerful tool for both students and teachers.
There are numerous ways to use social media for learning. An online group can bring students together to work on projects and assignments together and hashtags for Twitter can be used to organize interactive conversations based on a specific subject or problem. The best thing about social media is that you are using a medium your students understand and enjoy, making it easier for you to initiate tasks and get everyone involved.
Mind maps make learning interactive and multi-dimensional instead of unidirectional and passive. It’s graphic and visual, using circled ideas that are linked together with lines, the same way the human mind works. This makes it easier for students to understand and recall information.
By using software like Mindmeister or Brainstormer, you can engage with your students and allow them to bounce ideas off each other. The maps can also be easily shared just like an email.