Ed Tech is officially here. Schools of every type and budget size are integrating multiple technologies in the classroom to facilitate learning and to make it more appealing to students.
Thanks to the proliferation of high-quality online resources, now all schools can access a variety of free and subscription-based services and tools to benefit educators and students alike.
Technologies facilitate communication and collaboration in and out of school hours, between students and their teacher.
Technologies give students new ways to think about and solve problems and allow for consistent interaction that often leads to innovative outcomes and enhanced learning outcomes.
Educational Apps Drive Learning Forward
Whether teaching spelling improvement or helping students learn a new language, the educational apps now available for tablets and smartphones have become part and parcel of many classrooms.
Teachers are dedicating class time to in-app learning. Tech-based learning is both constructive and effective, because it gives students the sense that they are playing, not studying.
As app development becomes more focused and precise, we are expecting to see a surge of well-designed, science-based educational apps that will become an integral part of class teaching in the years ahead.
Social Media Communities Boost Collaboration
Many Ed Tech skeptics suggest that technology alienates people and promotes individual work. This is not the case. Ed Tech has a collaborative power that is almost immeasurable.
Students and teachers can get together any time of the day to chat on a dedicated private network or a popular social media network like Twitter and G+.
Instant access and contribution to these collaborative communities enhances the creative results and nurtures a sense of teamwork in students, showing them how valuable it is for innovation and better learning outcomes.
An example of this is Popplet, a platform that can be used by professionals and students alike. Its basic premise is the noting down of ideas and their organizing into visual maps. There are several other organizing and collaboration apps and web platforms that allow students to make use of their tech skills to learn, collaborate and achieve great things, such as Piktochart, DuoLingo, Explain Everything, Edmodo and Pocket.
This is an infographic generator that’s browser-based. It’s the perfect tool for students and their teachers to visualize new knowledge and see how information can be presented in appealing ways to make it understandable.
This is a free IPhone app that facilitates collaboration, interaction, and engagement between teacher and students. Some of its features include private classroom discussions, file sharing, and assignment posting.
This Android and iPhone paid app is a screencasting and design tool that also works as an interactive whiteboard, which make it perfect for the classroom.
Explain Everything lets you create fun and constructive videos and other types of content by annotating, animating, narrating, and enriching your media with notes and other types of rich content.
This is a free language app that lets you learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and English in a fun yet systematic way.
This app was rated Best of the Best in 2013 by the Google Play store, and its high quality content and features perfectly justify this.
There are many online tools out there designed for the classroom. Experiment with some and see how your students respond to their use.
First, however, ensure your students possess at least average touch typing skills so that they can keep up with the use of computers and other keyboard-based devices when learning through tools and apps.
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