Things are taking a drastic turn. Be it climate or the hole in the ozone, world politics or technology. The night you sleep knowing Hilary is going to be a surefire winner tomorrow only to wake up and find out that Donald Trump is in the lead.
Similarly, our education systems also need to revamp. It has been a long time since we tried improvising and too drastic step in shifting the momentum of traditional classroom learning. Although, there is change, where more and more people are applying for online courses and degree programs but the effort to embrace and facilitate such culture is lacking from the educators’ side.
They fear perhaps they will run out of business which is any management’s top concern and school/college teaching is a full-fledged business. Plus, they too realize, that it won’t be long when people would trade in brick-and-mortar establishments for online service providers, even if it be education and secondly people at the helm of the largely physical institution lacks the acumen/expertise to transform their businesses into an online one.
Flipped learning is a procedure whereby blended learning ensues and students are taught by watching tutorial videos from home. Then having watched the videos, they come to class and do their “homework” in class. The habit is to inculcate self-learning instead of teachers doing the hand holding which naturally brings out heightened problem-solving skills.
Wi-Fi enabled classrooms usually help in addition to several mobile apps can help you achieve the intended goals for the students. This interactive learning environment benefits the student while on the other hand educators tend to monitor students’ overall progress and can stay in touch with both in and out of the classrooms.
Remote learning methodology calls for students who cannot show up at school physically so via remote learning they can access school stuff virtually from the comfort of their homes. They view video lectures and access any resources online. In addition, things like class forums, social media and the likes thereof can also be utilizing for imparting education.
In a similar fashion, faculty members and/or subject specialists can also be invited remotely. This is the next level in classroom technology and under normal cases, this would be unavailable primarily because of a certain distance and time limitations. The technology is seeking to improvise ways which can be mutually acceptable for both students and their teachers. To ensure that remote learning is carried out, always invest in a trusted Wi-Fi source and in the correct set mobile technologies.
As the name implies, the function of Gamification is to map game-design thinking in classrooms so that learning becomes engaging and fun. A typical game system is set up which proves to be challenging and rewarding at the same time and as you progress further, the level toughens up yielding even greater rewards.
In the end, when you have won a game, the impact is that your mind releases a chemical called dopamine. This dopamine is responsible for your intrinsic motivation as well as joy. Resultantly, the learning process leaves healthy and lasting impacts in the minds of students. They will not have to be coerced into studying the next time around. So the idea behind is to let them climb the mountains one after the other willingly and in the process, learn.
Mind maps are believed to make learning experience interactive and broadly dimensional so that you don’t have to sit through boring long lectures. What it does so cleverly is that it plays on the graphical and visual front. The idea is linked in a circle with lines connected to them – akin to the human mind, can you believe this? Hence, the students find this method welcoming as they can retain and retrieve information when the occasion demands.
There is certain software such as Mindmeister and Brainstormer which can be employed to stimulate students’ brains and consequently ideas are bounced and thrown around among students. These maps then can be shared just like you would do an email.
Educators think that it is difficult to provide tablets and laptops to students in the school. But let us think it this way; imagine how many textbooks you are saving each year as a result by investing in computers. It is also because the trend for a textbook is becoming old-fashioned as well as expensive. Another downside to this is that the textbooks have to generally use for seven years before a new edition with updated content arrives in the market.
On the other hand, if it were digital textbooks it will be both costs efficient and automatically will be downloading new information as and when it becomes available. Quality custom coursework writing can be availed online. It would be a one-time cost so buy them each a tablet or ask them to employ each of their own handheld devices. They will have access to a countless number of books anyplace, anytime.
Big Data certainly has paved ways for us by enabling us to deliver flexible course curriculum. It has also influenced in the how we go about teaching a particular subject. All the relevant technology including smartphones, mobile apps, and wireless technologies can now be integrated for the maximum effect which in turn allows us to access tons of data.
Big data also provides us the ability to monitor data in real time. With real time we can see if students are currently undergoing any difficulties in understanding the study material, or are they more inclined in doing homework at night more efficiently or during certain times of the year when they are at their optimum? Which ones are coping well and which ones are lagging behind? Similar questions and more can be ascertained with the employment of Big Data. Students can be helped in a better way as a result of adopting this as part of classroom technology.
Social media is often dubbed as the biggest distraction in the lives of students. Facebook and YouTube being the main culprits. But that is only the short-sighted view because with the right strategy in mind educators can turn this around.
For example with Twitter, interactive conversations can ensue. How? Well, students and teachers can discuss projects and assignments over at Twitter. With hashtags at the helm of this social media platform, a variety of brainstorming sessions can also be yielded based on trending topics or cause. Learning does not necessarily have to be curriculum oriented. Every now and then this healthy exercise can be practiced.
So, what lacks is the awareness and certain controls. Regulate the usage and pen down strict guidelines as to what extent the social media can be accessed while being on school premises. Moreover, social media has the edge of being entertaining. Who doesn’t want their learning experience to be both fun and indulging? You wouldn’t find me complaining, at least.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented Reality has definitely taken the world by storm. Google Glass is one such technology that is proving to be amazing for gaming and for browsing apps dealing in astronomy. From students’ perspective, they can experience layers of information as opposed to those which they can merely view through the lens.
However, AR in education is limited to apps for now. Sky Map is one such app which will let you watch constellations at night but as mentioned above, not fully operational from an educational viewpoint. Such apps are yet to be fully materialized to be fully taken advantage of in education field. But should it happen soon, the student will have a rare blend of information coupled with a dose of reality.
Educators will be able to organize virtual field trips as a result of AR. Of course, via Google Glass faculty members can visualize their students sitting thousands of miles away but it will feel like they are in the under the same roof.
3D printer equipped classrooms must really be the way forward. The students can then print out 3D models of for various purposes, in addition, to show and tell. Students pursuing engineering discipline can greatly benefit from 3D printing. This technology helps them create/design prototypes.
With 3D printing, it paves the way for working with mini-models and engineering principles can be tested as a result. Coupled with CAD (computer-aided design), students can practice freely and without any additional cost or expense.
You will be amazed to know that with time there has been a great reduction in the installation cost of 3D printers and it would be unwise in this age for educators to not provide students with the 3D printing technology. Although, more and more educators have adopted the technology which has opened doorways for teachers to reconstruct intricate concept models in order to impart theoretical concepts. This enables abstract thought process in students as well as make them quicker in grasping concepts.
Thus, above is the technology new to classrooms in 2017.
Author Bio: Dominic Lester is a teacher by profession but is also a tech nerd. He has been in the teaching profession for long and has seen the ways education has transformed from traditional to more computerized methods. You can follow him for updates on his social media channels.