As we’ve all discovered throughout our lives, things get faster. Our lives flash by, days get shorter and your phone always seems to have a thousand more functions than the last time you looked at it. But in recent years, technology in particular has shown just how quickly things can improve. Only a hundred years ago, manual hand-printers were a corporate royalty; today, we have 3-D printing. Fifty years ago, phones were in their primal form; today, they give us access to a near-limitless amount of applications and functions as smartphones. Ten years ago, the internet was a dial-up based nightmare; today, we have smooth connectivity and access to the greatest amount of information known to man at the touch of a button (or the click of a mouse!).
All this new technology definitely has some incredible potential, most of all being the ability to learn things we never thought possible and understand the unknown, so isn’t it about time we revolutionize the classroom as a starting point?
Exploring a subject matter has always been a tricky subject for teachers, most of all in engaging a student. Today however, teachers can use Virtual Tours sourced from CDs, USBs or the internet to engage students in a way never before thought possible. Better yet, Podcasts from experts and celebrities in various fields are easily accessible and very often free for download. If you have particularly strong links into a field, you might even be able to source a direct stream from another user and bring students to understand a subject better through another perspective. Combine this with iPads and Smartphones and you have an easy way for students to redistribute interesting subject matter to one another, and to send projects and ideas to teachers for further
Creation tools are powerful and have revolutionized all aspects of every media based industry across the planet. From the most basic Microsoft Paint to the powerhouse Adobe Photoshop, students can create beautiful images and even animations through the programs. Videos can be similarly created digitally via programs such as Premiere and audio can be crafted and tweaked in Logic. Modeling programs may be hooked up to a 3D printer and the output can be printed as a full 3D model, allowing students to create parts for devices and artwork they might be using for projects. Even more potent, however, is the rise of the videogame.
Videogames in recent years allow friends and family to connect and play together, and in some cases, create together. Minecraft is one game that allows individuals and groups to create both large and small 3D images, audio and mechanisms through tools in-game. Many of these tools can lead enthusiastic students into learning much deeper mechanisms, with tools such as Redstone allowing simple and complex circuitry to be built and used. Some users have even showcased building small computers in-game through miles of wire. It might not be for everybody but it certainly allows a cheaper alternative to hand-wiring circuitry systems for educational purposes right?
Communication is key, they say, and in the classroom the teacher’s ability to communicate needs to be crystal clear and impossibly precise. Using interactive whiteboards a teacher can easily translate the idea in their head into something visual for the classroom to see. Having desks that slot together helps to reinforce student interaction and foster growth in group projects. Furthermore, there are numerous ways to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to allow students and teachers to interact and collaborate on projects and lessons.
Do you think technology should be used more frequently in the classroom? Perhaps we’re already out-of-date on our teaching methods? If you’re looking for a change of pace, make sure to check out SeekTeachers, we place qualified teachers all around the world, sign up with us today!