Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Classroom Technology in the Classroom

Implementing classroom's with latest technology

Educational institutions play a vital role in today's society and it is the backbone to improve and enhance the student's capability in learning. Let's see some of the technologies that could be implement in a classroom to provide a quality education.

Assign mobile computing technology for teachers

Creating classroom technology is nothing but providing the teachers and students, the technological skills and tools for quality learning. So assign the staff with laptop computer so that they could communicate with their students, their parents, department and administration. Mobile computing would help the students to get in touch with their staffs even during non-school time. It would also help to create a good relationship between student and the staff.

Learn technological skills

Implementing would not make anything valuable. For example, if a school implement an IWB in the classrooms and the staff's does not know how to operate it then there is no use. So make separate sessions and let the staff's to learn the technological skills that are implemented in their schools. Mastered in the skills are not enough, but they should easily integrate technology use into the classroom curriculum.

Use presentation tools

Today, there are so many presentation tools and software applications available in the market. Because presentation plays a major role to provide quality education to the student, the staff's should have enough knowledge about the functionality and features of the presentation tools. You could use tools like smart board or projector to teach the lessons and software applications such as spreadsheet, Excel, PowerPoint etc. These applications are easy to learn and use and helps in presenting your lessons more reliable and efficient.

Use Digitized board

Digitized board is nothing but smart interactive white board or IWB in short, a good example for classroom technology, is a huge white board which will project the content of the computer onto the screen. You could operate the screen to navigate, open files or run application. Your hand will work as mouse pointer and nowadays it is used in most of the school to provide quality education.

Provide computer and secure network for student

The classrooms should be provided in such a way where the students should have computer, network connection, printer, smart board etc. Give a safe and secure network connection so that they could gain knowledge, share information and could learn other technology based courses such as CAD, programming, hardware etc. If need they could take print-out using printer for reference when they are out of class.

How Can Technology Improve Education?

To show the effect of technology on education, Don Kenzek, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education uses an analogy of technology in the medical field.

"If in 1970 you had knee surgery, you got a huge scar," he said. "Now, if you have knee surgery you have two little dots."

Advances in technology have allowed teachers to move beyond traditional methods of education, which primarily rely on the use of text-books and verbal instruction. At one time, a student's only exposure to technology was found in a basic computer class. Now, technology has enabled the creation of various teaching and learning tools that can "demonstrate concepts, assign projects, and assess progress."

The drawback with incorporating technology into education, though, is hesitation by U.S. schools to utilize new educational tools and methods. Other nations around the world are looking for ways to integrate technology and education, while we are still questioning whether this merge should take place at all.

Kenzek points out the following 8 ways in which technology has proved effective in instruction and student progress.

1. Improved simulation and models can assist teachers in demonstrating difficult concepts and specifically help students that are visual learners.

2. Global learning exposes students to other cultures and puts them in touch with other people around the world.

3. Virtual manipulatives allow students to experiment with unfamiliar concepts and ideas.

4. Probes and sensors allow students to collect data, compute statistics, and analyze results quickly and efficiently.

5. A more efficient assessment of student progress can be made and monitored with new forms of technology.

6. Storytelling and multimedia encourage teamwork and excites students.

7. E-Books create a level of ease, convenience and visualization that isn't available with standard print textbooks.

8. Epistemic games put students in real-world situations and train them to use innovative thinking.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Technology Trends in Higher Education

Technology has had a great deal of influence over education. Over 1.6 million college students (specifically community college students) enrolled in at least one online course during the fall of 2002 and over one-third of these same students took all of their courses online. With these numbers in place and the continued growth of student population, technology in education has become the solution for many higher education institutions.

With such an explosion of growth and need, the use of technology has not always been positive. Problems have plagued the use of technology in higher education classes throughout the country. Many people within the system see five major trends that will affect the future of technology/distance learning. The following is a list these current trends in higher education:

o Growing population of students enrolling combined with inadequate infrastructure (faculty, administration, buildings, etc.)
o Changing student needs (lack of time and need for flexibility are foremost)
o Instruction altered to more student centered, non-linear, and self-directed (needed in order to meet the diverse academic needs of students)
o Necessity of lifelong learning classes
o knowledge and competency of students in the use of the Internet

All of these trends can be traced back to distance learning. Higher education institutions need to take action now, in order to enhance their distance education programs.

There are ways in which schools can meet the current trends through distance education. One way is to provide more help through Student Services. By encouraging the use to of help desks at schools, students will have their needs assessed and met. Some campuses have found the creation of a centralized website for the school to be beneficial.

The website has given future and current students access to information quickly. The majority of the states have become a part of statewide coordinating board or consortium of distance education learning programs. These boards/consortiums have provided support, financial sources, evaluation procedures, and the establishment of clear missions for distance learning education courses throughout the states. All of these efforts work toward the goal of implementing valid distance learning programs.

The key to the future of education is online distance learning, but only if continued research and the development of quality programs persist. By examining current trends, campuses will be better equipped to meet the needs of today's student.

Surgical Technologist Education Programs

Surgical technologists are an indispensable member of any surgical team. Their roles are varied, but these roles essentially revolve around providing quality and fast assistance to all the other members of the core surgical team, from the surgeon and surgical assistants, to the anesthesiologist and perioperative nurses.

The path to this profession starts with good education. There are several education programs open to surgical techs, each of which come with their own advantages and disadvantages. People who are interested in becoming surgical technologists are advised to learn as much as they could about the education programs they plan to take, as this would have an impact later on when they start looking for employment.

A certificate or diploma course is perhaps the easiest route towards education in surgical technology. This lasts anywhere 9 to 15 months, including the required clinical experience. The advantage of a certificate or diploma course is its short duration and lower cost and expense. Diploma-holders can also start looking for jobs right away in as little as 9 months after graduating from high school. The major disadvantage of this is that hospitals have a preference for graduates with advanced education such as associate degrees and bachelor degrees in surgical technology.

An associate degree in surgical technology lasts for 24 months and is the next best option for would-be surgical techs. They have higher chances of employment and better clinical training and experience than their diploma course counterparts, although the costs of education are higher.

Better still is the bachelor's degree in surgical technology, at least in terms of the knowledge base and training it provides to students. The cost of college education is, of course, a major drawback, but this can be compensated for by better employment opportunities and career advancement.

A new program available to those interested in surgical technology is the online surgical tech program. Online programs generally cost the same as classroom education, but its cost-effectiveness lies in savings that can be had from the usual expenses of college education (transportation, lodging, allowances, etc). However, surgical technology requires clinical experience; other options are therefore preferable, unless there are online programs that offer clinical training as well. There is also the matter of accreditation (which will be mentioned further); there are no accredited online surgical tech programs at present.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

iPad and iPhone Revolutionize Learning With Educational Apps

Over the last 25 years, technology has played an increasingly-important role in the field of education. It started in the 1980s with educational apps that could be installed on a personal computer and simple hand-held devices like "Speak and Spell." And now, textbooks are slowly being replaced by eBooks that allow students to study using their laptop or home computer.

Some schools are even making the move towards becoming virtually "book-free." These digital books are not only less expensive, but they can be updated "on the fly" so information is much more current than traditional textbooks. Plus, without the need to lug around heavy text books, learning is more convenient than ever before - and kids can't use the excuse "I forgot my book" to get out of doing homework!

Whether their school is on the cutting edge of technology or not, you can give your child a technological head start with one of today's "smart phones" or tablets. Devices like the iPhone and iPad offer a wide variety of apps for education so kids can take their learning everywhere they go. Apps covering topics like Science and Technology, Math, or English are proven to be more interactive than their hard-backed counterparts.

One popular app, Star Walk, opens up the heavens like a telescope, taking kids (or adults) on a tour through astrological bodies and various constellations. Another app called "Fish School" by Duck, Duck Moose uses creative and colorful fish to teach children shapes and letters. The fish swim around and, like a marching band, assume formation creating a shape that the child is asked to identify using a multiple choice format. These types of educational apps are especially attractive to younger kids.

Young or old, toddler or teen, the role of technology has expanded from just "fun and games" to "facts, facts, and more facts." In fact, there are educational apps designed to teach people of any age or skill level. Kids love these apps because they seem more like playing than learning, but even medical students are benefitting with apps like "Grey's Anatomy," which has full-color illustrations and all the information of the original tome, just in a smaller package.

Learning apps are revolutionizing the way education is delivered and changing our understanding of the word "classroom." Learning, in a literal sense, is no longer confined within four walls. It can happen anywhere, whenever curiosity hits. With the right tools, students can truly take charge of their own education. And while it's a big responsibility, most children have an innate desire to learn. Parents can nurture this desire by allow them to explore information on their own terms using an iPad or iPhone device.