Friday, January 20, 2012

Learning Technologies and Other Modern Teacher Resources

It is amazing as an adult to walk into a modern day classroom. They are simply so different from those in which we remember learning. The blackboards have replaced with whiteboards, the rulers have been replaced by smartphones, and in many cases the teachers have been replaced by robots! Just kidding (for some of my older readers who might actually be concerned). But it is not uncommon these days to see classes taught entirely or partially on computers. The amount of learning technologies which have found their way into the classroom is amazing. And they have helped facilitate teaching and student learning over the past decade. Some of these educational technologies are class websites, mobile devices, podcasts, and e learning products.

Class websites are a great and easy way for teachers to facilitate online learning. While traditional classes are still held, teachers have the opportunity to post additional educational material and even homework assignments on a website. In many cases, a college will allow students to look at all of their courses at the same time, on a site such as Blackboard. This helps students manage heavy course loads and manage all of their curriculum, resources, and assignments. The lesson plans from class may be available too.

Mobile devices have been useful classroom resource since the invention of clickers and smart phones. Clickers help to facilitate PowerPoint presentations which teachers often use to their benefit. Instead of writing notes on the blackboard as they teach the class, teachers can prepare their lesson plans ahead of time and click through notes and diagrams as they lecture. Smartphones such as the iPhone and the Droid are easy to bring into a class, and can house information, diagrams, and other tools which may be useful for student learning.

Podcasts are a cool new way for teachers to reach students remotely. Needing only a computer, microphone, and an internet connection, educators can post videos or audio recordings of their lesson plans. This is obviously a great tool for distance learning, or when a student is unable to make class. Many teachers make an audio recording of each of their traditional classes and post these online later for students to re-watch.

E learning is the new trend in educational technology. It is when students use computers to learn, typically accessing online curriculum resources through the internet, cloud computing, or software. Using e learning technology, entire classes can be taught without ever meeting in a traditional classroom. While this is great for distance learning, many topics such as health care education and business education require hands on instruction. Educators have created a hybrid between traditional learning and e learning called blended learning, which allows them to reap the time management and engagement benefits of online learning while still providing personal instruction.

Technology And Schools Make Better Education

Making education better is something that is on the minds of many people. Some countries children are much further ahead than others and that is pretty good impetus to want to make improvements. One of the simplest ways to get any educational system updated and improved is by employing new technology. In some instances this is no more complicated than installing a fast internet connection at home.

A computer based school system is much more affordable with even more useful benefits to both the school and parents. This is especially true for parents of young students who generally have no clue of what their child needs help with. With a computer based school system, parents can easily and conveniently review the class syllabus as well as be in the know about what homework assignments and expectations are for their child. Many private high schools and colleges have already taken advantage of these new learning tools.

Any parent or guardian with school kids, already know the time and effort required to keep up with homework. A large and important part of learning is being organized. Teaching a child organization is a very important of the educational process and should be done well before they are college bound. Laptops and wireless broadband offers tremendous organizational tools that will help them in all areas of their life; not just school related. The number of great sometimes free programs will help keep you advised up to the minute with reminders for both the kids and parents. The hardest part might be setting everything up, but even that is usually a cinch to do.

On the minds of most people concerning anything new is the cost. The two major costs include the laptop and internet service of course. It also should be noted that many families cannot afford these costs and why for the most part private schools are taking advantage of these learning tools. Laptops have witnessed a decline in cost and a good one is relatively cheap weighing in at around $400.00. Many of these can be purchased with monthly payments that can include laptop insurance should it ever be needed.

The school and the parents can take on the cost together in some ways. If the kids have a computer they can use at school, then they can share the family desktop at home. If the school is not spending money on books and paper supplies, it will mean money in the budget for buying the computers and updating the internet systems. There is also the possibility of the whole school system buying in bulk and then allowing parents to purchase on a payment plan to make life easier.