These Technologies Are Changing Education. Are You Familiar With Them?
It's been nearly two and half years since the publication of the first â€œ10 internet technologies that educators should be informed aboutâ€ article on this site and given the fast paced evolution of technology it's time for an update. The start of new school year is the perfect time to refresh this list!
Below you will findÂ updated information for 5 of the technologies from the original posting, andÂ 5 new technologies thatÂ have earned their rightful place in the list (displacing 5 other types of tech, that while still worthy,Â are not quite as relevantÂ today, IMHO). This is not intended to beÂ a definitive listing, but ratherÂ anÂ informed resource that provides insights and raises awareness. Lots of links to example appsÂ and articles have been provided,Â soÂ readers can learn more about each application category.
1. Video and Podcasting ResourcesÂ â€“Â One of the most widely adopted internet technologies for use in instructionalÂ settings is video streaming. In addition to the ubiquitousÂ YouTube,Â there are severalÂ education-specific video hosting sites, including TeacherTube,Â EduTube, and SchoolTube. There are an abundance ofÂ lectures, how-to videos,Â andÂ similar materials available onÂ the web, perfect for supplement both face-to-face and online courses. Check out â€œA Dozen Great Free Online Video Lecture Sitesâ€ for a wide selection of lectureÂ content.Â Podcasting has also been usedÂ to provide similar offerings ofÂ audioÂ materials throughÂ popular sites like iTunes U (learn more about Podcasting here).
2. Digital Presentation ToolsÂ â€“Â There areÂ dozensÂ of toolsÂ on the Internet that can be used to create and share presentations. This summer's post,Â â€œ8 Great Free Digital Presentation Tools For Teachers To Try This Summerâ€ provides a good starter set of tools to try if you wish to learn more about these fun applications.Â These tools can be used to support classroom teaching or distance learning, and provideÂ engaging waysÂ for students to create and deliverÂ reports and presentations.
3. Collaboration & Brainstorming ToolsÂ â€“ This is another wide ranging category, includingÂ thought-organizingÂ tools like mindmap and bubbl.us,Â and collaborative tools like web based interactive whiteboards and Google Documents. There areÂ many collaborative environments on the web, and this category can even includeÂ tools likeÂ wikis and virtual worlds. Click through to the C & B category to learn even more.
4. Blogs & Blogging â€“ Despite the ongoing growth and popularity of blogging, many educatorsÂ are still not very familiar withÂ the “blogosphereâ€ and all it has to offer. In addition toÂ the ever expanding body of education focused blog content available for free,Â educators should also be aware of sites like BloggerÂ and WordPress, where users can quickly and easily create their own blogs for free. To learn moreÂ aboutÂ the many ways in which teachers, students, administrators, and technologists are using blogs, check outÂ last year'sÂ series of posts, â€œBlogging in Education Todayâ€.
5. Social Networking ToolsÂ â€“ The article â€œ7 Reasons To Leverage Social Networking Tools in the Classroomâ€Â makes the case for the many benefits that can come from using social networking tools in a social learning context. PostsÂ about the use of mass media tools like Facebook and Twitter generate a lot of traffic, indicatingÂ aÂ high level of interest in these tools. There are also many education-specific social networking tools available today that enable teachers to explore this avenue without having to worry about exposingÂ students to inappropriate content.
6. Lecture CaptureÂ â€“ This technology has tremendous potential. One of ways in which lecture capture can change the nature of teaching is by enabling teachers to “flip the classroom”. Students can consume lecture content outside of the classroom and use valuable in-class time to reinforce the material covered in the lecture and make sure students are understanding the new content. For more on this topic, readÂ the article, â€œLearning about Lecture Capture Technologyâ€.
7. Student Response Systems & Poll/Survey ToolsÂ â€“ Student Response Systems, or “clicker”Â technology is gaining a lot of traction in educational institutions. One winner of last year's EmergingEdTech contest focused on uses of technology in the classroomÂ demonstrated clear learning outcome improvements while engaging students with thisÂ interactive education technology.Â One the most common uses for clickers is poll taking,Â which can also be done using a computer or smart phone, utilizing any of theÂ dozens ofÂ tools out on the web that do this, like DoodleÂ or Polldaddy.
8. Educational GamingÂ â€“ The â€œgamificationâ€ of education is another tech trend that is gradually taking hold in educational practices in academic institutions across the world. The 2011 HorizonÂ Report, which provides insights into education technology trends,Â claims thatÂ game-based learning is only 2-3 years from mainstream adoption.Â WhileÂ waiting for this technology to mature, there are manyÂ educational gamesÂ available todayÂ in the form of onlineÂ sites like these.
9. Open Educational ResourcesÂ â€“ OERÂ is aÂ transformational idea that can play an important role inÂ changing the nature, and availability,Â of educational materials,Â content, and tools. Click over to â€œLearning about OER â€“ Open Educational Resourcesâ€ to discover more about this topic and access a host of resources on the subject. How wonderfulÂ would it be if Open Education ResourcesÂ evolved into theÂ predominant way in which educational resources were delivered?
10. TheÂ iPad and other tablet devicesÂ â€“ Since the launch of the iPad2, this Apple technology has really taken education by storm. PostsÂ here like, â€œ10 Excellent iPad Applications for Teachersâ€ generate aÂ huge amount of traffic, confirming theÂ tremendous interest level in this platform. We've been learning more about this phenomenon through articles like, â€œiPads In Education â€“ Howâ€™s It Going So Far?â€ and â€œUsing The iPad As A Digital Whiteboard (Plus 4 Cool Free Apps To Try It Out)â€. Schools across the world are considering uses for the iPad and similar tablet devices, and the market for tablets is really heating up.
Another important education technology trend is the exploding use of mobile devices. While this has not been included as it's own category here, it is implicit in several of the technologies above. For example, smart phones and other mobile devices go hand-in-hand with social networking and consumption of video and podcasting resources and lecture capture content. I mention this here specifically because tablet devices seem to have risen to the fore of the mobile device category this year.
Well, there you have it – ten technologies that teachers, administrators, and educational technologists should be keeping an eye on and considering for their schools and classrooms, if they aren't already using them. Please be sure to visit EmergingEdTech frequently (and subscribe if you haven't already) to stay on top of these powerful tools and technologies that are impacting and changing education.
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