As with most other industries, emerging technologies are bringing about changes in education. According to a survey conducted by Edgenuity, 91% of U.S. teachers agree that technology facilitates the process of creating lessons and homework assignments for the individual needs of their students. However, 48% of the teachers also said that the technologies they use are outdated. Only 16% of the surveyed educators gave an A grade to their schools for incorporating the latest technologies.
That is a problem. These generations of students need and demand their schools to be on track with the latest trends in technology. We cannot wait for a gadget to become outdated to start implementing it in the educational process.
We have to be aware of the technologies that are shaping the future of education, and we have to implement them as soon as possible. The first step is getting the information we need. What are those trendy gadgets we need to pay attention to?
We’ll list 5 gadgets that have the potential to change the educational system for the better.
Projectors are a commonplace technology. Teachers have been using them in the classroom setting for decades. Now, it seems like we’re positioned to take this technology to a very advanced level: holograms. We can use these devices to present realistic, interactive holograms for teaching science subjects.
This technology is also effective for inviting guest teachers and speakers in the classroom. Think about it: you can have a real-life HumaGram of a celebrity, famous leader, or talented teacher in the classroom. Your students can even potentially interact with the hologram much as they would with a teacher who’s actually present in the classroom.
2. Biometric Devices
Okay, it’s time for really advanced gadgets: biometric devices. As a technology usually associated with the security industry, biometrics is used for authenticating identity through iris pattern, fingerprint, voice or facial recognition.
In education, eye-tracking devices can be used for monitoring a student’s response to the learning content. We can use it to test different methods of teaching, so we’ll realize what approach our students respond well to.
These devices might not be present in all classrooms in future. However, they will definitely change the future of education. Researchers use them to study children’s cognitive, perceptual, and emotional development. Those findings are crucial for the adjustment of teaching processes to the needs of new generations.
If this technology gets far enough to be implemented in each classroom, we can use it to identify each student’s learning style. Talk about personalized learning.
3. Digital Paper
Digital Paper was just a future possibility a few years back, but SONY now sells it! Here's another version of this product, from reMarkable. These products are essentially very thin tablets with paper-like functionality. In this article, EducationWorld explores the question, “Could This New Tool Eliminate Paper in the Classroom?”.
4. 3D Printers
3D printing is pushing the limits in education. Nicole Wake, a PhD candidate at the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at the NYU School of Medicine, is using 3D printing technology to develop kidney and prostate tumour models.
Students from higher education have already started relying on this technology. Then why are we so slow at implementing it in primary and secondary education? It’s mostly because our lack of understanding of the way these devices can enhance the overall educational process. Educators can offer new teaching materials by printing them in 3D. That will cost less money and will be quicker when compared to buying new teaching materials.
Kinesthetic learners prefer learning through aids and three-dimensional materials. When we implement these devices into the educational process, we can cater to the needs of these students. 3D printing technology allows us to give life to any subject matter. The models will help the students understand how different concepts work in reality.
What’s most important, we’ll be teaching our students how to use 3D technology, so they can rely on it when developing their own projects.
Schools can now obtain these devices for less than $1000, so it’s about time we started encouraging their use in the classroom.
5. Smart Tables
Smart tables are similar to smartboards, but they come in the form of a table. They are stronger, sturdier, and more comfortable to use. These gadgets are great for fostering collaborative work. They bring the students together for an exciting research and learning experience. They are spill-resistant and they can support up to 200 lb of weight.
Advanced technology may be scary. Teachers from previous generations will certainly have issues with implementing biometrics in their classrooms. However, we can’t resist it no matter how much we try. If we want to bring the educational system forward (and we do), we’ll have to get informed about new technologies and learn how to use them. There’s one major advantage: we get to shape our students into individuals who are ready to take on the world of technology.
Justin is a teacher from Leicester, England, UK. When not teaching his little students and rooting for Leicester FC, he loves to share his thoughts and opinions about education, writing and blogging with other people on different blogs and forums. Currently, he is working as an editor at Essayontime. Follow Justin on Facebook and Twitter.