Cutting-edge Technology To Use In Classrooms Right Now
Tue 06 September, 2016
New innovations in technology are arising every day, and it is important for educators to be aware of them and how they could be used in the classroom. After all, it isn’t enough for students to simply use technology anymore. Instead students need to be encouraged to be active creators with technology, designing their own apps, coming up with new inventions. The best way to encourage your students to be creators and innovators is to give them access to new, exciting technology that they can engage and experiment with. You would be surprised how many new technologies are available to students and teachers, and at a reasonable cost. Here are a few to look out for:
Virtual reality headsets
Virtual reality headsets can be a fantastic learning tool with a range of applications in the classroom, from showing an interactive landscape of the Jurassic period to a program where you can create 3D images. They can be used for almost any type of learning activity or subject, and they allow students to engage with their learning at a level of immersion they haven’t experienced before.
While the highest end headsets such as HTC Vive or Oculus Rift are quite expensive, many people don’t know there are a number of affordable headsets. For example, Google Cardboard is trying to make virtual reality accessible for everyone with a number of different low-cost headsets available for all types of phones, along with a collection of different apps you can download that work with the sets. However, it is worth considering the higher end headsets as well, because they have more advanced programs with better visuals and capabilities.
Learning robotics is becoming an increasingly indispensable took for students today, with a huge range of intellectual and emotional benefits. Working with robotics allows students to have active, sensory learning, getting them out of their chairs and moving around. Students are both intellectually, emotionally and physically engaged. The work involved with robotics teaches the students not just skills like computer programming and code, but it teaches them about experimentation, critical thinking, teamwork, design, and more. It engages not only their mathematic and critical skills but also encourages students to express their imagination and show that their work has real world value.
There are a number of different robotics programs that are available to schools. LEGO Robotics is one of the oldest and most well-known, letting students at any level create and command robots. Another program is EZ-Robot, a platform which ranges from beginner to advanced user. It enables users to learn logic, soldering, electronics and modular design, by creating their own personal robot. At the more advanced level you can teach the robot facial and colour tracking abilities, and voice commands.
Multi touch surfaces
Multi touch surfaces are still largely in the works, but there are a few touch screen tables which have come out and which can be a useful asset in the classroom. The new smart Table and Activ Table are work surfaces which can be altered for different purposes from displaying video to playing group educational games. They are not low cost but they have a huge range of uses, creating a workspace where students can collaborate and access a multitude of online resources with a single swipe.