As technology evolves at a rapid pace, it is natural that we see more of it used in the classroom. Technology is allowing children who learn in non-traditional ways to thrive. Innovative tools are being used to teach everything from penmanship to physics. Let’s examine just a few of the interesting ways that technology is being utilized in school.
iPads and Apps
More and more iPads are showing up in schools across the United States. They are an excellent tool because of how versatile they are. An iPad can be used in elementary school all the way through to high school and college. Research can be done with a few taps of the fingers. They are excellent tools for brainstorming, creating presentations, aggregating information and working in groups. Their portability makes using them simple.
There are thousands of educational apps that can be used on an iPad. Elementary school children can learn to spell, practice their English and math, while high school students can learn chemistry through apps that allow them to see close up images of everything on the periodic table. Apps on iPads turn learning into games, which makes it less painful, especially for those who struggle academically. With so many choices, there is an app for all students and their needs.
It seems reasonable that teachers want to keep their students off social media. However, in upper grades, teachers are using it as a learning tool. Since kids’ attention spans are steadily decreasing, it makes sense for instructors to use Twitter to send out information about a subject to their students. Kids can use the social media outlet to tweet questions about assignments, and read the answer in a tweet from their teacher.
Class Web Pages
Teachers have been using the Internet to create web pages for their class that can be used in many ways. Some post important announcements, but they can be customized any manner the educator sees fit. The site can include a class blog, photos, homework assignments, downloadable material and more. What makes class websites work so well is that they can be accessed from home or mobile devices.
The web contains literally thousands of podcasts about anything and everything. Teachers are searching and finding ones that are relevant to the subject at hand. Instructors are recording lectures to supplement lessons and creating their own podcasts for students to listen to on their own time. Interviews with authors can be used to supplement books the students are reading, to listen to at home or to be downloaded in class. In some cases, teachers have had students make their own podcasts to discuss their ideas on what they are learning about, or to document the progress they have made throughout the year.