As the technological landscape continues to change and evolve, there are a number of emerging opportunities for those in education to use technology as a powerful teaching tool. The use of internet enabled devices that use a variety of multimedia platforms to display learninhtg material means that children can enjoy a stimulating and engaging classroom experience. Children with different learning styles are accommodated as digital technology is not just visual, but also consists of audio and interactive components. With ever-improving internet access and a number of tools and devices available, from tablets to interactive whiteboards, education is being revolutionised in many different ways.
Bringing concepts to life
Reading through a description in a textbook, or examining a conventionally drawn diagram, can make it challenging for students to envision and understand subject matter. Digital technology means that 3D models and simulations can be created that make visualising complex images effortless. Science teachers can make difficult subjects like physics and chemistry come to life by demonstrating gas laws, fluid mechanics and chemical bonding. The Concord Consortium is a not-for-profit organisation that provides free software to teachers that assists them in demonstrating a number of subjects, from science and biology to mathematics.
Letting children create
Projects and assignments have always been a part of learning but technology makes it possible for children to create multifaceted, multimedia projects and presentations. Whether it is filming videos, creating blogs or even websites online, setting up polls and surveys or presenting information in new and interesting ways, technology enables students to get excited about learning through the process of creating. Of course, to facilitate the presentation of their projects, the classroom needs to be equipped with the appropriate technology. An interactive whiteboard, such as the Sharp PN-VC651A interactive whiteboard, available from Seartec, is the perfect tool for interactive and collaborative learning. The dual touchscreen allows for intuitive use and real-time annotating of on-screen content. Whatever is being done on-screen can be recorded live as a video file, which helps teachers to prepare lesson content and the appropriate software makes it possible to share content to tablets or computers in the classroom, while controlling these devices from the whiteboard to keep students focused.
Make learning a game
Epistemic games are computer games that encourage innovative thinking and learning. These games allow students to take on a designated role within the game, such as a doctor, scientist, engineer or architect, and then immerse themselves in the role as they solve puzzles and overcome challenges set out in the game. For example, the Nephrotex game from Edgaps students are biomedical engineering interns assigned with the task of creating components for an artificial kidney. Using an online portal, students are given technical documents and experimental data and are asked to do research, after which they can create a hypothetical design, and test and analyse this design. There are numerous benefits of learning this way, such as teaching students how to conduct research and think critically, as well as linking learning to a real-life context.
Ultimately, digital technology has the power to ignite the imagination of students and teachers, and can bring a world of possibilities into the classroom.
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