Technology for Teachers – New Tech Education Tools for Teachers:
Today, there are so many new technology-tools for teachers launched into the market that it becomes so hard to point out the best tools. In fact advances in educational technology have changed the way educators teach and have even shaped the way children learn whereby teachers are becoming more reliant on technology in order to engage learners. Additionally, teachers that use technology in classrooms claim that it has made teaching easier and it makes them do more work than ever before for their students. However, just having technology at the fingertips is not enough and that’s why teachers also need to get quality content. In fact, teachers should use technology as a medium for their instructions but not as the focus or even distraction. So, i have decided to create a guide for teachers who want to bring technology into their classrooms below:
Technology Tools That Every Teacher Should Use in Class:
Physical Technological tools to use in classroom:
- Clickers (Student Response System): Clickers look like a small remote-control that allows students to provide individual instant feedback after the instructor prompts a question in the classroom. The responses are automatically sent to the instructor via an identifiable infrared signal so the teacher can easily gauge how well the class understands a given topic. On the other hand, students can get these devices at bookstores and then connect them to USB-ports of their laptops. The data that is sent to the instructor is stored on the receiver so that it can be easily accessed for analysis and grading.
- Interactive Whiteboards: An interactive whiteboard allows teachers and students to collaborate and comment on the same surface so that the whole classroom can see it at the same time (real-time). In fact, interactive whiteboards utilize the latest interactive-technology that children use outside the classroom. Lastly, interactive whiteboards are available at different prices in order to meet any school-budget and even colleges or universities can install interactive whiteboards into classrooms/lecture-halls to improve on the learning-process of students.
- Kindle-Tablets: This is a multi-purpose tablet that connects to the Amazon marketplace in order to help teachers and students gain access to millions of eBooks, newspapers, and video-downloads. In fact, with classroom kindles it takes just a minute to buy an eBook and send it to the entire class via a free self-service Whispercast tool. Additionally, there are several free books and documents offered by Kindle to supplement lesson plans. Likewise, Elementary school teachers are also effectively using Kindle devices as part of class book clubs and summer reading programs. Lastly, college students can also rent or buy textbooks to download on kindle-devices.
- Tablets: These are the most popular devices used in classrooms and this is mainly because there are many ways to incorporate tablets into school curriculums ranging from student collaboration to educational games. In fact, tablets allow students to store handouts digitally, access virtual-libraries, work with 3D objects, take notes and home, instant messaging and are also very convenient to carry due to their portable-sizes.
Online technological-tools for use in classrooms (Online courses, programs and academies):
- Coursera: This is a comprehensive MOOC website that offers more than 600 online and iOS courses in the Humanities, Medicine, Biology, Social-Sciences, Mathematics, Business and Computer-Science as part of a partnership with over 100 institutions of higher-learning. This website allows participants to watch short video-lectures before completing weekly assignments and students can even communicate on web forums. However, although Coursera courses are offered free of charge, some classes offer Signature-Track which is a paid option that securely links coursework to a student’s identity to prove that the individual completed the assignments and then Coursera and the participating university issue a Verified Certificate to them.
- OCW (OpenCourseWare): This is a web-based service aimed at advancing knowledge and educates students all over the world. In fact, this website is visited by individuals seeking reference materials to develop curriculum, review basic concepts and even keep current of developments in various fields. Lastly, OCW courses are developed for college-levels in order to target high school students and educators. All in all, OCW is an open educational resource developed to provide free classroom materials for high school educators, students and parents.
- NPTEL (National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning): NPTEL is designed to provide e-learning through free online Web and Video courses in Engineering, Sciences and the Humanities. This program is an initiative by seven Indian Institutes of Technology in order to create content for over 100 courses whereby each is designed to be completed in 40 hours.
- Khan Academy: This is a non-profit educational website created by educator Salman Khan a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School who wanted to provide a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. In fact, students and teachers have access to a personalized learning dashboard that allows them to connect to thousands of educational resources which include exercise-programs and micro lectures stored on YouTube in almost every academic discipline. Lastly, Khan Academy is free and the only requirement is an Internet connection.
- MR University (Marginal Resolution University): This is an online education website run by George Mason University economics professors and Marginal Revolution bloggers Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok. With this website, students and educators can enroll for classes or access free videos and course materials that are offered inform of PowerPoint slide presentations with voice-overs but audio can be downloaded separately. Lastly, Students who register for a course and take the final examination at MR University will receive a Certificate of Completion.
- EDX: This was established to support research on teaching and learning in order to see how technologies can best be used in a classroom. In fact, anyone with an Internet connection can sign-up for free self-paced edX courses which are available in a wide range of disciplines like; Sciences, Arts and Technology.
Technological Apps for use in classrooms:
- Pre-K Apps: These are Apps designed to help educators teaching at kindergarten levels do their work more efficiently. These Apps are very many but the best Apps include;
- Bugsy Pre-K App (Math and Reading): This app will help little students learn different shapes, colors, letters, numbers and phonics and after get digital toys for answering questions correctly. In fact, this App is has a multi-user function for classroom use so that teachers can set up individual student accounts in order to track progress.
- Endless Alphabet App (Reading): This App enables students to learn letters and build vocabulary with the sweet monsters. It also features an interactive puzzle game with talking letters and an animation for each of the over 50 words.
- Elementary School Apps:
- Accelerated Reader (Reading-App for iOS, Android): This App helps children earn coins by practicing basic math, reading, and spelling concepts with the help of the Teach Me: Kindergarten app.
- Discovery Education (Science-App): This App helps students explore thousands of video-clips that cover core curriculum sections in grades of K-12.
- Draw-3D App (Art): This App allows children to draw 3D-images that can be viewed without special-glasses. In fact, students need to first draw a picture and then click a button that turns them into 3D with the help of austereograms and this app even teaches students depth perception in art.
- Middle School Apps:
- Buzz Math (Math-App): This App allows teachers to send assignments to students and to monitor student progression. This App also features detailed reporting tools, automated corrections, Audio reading of text, Single-click activity assignment and its SMART board compatible.
- goREACT (Science-App): this App allows students to virtually create chemical-reactions. in fact, students can easily drag elements from the periodic table to reaction-area within this App. Additionally, this App provides a variety of suggested reactions to enable students get started and it also supports over 300 chemical-reactions with pictures and videos.
- High School Apps:
- American History Test Prep (Social Studies App): This App enables students to study World History and to remember material using flashcards with text and audio. It also includes multiple choice quizzes that are of great help to students.
- 3D Brain (Science-App): This is a free iOS App featuring a 3-dimensional model of the human brain. With this App, students can rotate the brain and learn information about each part.
- College Apps:
- Calcbot (Math-App): This is a calculator App for IOS that allows students to easily access advanced, scientific functions with just a swipe.
- Science Challenge (Android-App): This App provides students with multiple-choice science quiz covering subjects like; Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Zoology, Earth, Inventions and Space.