Technology + Education = Smart Students!
Anyone with children today will tell you that the world has changed substantially since they were last in a classroom at school. Talk about writing with chalk on a blackboard, for example, and most kids will label you a throw back from sometime around the 18th century. It is not unusual to see children now submitting homework projects as videos and even podcasts, rather than good old fashioned essays and reports. Computers in every classroom and laptops for every student are now the norm, and school students are connected like never before with online collaboration tools and intranets. Technology has become an integral part of the curriculum and its delivery.
The reality today for educators and their students is that technology has dramatically changed the learning school as well as the higher education environment. A recent survey from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for example, found that almost 70 per cent of educators use desktop presentation software as teaching tools, 29 per cent use video sharing applications, while just under 20 per cent use online collaboration tools. Interestingly, the survey also found that participants were keen to find out more information on how they could better use technology for teaching purposes, on the benefits of such teaching for students as well as the use of instructional games and learning simulations.*
The exciting thing is that the technology that is now almost taken for granted in companies has made its way into education facilities such as schools, colleges and higher education centres. Interactive whiteboards (or smart boards) and software such as MimioNotebook allow teachers to involve students in lessons without having to become technology experts. It also allows them to teach by using engaging and interactive games. Student engagement and levels of participation in the classroom are often some of the main issues (and assessment criteria) for teachers. What better tool to guarantee student’s participation then a classroom voting system that gives them a chance to genuinely voice an opinion (without having to raise their hands). Voting tools such as MimioVote also give teachers an invaluable “on the spot” chance to determine levels of student awareness and understanding of a subject. The results of surveys and tests can also even be imported to PowerPoint and used in later presentations.
Because of their years of practical experience and a wide ranging consulting background, VISIONEXT understands the needs of educators and can provide outstanding and cost effective technology solutions. Technology such as interactive whiteboards can have a major and lasting impact in any teaching environment, however getting the right equipment and having a professional audio visual installation can often mean the difference between having an amazing piece of technology that works every time, to having something that only works intermittently and actually hinders or slows teaching.
Contact VISIONEXT today for professional and friendly advice on the very latest products, systems and software that will open up the huge opportunities that technology-enhanced teaching can bring!
Source: The University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2010 Academic Technology Survey Results, https://academictech.doit.wisc.edu/2010-academic-technology-survey-results