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article imageOp-Ed: 4 technologies that are revolutionizing the classroom

By Nicole Weddington     Dec 29, 2014 in Technology
Until recently, dedicated educators across the globe were seeking new techniques and ways to engage students in the learning process.
Thanks to technological advances, the way students access and process information has changed significantly. The learning process is no longer classroom restricted or even tied to a textbook; it is literally in the air.
While a range of ‘Ed Tech’ has been adopted in classroom settings, the following four technologies are effectively reshaping the way students learn inside and outside the classroom:
Screen casting
This technology is available in tools such as Explain Everything and ScreenR. Teachers are using these tools with their device screen to create a bank of instructional videos that students can watch and take notes from. Essentially, the main purpose of these videos is to help students revise a topic or study independently.
For instance, teachers may create video clips outlining different sub-topics or perhaps work on notes that are important for exams. Teachers could ask students to get involved and help in preparing short videos explaining past papers that the class has been studying as a revision tool. Some firms are also specializing in providing light broadcast studios where educators can professionally edit videos prior to consumption.
Digital books
Some schools and educators have recognized that paid textbooks are not always the best they can be. That is why they are turning towards the online textbook and better digital resource availability. Teachers are gathering in between semesters to put together digital books on a variety of topics to serve the needs of their students. These books are flexible as teachers and students can become the curator of content and mash up custom content into their own book.
So, for example, if a student considers a digital textbook to prepare for exams and wants to add notes from other books, he/she can become the curator of content and add content to the digital book. Even videos can be embedded to online books. None of that is possible with a traditional textbook. And it is free to do all this.
Social learning platforms
Social learning platforms like Edmodo are engaging teachers, students and even parents. Some of these platforms look like Facebook but educators take the control and the platforms are designed for educational purposes. They provide shared timelines where students and teachers can interact with each other, and students can interact with their class fellows. Students and teachers can also store documents inside a library. Teachers can give assignments directly on the platform, students can submit assignments and teachers can provide feedback.
Teachers may also be given options to store essential documents like teaching presentations and mark schemes, as well as post photos of projects completed by groups of students so all the class can see them for best practice. Additionally, social platforms may enable teachers to schedule weekly tests and see automated collated results to judge student performance in the class.
This involves the use of mechanics and game thinking in a non-game context to inspire students to engage in the learning process. What makes this technology effective is its ability to trigger the learners’ level of engagement, interactivity, motivation and activity. These factors increase the student’s crystallized intelligence, something that optimizes learning. Gamification also tends to improve the natural desire for goal achievement, genuine self-expression and achieving a quantifiable outcome.
In schools and colleges, increased retention of student interest is key to any effective educational application of gamification. When students remember the learning material, apply it to their learning routine in real life, and come back to learn additional information, it implies the application has been successful. This is the ultimate achievement for educators looking to take full advantage of Gamified learning. Gamification also helps in capturing attention of students who have a difficult time focusing on learning in a normal classroom setting by adding engaging elements to educational material.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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