Developments in technology have been changing the way we do business and learn for decades, and that is never going to stop. Innovation is not just out of necessity, but out of the human desire to do more, do better, do something unseen. Bringing technology into the classroom empowers learners to take an active role in how their lessons are delivered, develop creative problem solving skills, and allows teachers to share resources and create more personalized learning.
Some of us may still cringe when we see a toddler who is more accomplished at playing on an iPad than walking. Ed Tech leverages those aptitudes to create more inclusive, creative, better learning environments where we can challenge students to think for themselves and be prepared for a constantly evolving workplace. There are so many tools emerging constantly, here are 5 we think are pretty cool.
Teachers can post a question or discussion topic, and their classroom can respond with short videos and respond to other posts. Flip Grid creates a hub for learners of any age to share their answers, opinions, or questions, and gives teachers an interactive way to introduce new topics or test on already taught material. It flips traditional assigned reading on it’s head and makes it something fun, instead of having to slog through a textbook. Students already have their faces in a screen, let’s use them to engage them and keep the discussion going.
Tagline: “The digital notebook for the 21st century.” Gone will be the days of posterboards and Powerpoint. Book Creator gives anyone the ability to create an ebook that can be downloaded or shared online. Students can hand in a URL instead of a hardcopy project, and teachers can e-mail out or present an interactive lesson. You can create up to 40 books for free! For schools that struggle with funding, this is a revolutionary resource. Teachers can create a book that can be a living part of their lesson plan for years, and can also be a shareable resource for other educators.
TED may not be relatively new, but the way it is being used by educators can change how students experience video content in a classroom. Instead of grainy footage shot decades prior displayed on a CRT screen that gets rolled out of the back room, teachers get to expose their students to online videos of world-wide leaders in their fields talk about new advancements in science, technology, art, all kinds of topics. One 20-minute video shared in a classroom could inspire a learner, youth or adult, to fan their interest into something so innovative that they too, could imagine themselves on that stage one day.
You know that friend who always wants to borrow your study materials because they didn’t take their own notes? Now you can send them to Study Blue. This online platform allows students and teachers to create online decks of digital flashcards to be used in classrooms or for at home study. It can be accessed from a computer, smartphone, or tablet to make studying possible from anywhere. Decks can be shared, and also mixed to make new decks, creating an endless supply of study materials for both students and teachers. The creators of Study Blue believe that students learn better together and offers them a free tool to collaborate and organize their study materials. Bye bye spiral notebooks!
Virtual Reality is no longer something we dream about, it is happening every day. Google Expeditions makes it possible for children who couldn’t imagine themselves in Egypt, Japan, or Brazil to experience those places in a real way. Take students to the jungle, to the mountains, to a war-torn country. VR allows students to connect with other cultures and develop empathy, explore the world, and test out what it’s like to experience different professions. It could inspire our future doctors, NGO creators, marine biologists, and more in children who otherwise would not have considered such careers possible for them.
Our traditional classrooms may be headed the way of retail stores, where we have less face-to-face interaction and more students learning from their homes. This shift makes education more accessible and changes the way we interact with other learners. One of Craft of Lyfe’s main missions is to ease the global financial burden of education, and we are all for technology that makes that goal more realistic!
Share these technologies with your fellow students and teachers to help us all move into a new era of learning.
Take a peek into the second annual TED-Q through a Q&A with the founder, Billy Quirke as he explores what matters the most to us in our everyday lives.