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New Age Technologies Make Learning Fun And Easy For Students
Every progressive educational institution and a creative teacher endeavors to optimize collaboration among its students and between teachers and students
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Technology is widely catching up in teaching methodologies across the education space and teachers are bringing the vital elements of experience, discovery, excitement, engagement, fun, and interaction to the classroom by using various technological tools. Efficient usage of the new age technological tools has the power to make a better teacher out of a good teacher - one who would be cherished and remembered by the students, parents, and teaching institutes alike. The new age teacher understands that students are increasingly exposed to various communication devices like smart phones, cameras, scanners, PDAs, laptops, game devices, and internet, and integrate them in teaching methodologies, besides using learning content and curriculum based on such ubiquitous devices or technological tools.
With the use of various technological tools mentioned above, it is widely seen that the teacher's role is changing and becoming more instructional, facilitating them to conduct the lesson in a more organized and focused manner. The teacher indulges in increasing the fun and interaction elements with the students, creating a vibrant academic atmosphere that is highly conducive for a better learning process. Besides being used to prepare lesson plans, technology is used to award grades and assess student's performance by using spreadsheets or other programmes.
Additionally, technology is also used to establish connect with the parents regularly and keep them informed about their children's activities or progress.
While the teachers get an increased amount of time to interact with the students and pay attention towards the needs of each student in the classroom, the students spend less time taking down the notes and in return remain more engaged and concentrated in the lesson thought. The students follow their lessons in their own way as they get their lessons through e- mail.Experts believe that by efficient usage of technology in teaching, students are found to collaborate better with their classmates and teachers, retain the knowledge gained, become more skilled learners, are able to better implement the learning, and most importantly find learning a fun exercise.
Utilizing technology in the classroom is a great way to bring enthusiasm among the students, improve student engagement, enrich the teaching process, and bring and liveliness in the classroom. There are various solutions that allow teachers to track attendance and grades and make these available to parents and students.Some of the technologies that are already being used or have huge potential in classroom teaching are as follows:
Virtual Reality (VR): This is one of the most exciting technologies that can be integrated with content to give an immersive experience to a learner. Learning through VR can open a whole world of exploration and discovery for the child, besides offering the advantage of self-paced learning, concepts that are difficult to understand can be presented through interesting VR journeys - simple exploration-based or game-based. VR can also be used to create environments that are difficult to experience in reality (like the solar system) or even the ones that are not real (like a maze of words), and requires just a VR kit and a smartphone with a VR app.
Augmented Reality (AR): This is another fascinating tool to enable experiential learning through exploration, discovery, and collaborative learning and interaction. It involves simulating one part of the environment with real life looking 3D models. It becomes a strong tool for visualization for a learner and makes difficult topics easy to understand with enhanced interactivity and viewing features, thus empowering the learner further.
Video-based Learning: If a picture can speak thousand words, imagine how many words can a video say. Video-based teaching can help create a clearer and more complete picture for students. YouTube is a great tool for this, andone can find many useful video clips on the internet to compliment a lesson.
Game-based Learning: Every kid loves to play games.Using mobile devices like iPads and tablets can keep students involved in educational games, specifically made around a subject or topic. Students could be encouraged to keep track of their progress and work to compete with other students and advance to the next level in a game. Game based learning also proves very effective since it encourages and motivates through positive reinforcements and rewards with least/no penalties for underperformance (unlike a school exam or test).
Blogging: Creative teachers can prepare a blog page and post the works of their students on it. Showcasing the work of one's students would encourage others to compete and bring out their creativity. Comments and suggestions from peer students and other teachers on a work posted would further encourage the students to improvise on their learning, innovation, and creativity. Such blog posts and comments on the work would increase the quality of work delivered by the students in future.
Podcasts: Podcasts could be immensely helpful tools for students who would like to refer back to a teacher's lecture or were absent from a lecture session.Since there is a huge number of podcasts available, it opens a whole world of learning for the child where he/she can watch from a huge collection offered online.
Video Conferencing: Video conferencing is being used by many teaching institutions which are interested in bringing a different paradigm to learning for their students or new perspectives to the classroom. It facilitates the students to travel the world outside of their classroom, interact with guest lecturers, and discuss a lesson with other classrooms/students.
Laptops: Laptops or personal computers are an integral component of teaching aid in many progressive institutions. These can be very helpful to complete assignments, use common resources or tools, share and review peer work and work on presentations/projects remotely. Teachers can make use of useful software to monitor the student's device or screen and prevent misuse of the computer. When a teacher uses a device to give assignments, grades and much more, it saves lot of valuable time which can be utilized to attend to the needs or progress of the students in the classroom.
Tablets: Text books and lessons are loaded on the tablets and students are engaged more actively and meaningfully as the information is easily availablethrough the touch ofabutton. It has been observed that students follow their teachers easily during the class when lessons are uploaded on a tablet in comparison to a text book. Even tests and exams are easily administered through the tablets.
Interactive whiteboards: Teachers use these boards to write on them digitally as they could be connected to their computer or laptop. Teachers can also save the notes written by them for future usage of their students. These boards could also be used to teach a lesson through graphics, diagrams, charts, audio, and video teaching materials. Many interactive whiteboards have educational games to increasingly engage the attention of the students and make a concept interesting and easy to grasp.
Projectors: A projector has been used for long in various classrooms and has proved its usefulness in learning as the teacher can share the lesson with the entire class. This has been successfully used as an interactive tool to keep the entire classroom engaged.
Printer and Scanner: A printer and scanner are used for various modes of teaching especially project work-based learning.
Digital Camera: Digital cameras can document the classroom activities and could be used to exchange ideas between teachers and students.
Every progressive educational institution and a creative teacher endeavors to optimize collaboration among its students and between teachers and students. Web and mobile devices are the inevitable technologies that students are exposed with in life and bringing them in the classroom would only increase their learning process and result in better ways of gaining knowledge.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.