For college students, utilizing technology in the classroom is crucial to get good grades. College is a great place to see what kind of technology will end up being utilized on a larger scale. With more and more primary schools beginning to utilize new tech for the classroom, it is now more important ever that students are using the most up to date gadgets and tools. Every once in a while, there is a breakthrough that revolutionizes the way we look at education. These five technologies are going to change school forever.
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The popularity of tablets in the classroom can already be seen in many places. Apple has partnered with public and private institutions to provide iPads to students for school. The iPad and competition like the Nexus 10 have changed the way we go to school. Tablets offer up a plethora of features that make learning easier. Whether it’s the access to millions of useful apps or the portability of them, tablets have proven that they are here to stay. They replace the now archaic notebook and pen and are quickly replacing laptops as the thing to bring to class. It’s hard to argue against them, since there are so many new types of tablets coming out every few months. With Black Friday coming up, you can bet that tablets will the first ones flying off the shelves.
2. The Cloud
Not to be confused with the moving weather system, the Cloud is a large number of servers where users can save any type of file to. Cloud computing is beginning to be used in many different fields. It is already a big part of the music industry, with programs like Spotify and sites like SoundCloud. Apple has created its iCloud format, which was fully implemented into iPhones with the iOS 7 update and Microsoft has thrown its hat in the ring with SkyDrive and Microsoft Office 365. There are also things like Google Drive, Docs, and DropBox that utilize cloud computing for storage of important files. For educational purposes, the Cloud is important in a few ways. First, it allows students (and teachers) to have a safe, reliable place to store importamt files like papers or lesson plans. Google Docs allows different users to edit the same document, making group projects even easier to manage. The Cloud is already starting to become a significant part in 21st Century functionality, so it’s natural that schools are going to adapt and keep up with the times.
iVersity is the future of education because it is the first website that offers higher level courses that are available to anyone and are free of cost. Utilizing many different types of media, an iVersity class takes a different approach to teaching. Lessons are published once a week, and can be viewed and completed at the user’s convenience. For example, in the “Future of Story Telling” course, teachers provide a quick lecture giving you an overview of key terms and techniques. They will also provide links of other lectures or examples from the lesson that week. In addition, iVersity has assignments that can be completed and shared in the class discussion board. Since it is completely online, there are students from all over the world and from different age groups. iVersity is not a credited school, but its format and flexible scheduling will no doubt become much more popular in the future when classes become completely online.
4. Municipal WiFi
For any 21st Century invention to work, chances are it needs to be connected to a WiFi network. WiFi hotspots are located all over the place, in coffee shops, internet cafes, and even McDonald’s. Many cities around the world are currently funding projects that will build hotspots in and around major cities, providing WiFi signals to the entire city. The goal is constant connectivity, and with all of the technology starting to replace old forms and procedures in education, a solid WiFi connection is pretty important. Municipal WiFi will allow students to be connected at all times, which in turn lets them have the ability to learn from anywhere. Being confined to a classroom can be detrimental and having to sit in a Starbucks to download all of your documents from the cloud is inconvenient. Municipal WiFi is both expensive and hard to manage in its current state, but as time goes on, the process will become easier and soon there will be WiFi everywhere you go, much like most college campuses now..
5. Social Media
Social media has taken over our social lives, so it’s a natural next step for it to take over our student lives as well. Currently, Facebook groups are a popular way for students in a class to get together. It lets them communicate with each other and even study together. I’ve been in groups for classes that had big paper assignments and the groups were very active in assisting anybody who wasn’t clear about some of the instructions or even the due date. On Twitter, some technology and communications classes are using hashtags in assignments. Students have to tweet their responses to certain questions posted by the professor, and from there, the professor tracks the hashtag to see all of the answers. In a world where you can log into half the Internet with your Facebook account, it makes sense that social media will become a bigger part of education, and I don’t mean browsing Facebook when you’re bored in class.
Technology and education go hand in hand. It has always been about using the best and most up to date technology so that the students can get the best experience possible and learn much more than they would if they didn’t utilize the technology that is available to them. These five 21st Century technologies are currently reshaping how schools are operating, how teachers are teaching, and how students are learning.