Educational Technology Tools

Introduction:
Nowadays, technology and education are quite inter-related. Almost every teacher has some favorite technology tools that he / she use to involve the students in the lecture. With the advancements in the field of technology, the educational tools are also constantly evolving along with the addition of some better functionality and features. Therefore, it is difficult for a teacher to stay updated with the technology and utilize the most useful and newest tools. The educational tools can be characterized into various categories. Here, some of these tools will be discussed.

Technology Peripheral Equipment:
• Cloud Computing
• Social Networking Tools
• Web 2.0 Tools
• Classroom Instructional Media

Cloud Computing:
Cloud Computing uses the central remote servers and Internet in order to store the applications and data. Generally, the term ‘cloud computing’ is used for anything that provides the hosted services all over the World Wide Web. It enables the individuals to access their data and precious files from anywhere just with an Internet connection. This technology provides very effective computing by using a centralized data storage, bandwidth and processing. The most common example of cloud computing is Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo mail and so on. You can use the services just by connecting to the Internet.

Nowadays, many businesses are offering ‘virtual storage space’ which is a form of cloud computing. The students can use this technology in order to store their precious information. This would allow them to access their required information from the Internet even in the situations of data losses from their hardware devices.

Social Networking Tools:
With the rapid prevalence in our daily life, institutes still hesitate to use the social networks as an educational tool. There is a wide range of social media tools that can be used to make even better and more interactive environment in the classrooms. These tools enable the teachers to engage students in inventive ways by stimulating discussion and encouraging collaboration even among some soft-spoken students.

Different social networking tools possess distinct features. For example, Symbaloo provides the classroom resources management for the teachers. EDU 2.0 provides the course management system and teachers are able to share the quizzes, experiments, assignments, videos, lesson plans and other contents in a shared folder. Another tool Edublogs is quite similar to WordPress blogging platform and it only supports the educational content. Moreover, you will find a large number of other social networking tools that are currently used by the teachers and offers various different features and functionalities.

Web 2.0 Tools:
Web 2.0 tools provide an easy way of sharing, collaborating, editing and creating the online content generated by users. The teachers and students do not have to download and install these tools and they can effortlessly learn them within minutes. For example, Video Tools allow the user to integrate the useful videos into shared presentations and projects. Next, Presentation Tools make it easier for both the students and teachers to edit, create, upload and share their presentations. Moreover, Mobile Tools support quizzes, blogging, podcasting and media sharing etc. The use of these interesting applications in your cell phones can make it an efficient teaching tool. Furthermore, Community Tools provide a way for teachers and students to share their work.

Classroom Instructional Media:
The classroom instructional media includes audio, video and graphics services. These services are provided by the highly skilled co-ordination department and they are responsible to train the faculty members for operating media-equipped lecture rooms, maintain media-equipment in the lecture rooms and produce instructional material.

Conclusion:
With the rapid advancements in the technology, nobody can deny its importance in any field of life. Now, teachers and students can have a better collaboration and sharing by the use of ICT (Information Communication Technology). It is important for the teachers to stay updated with the latest advancements and newest features in the field of technology, so that they can deliver their lectures and helping material to the students in a better way.

Technology in the Classroom – Ways to Integrate Educational Technology Into Your Teaching Practice

Here are some technology things that you could do with your students. Not everything may be feasible (i.e. cost factors) or appropriate (i.e. security or privacy issues):

  • some of the things we’re already doing,
  • some of the things we’re thinking of doing, and,
  • some of the things are simply wishful thinking, but great ideas have to start somewhere…

How do you integrate technology into the curriculum? Do you have any ideas to add to the list?

Class Set of Laptops

  • Get a company to donate a class set of laptops when they upgrade their equipment. (The company can receive a charitable donation tax-credit.)
  • Set up a wi-fi hotspot in your classroom so that students can blog online during independent reading and writing workshops.
  • Purchase digital copies of textbooks to have a paperless classroom. Use text-reading software (i.e. Kurzweil) to highlight and take notes in the textbook.

Non-Traditional Reading and Writing

  • Teach students the differences between formal, informal, and colloquial language and explore text messaging, chat rooms, and msn-speak as forms of colloquial language.
  • Evaluate the evolving nature of language and develop word-attack skills by examining how words get accepted into everyday language (or the dictionary). For example, Google is now a commonly used noun and verb.
  • Use text-reading software (i.e. Kurzweil) to allow students to access difficult texts.

Blogging

  • Have students set up personal blogs as a medium to publish their writing portfolios.
  • Explore how Google is a popularity contest. Publish work in an e-zine article directory to understand how to build inbound links. Post comments on other blogs to build inbound links.
  • Explore copyright issues. Publish work in a blog or an e-zine article directory will inevitably end up with your work scraped onto another blog without proper attribution. Explore how that feels and the ethics of using other people’s content without consent.

Computer Safety

  • Discuss cyber-bullying: ways to protect yourself, how to respond when it happens, and how to avoid accidentally cyber-bullying when blogging.
  • Explore computer safety: password strength, viruses, trojans, phishing, etc.
  • Learn about online dangers and ways to protect yourself.

Classroom Website

  • Make hand-outs and homework assignments accessible on a classroom website.
  • Use a secure website as a communication tool for marks for both parents and students.
  • Introduce your students to HTML and web design.

Making Money Online

  • Introduce students to the business of making money online.
  • Explore advertising online – how it works.
  • Fund raise by selling stuff on e-bay.

GPS and Mapping Technology

  • Geo-cache with your students.
  • Use GPS technology or mapping software (i.e. Google Earth) in math class to construct larger geometric shapes. (i.e. construct a circle that has a radius of 5 city blocks.)
  • Apply GPS technology or mapping software in Geography.

The Internet as a Global Village / Community

  • Find a class to pen-pal with and correspond using blogs, email, or IRC chat rooms.
  • Use a wiki for students to synthesize and evaluate knowledge gained in a content-subject like History or Geography. They can track how their understanding of concepts grow. Demonstrate how our understanding of a subject-specific topic evolves over time (i.e. a dynamic and digital KWL chart)
  • Publish student work in English and in their first language online so that relatives overseas can celebrate in their success.

Technology as a Teaching Tool

  • Use a data-projector in class to do modeled and shared readings.
  • Use a data-projector in class to do shared writing: the modern equivalent of flip-chart paper
  • Use dynamic geometry software (i.e. Geometer’s Sketchpad) to explore math concepts.

Music and Technology

  • Buy songs (i.e. itunes) and allow students to DJ their own school dances.
  • Critically examine popular music to determine whether mainstream music is appropriate at a school dance (i.e. Soulja Boy – Crank that)
  • Create your own pod-casts. Students can use free sound-editing software (i.e. audacity) to mix in free sound effects (i.e. ljudo.com) with their digital recordings of their voices.

Class Projects

  • Send an object around the world and invite people who find the object to leave a message online in the classroom blog.
  • Explore the video making process: scripts, recording, editing, post-production
  • Explore YouTube as a medium to publish content.

Online Education Technology

Distance learning as a form of education has been developed before computer network advent, gradually increasing the range of used technologies. First they introduced a so-called case-technology: well-structured training materials were completed in a special set (“case”), which was then sent to a student for independent study. Over time, paper pamphlets and books were supplemented by records on magnetic media and CD-ROM, and teachers began using television technology conduct classes and lectures. Students still had to periodically attend full consultation of teachers (tutors) or instructors in specially created remote (regional) training centers.

The World Wide Web provided basis for network technology development to share knowledge, providing students and teachers with electronic books and libraries, convenient testing systems, as well as means of communication. Internet not only combines all previously known tools of training, but also significantly expands their list, has a significant impact on information culture in educational environment.

Types and forms of learning via the Internet

Most of learning centers can be divided into three groups according to the degree of “immersion” into the Internet.

The first group includes institutions, which work is based entirely on Internet technologies. A choice of course, its payment, training students, transfer of control tasks and their verification, as well as passing interim and final examinations are carried out via the Web. Such training centers are sometimes called “virtual universities” and not numerous because of high requirements for software program equipment and staff training, as well as the need for substantial initial investments.

Second, the largest group is represented by schools combining a variety of traditional forms of full-time and distance learning with modern innovations. For example, some universities transfer a part of their program courses into virtual form, and distance learning centers at the same time do not abandon the practice of classroom examinations. There may be many options here, but in each case only a part of educational process is computerized.

The third group includes learning centers using Internet only as internal communication environment. Their websites offer information on training programs (plans), seminars, and library catalogs.

Courses proposed in virtual learning systems can be divided into two types: credit and non-credit. “Credit” is a course approved at an accredited academic institution. A student passes it as part of curriculum for any degree and uses it as a step on a way to get a degree. (Each course has its own weight in credit hierarchy).

“Non-credit” courses include those designed to obtain additional or post-graduate education (e.g. for training) and not leading to a degree.

In fact, institutions offering non-credit courses form a system of “open education”. They emphasize the value of training program as it is, not caring about prestige of diplomas issued or weight of credit.

Reasons to Get a PhD in Educational Leadership Through Educational Technology

Since technology has become part and parcel of our everyday lives, we have accepted its company as though the air we breathe. Similarly in the teaching environment, younger aged students quickly grasp the technical side of technology. They may not actually understand why technology is useful but rather it’s a means by which we live. As it may come as a surprise to many, technology is not exactly the do-all and see-all. Technology as a tool remains a steadfast fact. It does not supersede man unless it’s one of those horror science fiction flicks whereby robots take over the world and make man into their slaves.

In order for a teaching professional to better understand how and when to incorporate technology as part of their profession, obtaining a PhD in Educational Leadership through Educational Technology is a good avenue to look into. As part of this doctorate program, the student is made to understand how modern technology shapes the education process. It also imparts clear statements on what technology represents. Being able to identify the latest in processor chips, memory specifications, smart devices, applications and the likes is just a tip of the iceberg. A student is exposed to the role of technology in education, when to include technology as part of the process and when to abstain. When applying technology into the education process, various types of technology are up for discussion and selection. Manufacturers of hardware and software scramble over one another to convince educational leaders of their superiority and latest advancement.

As part of the coverage in a PhD in Educational Leadership through Educational Technology program, the PhD student learns the principles, aspects and importance of designing a curriculum to better apply education into daily lives. The curriculum may or may not adopt technology as an active participant as conventional pen and paper works better at times. In incorporating technology into the education, care is taken to ensure technology complements the curriculum.

Upon completion of this doctorate programs, many candidates pursue a career at academic institutions of higher level such as colleges and universities. Some opt for consulting positions by providing services to assess an institution’s methods in using technology as a tool for education. Others may join governmental or educational authorities to participate in think tank projects to promote education with technology.

Digital Signs For Education – Technology Continues to Evolve Our Centers of Education

Education is a dynamic process in any society, and experts agree that it takes a wide range of different communication styles to get across to all the different learning styles that exist. As our modern world evolves and becomes more sophisticated, so do our learning institutions. And one way technology is being used to continually adapt to the complicated learning process and make it more efficient than ever is by using digital signs for education.

Here are just 5 ways that interactive digital media is being used in our top learning centers.

1. Bulletin Boards

Digital platforms are an extremely efficient means for replacing the drab bulletin boards of the past and create a vibrant, attention-getting visual display with video and audio for maximum effect. The bulletin boards were a waste of paper that was always being thrown out and after time even the boards themselves broke down and needed to be wasted. A video wall does not produce this kind of waste and gives information in way that will be noticed and not easily forgotten.

2. Navigation

Bigger universities are finding that interactive displays are excellent tools for assisting navigation around new universities for students and visitors alike. Complex mapping systems that plan out your route with a couple touches of the finger and concierge displays delivering essential information provide a great way to communicate with someone who is unsure of where to go and what to do. Less freshmen stumbling around with a dazed look on their face and less wasted time for employees giving directions for the hundredth time in a day.

3. Donor Recognition

Many of our top universities survived under the support of generous donors who wanted to give back to society or had a special place in their heart for that particular university. Interactive displays provide creative means of recognizing those contributions in a modern, eye-catching way that does wonders for the image of everyone involved. Donors feel a significant effort has gone into showing appreciation for their efforts and universities show they are embracing modern technology and staying ahead of trends.

4. Posters

Part of education involves other ways of communicating with students – such as informing about societal issues, advertising necessary services relevant to college students, and simply providing entertainment venues to keep college life exciting and welcoming. This is why you so often see posters plastered across the campus. Digital signs once again take away the need for wasted paper and communicate much more effectively. And instead of tearing down all the old stuff again and again, you can simply enter new data into online software from any comfortable location.

5. Emergency Systems

We all wish university life consisted of nothing but learning, growing, and having good times together. Unfortunately, bad things do happen, and certain aspects of modern culture have made tragic universities occurrences all to commonplace. And any venue this size needs an organized emergency system. A network of digital signs can provide that immediately, broadcasting images and announcements all prepared in advance.