It’s an exciting but also uncertain time for the education sector. As schools and universities continue to grapple with the restrictions introduced to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, there’s a growing need to innovate quickly.
What is easy to forget is that this need was already here to begin with. Remote learning has already been a trend for some time, and technology has been transforming the classroom for years. The current situation has simply accelerated this need.
Below, we’ve compiled the exciting innovations underpinning the EdTech revolution:
1. Interactive whiteboards
Interactive whiteboards are large touch screens designed to replace and greatly expand upon the capabilities of the traditional classroom whiteboard. They’re full-fledged computers in their own right, but their primary purpose is to offer an interactive and engaging group experience.
These whiteboards enable true collaboration between students, not just in the classroom, but also remotely, since these are connected to the internet. However, multitouch collaboration is one of their strongest points, since multiple students can work together on the same board.
2. Gamified learning
A few years ago, using video games in the classroom to educate students was unthinkable. Today, gamification is a proven strategy that combines the addictive and competitive nature of popular games with customized learning experiences that are more engaging than ever.
Gamification motivates learners in just the same way that participation in team sports is driven by the desire to win. It makes learning fun, interactive, and addictive, while also offering real-time feedback and practical, hands-on exercises.
3. Virtual tours
Contrary to popular belief, virtual reality isn’t just about video games and entertainment. VR technology is making its way into many industries by putting subjects right in the center of the action. In classrooms, this might mean giving students a close-up look at faraway places.
VR can give students a truly exciting and engaging experience that they won’t soon forget, whether it’s a tour of a distant planet or a virtual field trip to the other side of the world. It’s still in its early days, but there’s little doubt VR will become mainstream in the classroom in the coming years.
4. Augmented reality
Augmented reality (AR) is related to VR, but there are some important differences. Instead of completely immersing the user in a virtual environment, it enhances the real-world experience with perceptual information, typically in the form of a heads-up display.
The implications of AR in education are enormous. Aside from the increased engagement and interactivity, it can provide a truly hands-on way to deepen students’ knowledge of everything from spatial concepts to real-world working environments.
5. Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a group of interconnected devices, such as sensors and beacons, which lend to a more collaborative, data-driven environment. IoT can give students easier access to learning materials, communication channels, and more.
There are many ways IoT can enhance the classroom, as well as educational facilities overall. Because IoT devices can provide task-based instructions and real-time feedback, it’s possible to achieve classroom-level monitoring automatically, thus freeing up teachers to focus on tasks that still demand a human touch.
6. Online collaboration
This is an important one, especially in the age of coronavirus. Online collaboration tools offer an easy way for students to work together as a team, even to the point of working with people on the other side of the world. It’s an extremely effective and engaging way to teach students valuable life skills, particularly when they have to learn remotely.
Online collaboration tools are far more sophisticated than the school intranets of old, and there are many to choose from. For example, students can co-author documents through a browser, share files via online storage, and even create interactive mind maps and edit them together.
Online Computers works with educational institutions to enhance operational efficiencies with always-on systems, quality service, and unrivaled security. Call us today to talk about your needs.
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