May 18, 2018
The Future Classroom: What New Technologies will Students Soon Be Using?
Dan Bateson, Director of Technology
Many exciting technologies emerging during the next decade will expand and enrich students’ educational experiences. While the teacher will always remain the key driver of learning and the star of the classroom, these innovative technologies will play important supporting roles.
Within the next few years, every class will be recorded by video cameras and made available online through Google Hangouts or Youtube. Students who are unable to attend the class for any reason will be able to watch it live, and all students will have a digital version of that class. This technology will also enable teachers to conduct classes from their homes during snow days so that students can log in and watch their classes online.
This technology allows students to share their computer screens with one another, thus enabling collaboration, group study, and peer tutoring. While this capability is currently available through Google Docs, students will soon be able to screen share across many different platforms. Students using a Mac, for instance, will be able to screen share with classmates using Windows or a mobile device.
Schools will provide students with G suite cloud technology that will enable them to create, compile and access a full digital portfolio of every project they’ve ever worked on, including notes, papers, study aids, assessments, and teacher feedback. This portfolio will archive their work over many years and provide a valuable backup.
Thanks to recent improvements in the accessibility and simplicity of several media platforms, students will be able to choose how best to complete projects and assignments using a variety of formats. In addition to writing traditional papers or filling in worksheets, students will now more easily be able to present their research and ideas through video, audio, visual, artistic, musical projects and presentations.
Augmented and virtual reality technologies will allow students to take virtual field trips, thus providing them with the experience of actually traveling to places such as the Great Barrier Reef, Mt. Everest, and outer space.
Art students will be able not only to virtually visit museums, such as the Louvre, where they can experience paintings and sculptures at their actual size and in three dimensions but also to sketch and draw in 3-D space themselves.
E-books and E-documents
All learning resources will soon be available in digitized formats, so students will no longer have to lug around heavy textbooks or worry about the library being closed.
Students can wear high-tech glasses that monitor their eye movements to find out whether they’re learning or reading effectively. By monitoring where students are looking during lectures or discussions and when students pause or go back as they read, teachers gain valuable feedback on whether students are grasping the lesson or having difficulty reading.
Education-based games offer exciting possibilities for learning. Their interactivity, visual and audio elements, and opportunities for fun suit the learning styles of many students.
New programming technologies have also made it much easier for students to devise their own computer games. Designing games teaches many skills: systematic thinking, problem-solving, storytelling, language facility, and artistic sensibility.
While these new technologies promise exhilarating possibilities for educational exploration and enrichment, they are useful only in the hands of skilled, dedicated and caring teachers who will always remain at the heart of the learning process.
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