In the last century, one thing has always been of great importance in our lives. Yes, that’s technology! Every week and every hour, the rate at which technology advances is staggering, and we’re thrilled about all the ways it can help educators around the world.
But because educational systems are so different, it can be hard to keep up with all the new developments happening in education with technologies. Keep reading for some practical ideas on how to best incorporate today’s hottest developments into your class.
10 Internet Technologies That Will Help Students & Teachers
It’s pretty clear that Internet technologies are changing the way we do just about everything in our daily lives, and that includes education, whether it’s learning or teaching. The ways that teachers teach, students learn, and administrators administrate will all change because of the introduction of new technologies and the way they allow information to be delivered, consumed, and organized. Here are ten of the most important Internet technologies that will revolutionize education in the years to come.
1. Augmented Reality (AR)
AR is a type of technology that takes an ordinary experience and brings it to life, allowing users to see and interact with computer-generated images and information in their natural environments. Augmented reality apps let students access additional content while they’re actually visiting places, objects, or people. An AR app can bring 3D models to life right before your eyes!
By placing students directly into a digitized version of their world, augmented reality gives them information in a way that makes sense to them: by relating it back to what they already know. This kind of learning sticks because students are able to link previous experiences with new information much more quickly than if they were provided with just text or video alone.
With educational AR apps becoming easier to create each day, teachers can reach entire classrooms without spending too much time creating lesson plans and drill practice assignments. Students benefit from being able to process information at their own pace, with student response systems like clickers letting instructors track how well learners understand specific concepts.
The possibilities for education are huge — if you haven’t yet experimented with using AR in your classroom, give it a try!
2. Adaptive Learning
It’s quite easy to get tied in knots talking about adaptive learning. There are a bewildering number of terms out there, from automated instruction to personalized learning. The truth is that it all revolves around the idea of a learning method that adapts to your needs and gives you just what you need, whether that be instruction or practice at any point during your course.
A good example of adaptive learning is when you look at language courses on Duolingo—the more often you replay a question or skill-building activity, and if you struggle with it every time, Duolingo will start suggesting other content (with varying levels of difficulty) so that eventually students hit upon an area they feel confident with. This means students can spend less time on skills they already know well and more time on things they find challenging.
In fact, every study indicates better results for learners who use adaptive methods than for those who do not — even when practiced for hours outside class! So think about incorporating some form of personalization into your classes today!
3. Competency-Based Education
What if we could teach students in a way that’s tailored to their needs and abilities, taking into account their strengths as well as their weaknesses? What if we could tailor content to allow students who are strong in some areas to move on quickly? And what if those who struggle with a concept have more time to master it before moving on? This is competency-based education, which is becoming more and more common in schools worldwide.
Basically, it’s simply a matter of providing content for all learning types so that learners can advance only when they feel ready — and no one falls behind! What’s really exciting about CBE is that once educators get over how difficult (and time-consuming) it seems at first glance, they realize its potential benefits are huge! It means your instruction will be more effective because you’re targeting each learner’s specific goals, and your curriculum will be better because you don’t need to spend hours creating course materials that most learners won’t ever see.
4. Video Conferencing
With video conferencing, it’s possible to reach students around the world — and they don’t even need to be in your classroom! The best part is that video can be used in many different ways: for language learners, it lets you talk face-to-face with a native speaker from anywhere; for K-12 teachers, you can use it to broadcast your class so parents or siblings can take part remotely.
For university students and instructors, webinars are an increasingly popular way to reach a global audience; with just one digital platform, you can easily connect with learners all over — and get paid handsomely for doing so!
As a teacher, teacher trainer, or business professional working with foreign language learners, virtual meeting technology gives you almost unlimited potential to expand your market and increase revenue. And did we mention time? Online meetings also help you save time by cutting down on travel time as well as missed lessons due to traditional scheduling conflicts.
5. Personalized Online Courses
Imagine being able to create online courses that are unique for each learner — yes, you read that right! Forget about creating fixed lessons for all your students or forcing them to make do with close enough materials.
When it comes to e-learning now, there’s no need to settle for one size fits all. With personalized courses and interactive exercises, you can give every student exactly what they need in order to succeed — at whatever pace they want and on whatever device they prefer! No more handing out paper packets, either; everything is digital so that all learners can access their course 24/7, anytime, and anywhere with an internet connection!
What really takes personalized learning to a whole new level is when we start integrating gamification into our instruction. For example, imagine giving learners points or badges after they complete a certain exercise or activity…or leveling up as they master different skills! If we think about our learners not just as clients but also as customers (and even friends), it opens up endless possibilities for learning experiences that go way beyond basic communication skills training.
6. Social Media in Educational Institutions
Are you looking for a way to make your educational institution stand out from other institutions? What if we told you that social media is what can help you do that? The reason why so many universities are active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is that they know their prospective students and future alumni spend lots of time using those platforms.
You might not be able to afford a large marketing budget or even an advertising agency, but with a little bit of effort, an institution’s social media presence can grow exponentially through user-generated content alone! For example, people already love posting photos on Instagram, so why not encourage them to post photos related to your school — and then repost them!
7. Collaboration & Brainstorming Tools
When it comes to creativity, there’s no substitute for getting together in person; but if you can’t be in a room together, it doesn’t mean that collaboration and brainstorming can’t happen at all!
Thanks to cloud technologies and educational platforms such as Google Docs, sharing is easier than ever before. With just one platform, you can work with students on any device — anywhere, anytime! Let’s think about collaboration software from a business perspective. We see how they enable us to not only improve efficiency but also reach out to a larger pool of talent that extends beyond our immediate networks.
If your institution lacks resources or funding for workshops or professional development opportunities or wants help attracting more international students, why not consider social media? Whether you start an Instagram account, share photos on Facebook, or build relationships via Twitter threads, every little bit helps make your institution more attractive to future learners.
8. Cloud-Based Learning Platforms
While some instructors might tell you that Blackboard isn’t very modern (or even fun), many don’t realize that there are other options available for creating online courses outside of proprietary systems, including open-source solutions like Moodle or D2L Brightspace. With these platforms, not only can teachers and faculty members create courses, but students can also enroll themselves. In addition to a course catalog and enrollment page, cloud-based learning platforms provide a fully-featured grade book, discussion board, chat function, and more!
If we think about how most people are already using social media to interact with one another at all hours of day or night, regardless of time zones, we start to see why it makes sense to allow students to take control over their own learning — in their own time. The nice thing about cloud technology is that it enables users to work on their lessons on whichever device they prefer at any time they want!
9. Artificial Intelligence/Robotics/IoT
Recent advances in robotics and artificial intelligence are bringing us one step closer to a future where robots can autonomously teach, tutor, or complete other simple tasks — including complicated calculus problems! Using voice control like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, as well as neural networks that work with language processing, we can begin to see how machines might interact more meaningfully with our physical world — including your educational institution!
While voice recognition and speech-to-text is helpful for working with technology on your desktop, it doesn’t do much good if you can’t physically interact with those services through hand movements or gestures. For example, what if we were able to use augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) headsets so students could have a hands-on learning experience with STEM subjects?
In addition to using AR/VR headsets and motion tracking sensors, IoT technologies also allow users to turn appliances and electronics into smart devices. Even though many teachers rely heavily on textbooks today, tomorrow, they might be relying less on printed books but rather on digital copies that come directly from an ePub source!
For years, teachers have used word processing programs like Microsoft Word to share documents with students and in some cases, even edit them together, but what about the wiki? While it’s true that anyone can create a simple website using services like Wix or Weebly, it’s also possible to get advanced features such as wiki collaboration tools.
Let’s think about collaboration software from a business perspective. We see how they enable us to not only improve efficiency but also reach out to a larger pool of talent that extends beyond our immediate networks. With that said, a wiki platform is great for sharing information — including lessons! Plus, with one shared source on one web page, you can work with students on any device — anywhere and anytime!
If we are to empower students with 21st-century skills, then educators need to understand how technology can help make learning more efficient and collaborative in a digital age. The reality is that technology has become an integral part of our lives — and not just outside of school. However, as we’ve seen throughout history, when schools adopt new technology into their curricula, it transforms learning for everyone! We don’t have to think back very far in time to remember how computers used to be enormous mainframes. Now we carry mini-computers in our pockets every day!