Technology may sometimes be a distraction in the classroom, but many tech gadgets can also enhance the learning environment by engaging students. Below, we discuss some of the big tech innovations that are growing more common in classrooms and could become standard sooner rather than later.
A growing trend in education is the introduction of smartboards in place of chalk or whiteboards in tech gadgets. Under the umbrella term of smartboards are a few different versions—some are more like interactive projector screens over a whiteboard, while others are like giant digital touch screens.
Either way, many teachers believe that smartboards could someday be more common in classrooms than a typical whiteboard or chalkboard. A smartboard opens a new avenue of interactive learning as teachers can use the internet, adjust images, and even digitally record handwritten notes.
It’s not just the boards that are getting smarter in classrooms; it’s also the tables! Many of us know that tablets are tech gadgets that enhance the classroom environment, and smart tables are basically giant versions of those tablets.
With a large touchscreen surface table, students can receive direct communications and documents from their teacher and make finding assignments and research just a touch away. Plus, more smart tables mean fewer paper documents and a greener classroom!
3D printers are becoming common sights in many industries, from automotive to aerospace engineering, but don’t underestimate the benefits of 3D printing technology in education. 3D printers are appearing in more schools nationwide, and it’s easy to see why, as they can enhance the learning experience for all kinds of students.
For STEM students, working with a 3D printer is an excellent introduction to engineering, design, and technology. Even history classes could benefit from a 3D printer, as it can create a detailed replica of historical artifacts that students would normally see only in pictures.
Virtual reality is a rapidly growing technology with massive potential in various industries. Today, people mostly use virtual reality for entertainment, but its potential goes far beyond games and movies.
With virtual reality, classrooms can take virtual field trips practically anywhere and anytime in history. History students can see the Coliseum in Rome during its heyday, or biology students can study the balanced ecosystem of plants and animals in the Amazon jungle, all from the comfort of their classroom!
With so many practical uses, don’t be surprised if some or all of these technological innovations will soon become standard practice in many classrooms.