If you have never heard of Google Glass, the article, “A Teacher’s Guide to Google Glass” gives a good introduction as well as ways that the new tech might be useful for teachers. Google Glass is likely to be out of most teachers’ price range right now, but educators have been getting excited about how it could revolutionise teaching. The article, “How Google Glass Can Be Used In Education” is very informative and gives lots of inspiring ideas with a wonderful infographic. For more real-world examples of how Google Glass is being used right now, have a look at “The Incredible Way a Michigan Physics Teacher Uses Google Glass”.
It might be a short while before augmented reality becomes mainstream too, mostly because the applications of the technology for education haven’t been discussed as prevalently as other technologies such as Google Glass. But the article, “Augmented Reality is Going Mobile – And Coming to a Classroom Near You” is a very detailed analysis of what this tech could have to offer to the education world.
Again, this technology might be a little pricey right now, but as prices reduce and as people begin to discuss more and more applications of the technology for education, 3D printing might just be common-place in schools in only a couple of years. This article discusses the “Importance of 3D Printing in Education”, including merits such as increasing interactivity and learning by doing. For more examples of how schools are using this new tech, read “5 Ways Schools are Already Using 3D Printing”.
How Can I Get Started With Ed-Tech Right Now?
Before I give you some of my ideas, it would be very worthwhile to watch this short video from edutopia, “An Introduction to Technology Integration” which gives a great overview of why technology can be so powerful.
- Social Media: social media is an easy, natural, cheap and meaningful way of using more technology in your classroom. Here is some suggested reading: “4 Ways To Improve School Communication Using Social Media” and for Twitter beginners, “100 Ways to Use Twitter in Education, by Degree of Difficulty”.
- Blogging: again, blogging is relatively easy, cheap and meaningful. It can be used in a variety of ways e.g. as a learning tool in itself (creative writing etc.), to promote school events, to connect with parents, to promote the school and so on. Suggested reading: “10 Quick and Simple Ideas for Blogging in Class” and “A 60 Seconds Guide to the use of Blogging in Education”.
- Virtual Field Trips: an easy way to give students more realistic and immersive experience of a topic or location from around the globe. Field trips can include virtual tours of museums and art galleries, moon tours, virtual rainforest trips, arctic tours and so on. Suggested reading: “10 Wonderful Virtual Field Trips for your Students” and “20 Awesome Virtual Learning Experiences Online”.
- Classroom Management: whether you want to incorporate gamification into your classroom management strategies or not, there are lots of ways of managing your classroom using technology. These range from simple noise level monitors to full blown, gamified management systems with avatars, badges, leader boards and so on. Suggested reading: “5 Classroom Management Apps Every Teacher Needs to Know About”.
- QR Codes: these are like bar codes that link to multimedia content when scanned with a device like a smart phone or tablet PC. Suggested reading: “5 Real Ways to use QR Codes in Education”.
- Pinterest: I think Pinterest is a revolutionary tool for many people and teachers and pupils are no exception. Have a look at our Pinterest boards for examples of how we use the tool. Suggested reading: “How Pinterest is used in Education”.
- Scoop.it: an online tool for gathering information from blogs and news sites across the web that interest you or relates to a certain topic. Suggested reading: “Why Scoopit is Becoming an Indispensable Learning Tool”.
- Interactive study guides: more and more apps are being developed for teachers and students and technology could be used to create interactive study guides. Suggested reading: “6 iPad Apps that Help you Create Interactive Study Guides”.
- Projects: we have written about Project Based Learning before (“10 Benefits of Project Based Learning”), which is likely to become a popular feature of education in the near future. Technology can be used to not only jazz up the presentation aspect of projects but also increase learning. Suggested reading: “6 Brilliant EdTech Tools for Student Projects”
- Tablet computers: you might not be able to integrate tablets right now and, as with everything, it is about what you do with the tech than the tech itself, but I couldn’t miss tablets from my list. Suggested reading: “6 Examples of Successful Classroom Tablet Integration”.
Those are just a few ways that teachers could implement more technology into their classrooms. Obviously there are many more ways, but these offer a good starting point. It is important to remember though that technology should not be introduced just for the sake of it. It can be powerful when used correctly and alongside fantastic teaching and is not a substitute for excellent tuition from teachers. Careful thought and planning should be undertaken before any tech is introduced.
Please follow @paulladley on Twitter, games-ED on Pinterest and like games-ED’s Facebook and Google+ pages for blog updates and interesting games based learning findings.