Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Future of Ed-Tech and How to Get Started Now

Every now and then, we like to stray from the topics of games based learning and gamification and talk about something related but different.  We are fascinated by new technologies and what they can do for education and learning.  This blog post will look at some of the education technologies that might be a bit out of reach for the majority right now.  They might look a bit sci-fi, but this new tech could prove to be the future of education.  We’ll then give you a few ideas about how you can get started with implementing more ed-tech right now.  Please click on the tiny infographic too to the right from LearnDash to see a full-sized version with teacher and administrator opinions of ed-tech and some interesting statistics.

Google Glass
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”.

Augmented Reality
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.

3D Printing
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.

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.

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