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EdTech Trends: Three Examples of Classroom Technology

By on December 27, 2017 in ACU Programs, Education with 1 Comment

Teacher demonstrating classroom technology with 3D printing.

Education delivery is constantly evolving, moving from chalkboards to whiteboards and from typewriters to computer labs. Today, technology is supporting students in many ways, from new learning opportunities and ways to collaborate with classmates to organizing and protecting student records.

Here’s a look at some educational technology —often called edtech—that’s changing how students learn and interact.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Most articles about popular or emerging educational technology trends in 2017 had one thing in common on their lists: virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

VR has been around for a long time now, but primarily just for entertainment. Today, through tools like Google Glass, students can take virtual field trips or watch simulations of experiments. These visual learning experiences present information in memorable ways, and can be a lot of fun, too. Many edtech experts say that VR is a cost-effective way to bring hands-on learning experiences to schools with limited resources for travel budgets or outfitting a building with enough science labs. Students can even travel through space and time with the assistance of VR!

AR is slightly different than VR. The Journal, an educational publication, describes AR as a virtual layer on top of a real one. A good example of this is the once-wildly popular app Pokemon Go! In this game, people could search for—and catch!—characters in real locations.

When it comes to educational opportunities, this could mean students taking a field trip to an actual place, but as they explore a museum or historic site along with an app, they can discover things along the way. A San Diego-based example is School in the Park, which offers a corresponding educational tool for Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, and a local history center. This article from EdSurge lists a host of AR resources and ideas, including Chromville, a science-based coloring book app.

Media Literacy

Gone are the days when a student assigned a current event would turn solely to the daily newspaper to clip a story. Also lost in days past is the library or home encyclopedia set serving as the only option for a research paper.

Today’s students are presented a world of resources online, but the real challenge is knowing what’s accurate and what’s not. The International Society for Technology in Education cited media literacy as one of its top edtech trends in 2017. While media literacy is not technology itself, media literacy helps combat one of the obstacles technology has spawned: misinformation.

Many schools are implementing (or reintroducing) media literacy training to help students uncover credible sources not just for school assignments, but for their personal growth as informed citizens. In the Information Age, all information is not created equally, and being aware of that is key.

Maker Spaces

Learning by doing is an effective way to retain information; people have known that for years. But in recent years, as the STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—movement took hold, there’s been a resurgence in encouraging students to create regularly, either individually or as a team. For example, many schools have taken advantage of 3D printing technology to nurture creativity and problem-solving. This allows students to bring textbook concepts to life by planning, building, and testing.

But it’s not always super high-tech: maker spaces also embrace the simple, such as creating books or zines by hand. The idea is to carve out a space devoted to creating, filled with tools and resources to bring creations to life. An example of this at the college level is ACU’s Maker Lab at its Abilene campus. This state-of-the-art lab, a place meant to inspire innovation in both students and faculty members, serves as good model for other educators of all levels what can be done at their schools.

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If you’re an educator or school administrator looking to expand your knowledge of edtech, you’ll be pleased to know that the ACU Master of Education in Instruction and Learning offers a track in learning with emerging technology.

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  1. Sushma Crescent says:

    With the advancement in technology the latest trends of classroom learning is changing. I totally agree with this article. The AR & VR technology has been in huge demand.

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