We’ve moved from the days of overhead projectors to a point in time where, according to the Pew Research Center, an estimated 78 percent of teens have cell phones and, according to EdTech Magazine, 85 percent of educational institutions allow them to be used in the classroom.
Clearly today’s student body is well connected.
Each year students, teachers, and administrators are developing new and interesting ways to use these devices to improve learning. Electronic books are replacing heavy, expensive text books. Cloud computing and storage is taking the place of thumb drives and in-school servers. And BYOD (bring your own device) means less need for sharing classroom computers.
Last year we saw a proliferation of student-created apps that try to solve some of the world’s problems, or, at least, find ways to make life more interesting.
How will all these mobile devices and their connection to the Internet be used in the nation’s classrooms this year?
A recent US News & World Report story cites these three trends in teaching tech.
It’s one thing to print out color pie chart on an 8 1/2-x11-inch sheet of paper. It’s quite another to create a model of a skyscraper on a 3-D printer. Three-dimensional printers are becoming more affordable and they really engage students, who learn to work collaboratively while producing tangible results. Check out this recent CNet article about a company that wants to put a 3-D printer in every school.
Students learn in their own way and at their own pace. Teachers can use different online resources that work best for different students. There are a number of apps, such as Apptutor, where students can learn at their own pace. These apps are fun to use, so students become more engaged in their lessons.
Social Lesson Sharing
Teachers are using education websites that share lesson plansFor example, Share My Lesson is a site that enables educators to upload lessons that can be shared by other teachers. . Some of those websites provide lessons on state-specific curricula.
Verizon has long been a huge supporter of technology in the classroom and the advancement of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. The Verizon Innovative App Challenge, for example, encourages students to create solutions by designing applications for mobile devices. And the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program is designed to help teachers use mobile devices successfully in their classrooms.
We’ll continue to work with students and educators to discover new and exciting ways to use technology to help us learn and to help us improve our daily lives.