Teachers in today’s world have finally begun to embrace technology.
This makes sense seeing as we live in a world where the ability to work with technology is key in virtually any profession. Making sure students are equipped for today’s world is a huge part of the job.
In fact, teachers that don’t do so are in many ways doing their students a disservice. And while most teachers now use technology pretty heavily in their classrooms, there are constantly new technologies that you can implement in creative ways.
There are a few, though, that have never really caught on the way they might have. Here are six great examples–each potentially powerful learning technologies for you and your classroom.
6 Learning Technologies Teachers Should Break Down And Embrace
The latest successful social media platform, Vine in the classroom allows you to create and share short videos. While you likely won’t be trying to create viral videos like most of its users, it could be useful for recording a quick video of yourself defining something or using a memorable analogy.
All teachers seem to use some sort of quick one liner, analogy, or joke that helps students understand a topic. Use Vine to record you saying it, and then share that quick video with your students. They will be able to watch the clip whenever they are struggling to remember the concept.
2. Khan Academy
I just graduated from High School a year ago, and it shocked me that during my four years I never once had a teacher tell me to use Khan Academy, or implement it in a lesson.
If you haven’t heard of it, Khan Academy is a fantastic resource for students to learn concepts. It includes great instructional videos, as well as practice tasks, and teachers can use it to both help students understand topics and practice them.
One of the most powerful features of Khan Academy is the ability to track students progress in tasks that are generated by the Khan Academy software. They have this available for a wide variety of subjects.
While Khan Academy content isn’t perfect, it is free, mobile, versatile, data-friendly, and blended learning-friendly.
Missing school is always tough on students.
Thanks to modern technology though, teachers have the ability to record and publish their classes. These recordings can be either audio or video, and can then be published in podcasts that students can access online.
Here are 51 educational podcasts to get you started.
Similarly to podcasting, teachers can use a blog to publish content for their students.
Whether these are articles they want the students to refer to about a subject, updates on class happenings, or whatever else they need to publish. Anything that can be written down can be published on a free blog from a variety of platforms, such as Wordpress or Blogger.
Powerpoint is boring, and everyone knows it. And yet teachers still use it for some reason.
Prezi allows you to create much more dynamic and entertaining presentations. Create a great presentation, and then share it with students online so that they can access it anywhere. It’s not a perfect presentation tool, and has quirks of its own, but as an engaging and visual digital tool it’s very strong. In fact, here are 21 excellent examples of prezi in the classroom.
6. Google Drive
Every teacher and every student knows how to use Microsoft Office. Word is the expected writing platform, Excel is the expected spreadsheet software, etc. However, Microsoft’s software has some serious drawbacks, especially when it comes to accessing files. Students are always liable to forget flash drives, and emailing an assignment to yourself is a lot of extra steps.
Thankfully, Google Drive (formerly known as Docs) is fantastic platform that allows anyone to do these basic things totally in the cloud. This means that students can access their precious work and files anywhere they have internet access. Using Google Drive allows students to start an assignment at school, finish it at home, and print it off in school the next day without a problem.
The other huge advantage of Google Drive in the classroom is that students can share a document with their teacher, allowing the teacher to go in and add notes, highlight mistakes, and comment on things within the document that need fixing. This is an incredibly powerful tool, especially for teachers that edit a lot of essays.
There is a lot to love about technology, and using it in the classroom can help you connect with students and prep them for the real world of the 21st century. While most teachers have embraced some technology, very few use it as much as possible, and even fewer use the technologies listed above. If you can implement them into your classroom, you’ll be doing your students (and yourself) a massive favor.
James Petzke is the founder of Education Initiation, a site dedicated to helping new and aspiring teachers make an impact on students everywhere.