For any parent or educator who has been paying attention, education has come a long way in just the last five years. Advances in technology are making their way into the classroom, and kids aren't restricted to notebook paper and the chalkboard anymore. Technology in the classroom not only enhances the learning experience, but it also prepares kids for a life where they are going to be using new technology every day of their lives. Consider some of the technologies that may be instrumental in your students' success!
When it comes to the STEM fields, there is not a single one that is not touched by the concept of 3D printing. In just the last five years, 3D printing has gone from being a toy of the very rich to being a scientific solution to a wide variety of problems. As this technology has gotten more common and more affordable, its presence in the classroom has encouraged a whole generation of children to think about the possibilities. Having a 3D printer in the classroom creates a situation where children can learn a wide variety of design programs and imaging concepts, but more than that, it is all about possibility.
Some of the best educators in the world are more than happy to speak to children, and with things like Skype and similar conferencing options, they can reach out. Skype connects the students in the classroom with the broader world, and some of the people they can meet are the foremost thinkers of our time. Essentially, a Skype presentation from a scientist, a writer or a politician shows children how small the world really is, and how very reachable some of their goals are.
When it comes to helping students interact with technology, tablets are simply one of the best building blocks around. A tablet loaded with student software makes all sorts of resources available to a child, and when they have been designed by some of the biggest names in hardware, including Samsung and Google, the results are impressive. These tablets put children in touch with an enormous reservoir of knowledge.
Microscopes have come a long way over the course of the last twenty years, and even if a local school still has older microscopes, it is time to update and upgrade. Digital microscopes, much like the ones that are used in professional labs, are becoming widely available to consumers, and sites like Microscope.com are doing a brisk business for schools with a strong interest in the sciences. Kids love the opportunity to see what the world is all about, and teachers can connect digital microscopes to PCs and Macs and project them onto a screen in real time, offering a great way for kids to really see what is going on.
Not all of the classroom technology advances are going to be focused on the students. Teachers are also benefiting from a wide variety of educator-based software suites that include plenty of tools for them to enjoy. Assessment metrics, curriculum management and data reporting can all be accessible at the push of a button or the slide of a tab, and a student's progress can be pulled up at a moment's notice. These suites also offer interfaces between students, parents and educators, something that will aid greatly in a student's educational goals.
If you are looking at the future of education, it is a future that involves some of the most amazing technology around. Students in a classroom will use every tool that is made available to them, so consider some of the options out there. A well-equipped school is one that offers its students a great start in what could be a star-studded career!