Learn how to use all kinds of technological advancements to facilitate learning in your classroom so students can thrive.
Technology used for education
The use of technology improves students' learning experiences to the fullest extent, especially since constantly ...
The use of technology improves students' learning experiences to the fullest extent, especially since constantly updating technology provides new learning experiences and new classroom experiences.
Technology is utilised in schools in a variety of ways, solidifying its relevance in the dynamic educational environment. As technology has become such an integral part of our daily lives, allowing students to interact with it in classrooms has become extremely important.
So, what are the types of technology used for education?
The Timeline of Educational Technology
Initially, changes to education technology came fairly slowly. Blackboards were used by teachers to engage multiple students in one-room schools in the 1860s. For the first time ever, educators could broadcast their lessons over the airwaves in the 1920s through radio. The overhead projector was used as a means of displaying images in classrooms in the 1930s. The circulation of film began to increase in the 1940s, compared with its origins in the 1910s and 1920s. This led to the production of educational films which were screened in the classroom.
Changes, however, became more frequent by the 1950s. The University of House in 1953 was the first university to broadcast classes via television, and videotapes made it possible for substitute teachers to wheel in an old TV and screen a movie as part of their lesson plan.
It was during the 1960s that the whiteboard replaced the blackboard as the preferred method of display in the classroom. Additionally, the BASIC programming language emerged and was applied to teach computer programming in schools.
Scantrons were introduced in the 1970s, which made conducting standardised tests easier by allowing student answers to be scanned into a computer and scored using specially designed test sheets. The classroom also saw the appearance of The Handheld Calculator, making mathematics easier, as well as the Apple 1, the first computer donated to schools by Apple Inc.
The 1980s led to companies like IBM and the BBC introducing their own portable computers for use at school providing even more opportunities to expand learning.
During the 1990s, the internet was introduced in schools, which made research a lot easier and helped facilitate the development of widely accessible online learning platforms. A mobile device was also introduced, the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), which acted as a personal information manager for teachers and administrators.
The 2000s also saw the creation of the first LMS, which set a precedent that Intellischool would later improve upon and perfect, as well as the rise of social media, which encouraged student interaction and improved social skills.
As the 2010s progressed, tablet computers such as iPads and Samsung Tabs became popular due to their portability and functionality. E-whiteboards made the classic whiteboard even more functional.
But what about the future? Students and teachers can interact online outside their classes using video conferencing platforms and virtual reality, in a way that was previously impossible. As part of the 2020s, developers are developing software that can simulate the classroom and offer virtual field trips.
What kinds of technology are available for education?
Portable Computers (i.e. laptops, tablets, etc.)
Students have benefited from computers since they first entered the school environment. The belief at the time was that computers could be used only in an IT context, but in fact, they can be used to help in a wide range of academic areas, including literacy, numeracy, science, history, geography, and more.
While teachers can limit the apps and websites students can access, ensuring that they are always using school technology properly, students can use devices tailored to their curriculum to personalize their learning experience outside of their classes.
A smart board is a high-tech alternative to the whiteboard used in the classroom. Typically, smart boards are whiteboards that project a computer's interface onto their surface, allowing teachers to interact with the computer using the board and a stylus with the shape and build of a marker.
Using this method, teachers can present material in an interactive and fascinating way. Teachers can use computer applications to increase engagement instead of just writing on a whiteboard or drawing on one. Additionally, smart boards don't require any cleaning, which is an added benefit.
There can be a variety of factors that affect a student's capacity to learn, including impediments to communication, hearing impairments, learning disabilities, physical impairments, difficulties with sensory processing, and vision problems.
These conditions can be accommodated using technology in a variety of ways. Fidget toys, wobble chairs, and braille books all fall into this category, along with communication boards, frequency modulation systems, writing guides, and pen grips. Access to the same curriculum for students with disabilities will not be an issue.
Students enjoy playing video games. Video games provide users with a sense of achievement when they achieve goals and increase their stats, but they also engage their creativity and tendency to indulge in escapism.
In educational contexts, many aspects of gaming are applied to educational software, including experience points, level progression, player customization, etc. They feel the same sense of accomplishment when they use this kind of software, but in an educational setting.
Multimedia Creation Applications
Creating content has never been easier. However, not every student enjoys writing essays and taking notes. Instead, there are software suites that create all kinds of media, including;
It is important to engage creativity when teaching so students can use their lateral thinking to take in information in the best way for them.
Learning Management Systems
Education courses, training programs, and learning and development programs can be processed, archived, tracked, and automated by Learning Management Systems (LMS). The use of LMS became the norm for most schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, as online education became the norm.
LMS' provide many advantages, including the freedom to choose their own learning approach. LMSs also provide access to online resources at any time.
Online Conferencing Applications/Social Media Platforms
During the COVID-19 outbreak, software of this type gained a lot of traction, much like Learning Management Systems. Students benefit from them as well, as they can stay in touch with teachers when they can't attend classes and they can communicate with their peers from different schools and countries. Also, they facilitate interaction and socialization among peers, which is also invaluable to their development.
What conditions can technology used for education aid?
Students with a wide range of learning barriers can benefit from assistive technology in many different ways. Various types of solutions are available, including hardware as well as software solutions.
The amount of evidence-based assistive technologies available changes regularly. As a result, your role as an educator is to:
- Understand the individual needs of your students
- Remain aware of the technological solutions that are available
- Consult all relevant stakeholders before implementing any assistive technologies
- The students themselves
- Allied health professionals (e.g. occupational therapists)
For students who have difficulties with communication, for reasons such as speech impediments or a language barrier, there are augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices available, such as;
- Communication boards that can be used by pointing to or selecting pictures, letters and/or words to convey their messages. Boards and books can be arranged and customized in terms of accessibility, layout, literacy, and language to meet individual needs.
- Eye control communication systems that enable all mouse movement functions to be made using head movements by tracking the movement of a reflective sticker dot usually placed on the user's forehead or glasses and translates this into mouse cursor movement on the screen.
- Text-to-speech (TTS) software that converts text into speech sounds imitative of the human voice, allowing for individuals that cannot speak to express themselves and communicate.
Students with hearing impairments and difficulties with auditory processing have technology available to them to help them process sounds, such as;
- Frequency modulation (FM) systems which operate like a tiny radio station with their own frequency. An FM system has two parts, a microphone and receiver. The student wears the receiver on their ear or in their hearing aids. This makes it easier for the student to hear the teacher’s words.
- Voice amplification systems that operate similarly to FM systems, however the amplification of the teacher’s voice is heard by everyone in the classroom as opposed to a single student.
- Closed captions should be used on movies or videos that are played in any classroom.
There are various conditions that affect a student’s capacity to learn, such as dyslexia and dysgraphia. These conditions can be accommodated by technologies such as;
- Highlighters, which can be used by teachers to segment large chunks of text to help identify key points in order to aid their comprehension and memory.
- Writing peripheries for those that struggle to write with a pencil or pen such as:
- Bold-line writing paper with well defined dark lines.
- Pen/pencil grips to make it easier to hold writing implements.
- Writing guides made of flexible plastic which is placed over a blank piece of paper.
- Multiple software solutions including:
- Word prediction software
- Speech-to-text software
- Text-to-speech software
Sometimes, students are presented with physical conditions that make it difficult for them to participate fully in the classroom, such as impaired fine motor skills or chronic pain. These individuals can be provided with the autonomy to conduct their schoolwork, thanks to various kinds of technology such as:
- Arm and wrist supports
- Ergonomic and adaptive keyboards
- Ergonomic seating
- Height adjustable desks
- Pen/pencil grips
- Sloped desks
- Voice recognition and speech-to-text software
Sensory Processing and Regulation
The use of healthy, non-destructive sensory regulation behaviours should be available to help those with sensory processing issues, as these behaviours may help them control their emotions so that they feel calmer and better able to concentrate at school.
Students can have their focus improved using tools such as:
- Fidget toys that allow them to keep their hands occupied, which are available in multiple forms such as fidget spinners, cubes or chewable jewellery.
- Wobble chairs are a durable, scratch-proof seat made from polypropylene that promotes movement with its lightweight and soft-padded build.
- Noise cancelling headphones that can phase out background noise in order to aid student concentration.
- Elastic that can be wrapped around desk legs to bounce their legs on without distracting the others.
There is a veritable wealth of tools available to aid those whose learning is significantly affected by vision impairments, including;
- Braille and large print books
- Large print, high contrast and braille keyboards
- Magnification software
- Text-to-speech software for reading
- Speech-to-text for writing
- Physical magnifiers
- Reading gadgets that convert text to sounds
- Talking calculators
What software does Intellischool provide?
Intellischool provides educators and learners with data analytics software that uses intuitive interfaces, automated configuration, providing educational institutions with real-time, relevant data for every member of the learning community.
Albitros is an online analytics platform that can be utilised by teachers, students, school leaders, wellbeing teams, parents/guardians, data analysts, IT admins and school systems in order to provide valuable insights into learning, behaviour, business operations, and more.
Its features include:
- A holistic view of academic growth, thanks to its ability to consolidate data sources including NAPLAN, ACER, AAS / Allwell, and teacher judgements to visualise student aptitude, achievement and progress.
- Pulse, an automated early warning system that monitors and notifies important parties regarding areas of concern, whether its student truancy, behavioural issues or overall academic performance.
- The ability to gain an understanding of the conditions that students flourish best in; based on factors such as; different types of assessment, learning tools, and even teachers.
- A simple yet powerful interface that anybody can use, regardless of their previous experience with analytics.
Albitros is hosted on the Intellischool Data Platform which provides comprehensive data management tools. These tools simplify and automate data processes such as cleansing errors, warehousing data on the cloud for querying and analysing, distributing data between apps and services and auditing what apps access and interact with data.
The data platform provides:
- Easy data unification so institutions can collate data from a student information system (SIS), learning management system (LMS), Google Office 365, etc.
- Security protocols that allow your data to be accessed and protected based on parameters that you set.
- Workflow automation, integrating tools such as Microsoft Flow or Zapier to allow actions to be automatically triggered.
- Cloud data synchronisation, which synchronises cloud apps with up-to-date data with programs such as Google Workspace or Microsoft Office 365.
If you have any questions, contact us so we can provide you with the best education software possible.