By Teachers, For Teachers
The classroom environment today is completely different from the traditional classroom we're all used to years ago. The introduction of new technology in the classroom, such as document cameras, interactive whiteboards and classroom response systems, have added not only excitement but student engagement and true interactivity within the classroom.
Technologies are consistently changing and improving. Overhead projectors are still being used, however, they have been replaced by document cameras. The ability to project a book or document on the fly allows teachers the freedom to adjust their lesson to the direction of the discussion.
Whiteboards have replaced chalkboards, interactive whiteboards have replaced regular whiteboards, and now interactive whiteboard technology is replacing conventional interactive whiteboards such as Smart and Promethian. This new interactive technology allows schools to keep their existing whiteboard and add a device which will turn their whiteboard into an interactive whiteboard. No more installing interactive whiteboards on top of the school's original whiteboard! Educational technology has allowed schools to save money and improve their current setup. Also, this new interactive whiteboard technology allows capture. Capturing physical ink from the whiteboard WITHOUT the use of the projector!
Teacher's now have websites and post their notes and future assignments. The new interactive whiteboard technology, i.e. mimio, allows for regular ink capture and instant uploading to the Internet.
Another educational technology recently introduced to the classroom are classroom response systems or voting systems, also know as “clickers”. There are many different manufactures: LearnStar, Renaissance, InterWrite, and Scantron are just a few.
Every student would have a clicker or handheld device. There are typically two kinds. The small one has only numbers and the large one has both numbers and a full keyboard. A full keyboard allows students to answer multiple choice as well as fill in the blank questions. The most common use are “polling” type questions. There is a software program specific for clickers, A+Classroom, which has a patented competition mode. Students receive points based on the speed in which they answer the questions. Students are constantly asking for more questions during this mode.
Students that typically don't raise their hand or voluntarily involved in the class are now engaged and competing with the other students. Since there is an option to keep the names confidential, only the students know where they are ranking within the class.
Google “21st Century Classroom Presentation” and research the latest trends in educational technology.
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