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Tech Trends for the 11/12 School Year

Digital Media in the Classroom

Tech Trends for the 11/12 School YearCan you believe the summer is almost over? Well for teachers and kids everywhere it almost is. So it’s time to think about school again, and how teachers will teach, and students will learn this year.

 

Besides securing that new pair of shoes, and other historically popular back to school items, we need to be aware of the digital transformation upon us.

 

The advent of some amazing technologies has permeated my professional learning this summer, as it has for many educators everywhere. So let’s look at some of the unique ways our students may be able to learn this school year.

Mobile Devices

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iPhone devices, iPod devices, iPads, and Androids are becoming increasingly more available to people, including students and teachers.

 

As students adapt and start using this technology in their everyday lives, it naturally becomes a conduit for learning. Here's an example of how iPads are being used in schools:

The Impact of iPads on K-12 Schools.  

 

In the mobile device trend, the technology REALLY isn't about the technology. It's about the relationships, connections, collaborations and communication that can empower and enlighten our educators and students. In this Ed Week article, Technology Integration Isn't About Technology, they show how Apple and these user-friendly tech changed the way people view and use technology.

 

There are a plethora of free or inexpensive educational apps that are on the market, and hopefully will be incorporated in more classrooms everywhere. Here are TeachHUB's 20 Amazing iPad Apps for Educators to get you started.

 

Student-Generated Video

It is my hope and goal that all teachers everywhere, K-12, offer their students more options to CREATE their own video projects to show content comprehension and lessons learned.  Through the creation and study of video, media literacy (critical thinking, collaboration, and analysis) becomes a 21st Century skill that needs to become inherent in our learning.

 

Even if our teachers are not experts at making videos, it’s no big deal! Our students may be. But even still, the ease to create a content-rich video (minus the polish, that’s okay) becomes easier and more available everyday.  

 

I find the 7 Tips for Video Tutorials to be a great guidelines for putting together a video assignment. Gateway Media Literacy Partners also provide tips and useful articles for using video in the classroom.

 

Social Media

The facts are undisputed about the global connections students can make with the world around them to learn through social media, or maybe more appropriately named, “Social Learning.”


While parents and educators MUST remain diligent to protect our kids, and take the necessary steps to make sure social learning is APPROPRIATE and SAFE, the possibilities to incorporate a positive social media experience in the classroom are endless. (Facebook, Twitter, Edmodo.) Before we just say no, let’s investigate the positive, including these 100 Inspiring Ways to Use Social Media in the Classroom.

Student Publishing

Years ago, writers would hire agents, market their wares and hope a publishing company would someday be interested in their material. No longer is this necessary. ANYONE can become published. By writing blogs (Weebly is a good student blogging platform) , posting videos on safe, teacher-moderated free websites like SchoolTube, and thousands of other sources, students can now take an increased level of ownership and “authorship” in their schoolwork to become published.

 

Students can create online portfolio's of their work, which could help them secure an internship or include for college admission. How cool is that? My experience shows students will work harder, smarter, and happier on schoolwork. Seriously. 

 

Technology and digital media are not passing fads in the classroom. They are a part of an increasingly popular movement to transform education. How will your students learn this year? What forms of digital media and technology will be available to them at their schools? Ask your teachers. Ask your principals. Support your educators to obtain the tools necessary to properly teach our kids. OUR futures depend on it.

Share your favorite cutting edge ed tech trends in the comments section!