Technology has redefined the way teachers teach and students learn. The exciting and sometimes overwhelming aspect of this is that technology in the classroom is always changing. New technologies are constantly emerging, and in order to stay relevant on the latest technologies available, teachers have to continuously educate themselves. There are two recent apps that have become popular, as well as a new tech gadget that students are quickly taking too.

Easy Access to Education Resources

Khan Academy is meant to inspire a lifetime of learning.  It was created in collaboration with a team of experts at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and aligns with Head Sate Early Learning Outcomes Framework as well as Common Core Standards. There are five whimsical characters that guide students through activities and stories. The personalized learning path dynamically adapts, so that students can learn at their own pace and have an individualized experience. Students learn through activities, books, educational videos, and creative lessons. Students can listen to audio narration or read on their own across fiction and nonfiction leveled texts. Students become engaged with not only the core subjects of literacy, language, and math, but also are encouraged through creativity and social-emotional building skills. Teachers and parents of children alike are raving about this free app.

Stop Motion Animation

Stop motion animation has been around since the late 1800s.s. However, stop motion animation for use in the classroom has only just recently taken off. It is extremely versatile, and can be used for just about any subject. In mathematics, concepts that involve progression (think two-digit addition, multiplication, fractions), are perfect candidates for stop motion. In the primary grades, using manipulatives for concepts such as patterns or fact families are enhanced using stop motion. In language arts, students can use letters or word families to spell words or re-enact a story using little people or animals. The options for stop motion animation are endless, and the dozens of apps that include Stop Motion Studio, I Can Animate, or StikBot Studio make it easy for a teacher to choose just the right one for their classroom.

Using Technology to Create New Learning Experiences

Osmo is an emerging technology tool that uses tangible pieces to create a unique, hands-on learning experience for students. By using tactile exploration, along with innovative technology, students become actively engaged in the learning process. It works by placing a device, such as an iPad, into an Osmo Base and attaching a reflector to the device’s camera. The Osmo  then scans the table and reads the manipulatives so that they come alive on the screen. There are various Osmo games where students learn how to spell, count, draw, code, and much more. While Osmo isn’t brand new (it was named one of Time Magazine’s best inventions in 2014), it has recently gained increasing popularity as the creators expand their games.

Technology has redefined the classroom setting changing the way teachers teach and students learn. New technologies are constantly emerging — almost as soon as educators implement a new technology piece in the classroom, another technology tool arises, making 21st century learning so very exciting.