Five Teaching Tools for Modern Teachers

teacher and student in front of computerToday’s teachers compete with modern devices for their students’ attention. This article enumerates five modern teaching tools that can help teachers effectively engage their students in classroom and learning.

Computer technology has advanced in recent decade and we’ve seen how computers, software, and other devices like mobile phones have changed in the recent years. They are everywhere – home, work, as well as in public and private spaces. But little has been done in to really help schools cope with the kind of changes happening everywhere and this has been the demand of academic institutions, teachers, as well as students.

There are tools that are being developed to help teachers and students manage their academic work. But most of them are still in their testing stage and we are yet to see them how they work and how both teachers and students respond to the new tools.

We have listed some tools below to give you an idea about some of the exciting development in the realm of educational technology. We are excited to see them thrive and flourish and help the academia cope up with the rapidly changing educational landscape. Are you using any of these tools? Tell us by leaving your thoughts below in the comment section.

  1. Lore. Social media is the new ‘in’ thing for the youth. This interest of the students in this kind of technology is what inspired Lore in finding a way for teachers to easily manage their course even over long distance. Lore offers easier class collaboration, efficient communication, and effortless grading. The program also provides online library, and even calendar and grade book so teachers and students both organize and find the information they need.
  2. GlobalScholar. GlobalScholar is used in 1,000 school districts in the United States, and is an excellent part of every instructor’s teaching inventory. It offers a number of teacher- and student-friendly software programs such as Pinnacle Student Information System (for grade management, transcripts, and scheduling), Pinnacle Grade (incorporates student information to each student’s profile), and Pinnacle Instruction (access, creation and storage of approved curricula, sharing of online assessments and other information with parents).
  3. Top Hat Monocle. This program runs on mobile devices that can connect to the internet. With Top Hat Monocle, instructors can carry out many classroom activities through these devices, making in-room learning more fun and exciting for students. Teachers can conduct polls and quizzes and even open-ended and essay-type questions. It can also run interactive demos or be used as a tool for presentation. THM allows students to finish homework and review them at home. Teachers can upload files to be shared to students, as well as have an automatically updated grade book.
  4. Socrative. Socrative is an app that runs on any devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Teachers are given the opportunity to be in charge of the room by choosing specific exercises (among a number of educational games and activities) for the class. Real time interaction and smooth flow of questions and games make Socrative very engaging for students and instructors. The teacher can also view grades and test results online as a Google Spreadsheet.
  5. 19Pencils. 19Pencils is still on its beta run, but it promises to make the lives of teachers and students easier. Instructors can easily access thousands of resources by searching from thousands of educational topics. Teachers can also make comparisons with what other teachers in the school or even in the whole district, are using. Creating quizzes is easier, and teachers can give their students easier time in accessing resources by making your own class web page. Educational websites (video tutorials, online PDF file, etc), can be easily added and stored for future reference.

Image by Swansea Photographer

Classrooms, Schools, Students in Today’s Technology

The use of computers has become widespread in this age where technology is everywhere and we interact with it almost every single second of our lives. We’ve seen how it changed the way we live, the way we deal with others and the way we educate ourselves.

Children are by far the perfect example of how technology is changing the landscape of education. With 70% of children aged 2 to 5 able to maneuver a mouse yet only 11% can tie their shoelaces we can only speculate just how much computers and its spawns have made a huge impact in our lives.

A good infographic that depicts this is shared in LearnStuff. The infographic shows how well students, especially the younger ones, are using gizmos to help them learn concepts in school.

The infographic illustrates that 40% of teachers in the elementary grade are starting to use computers while teaching. This coincides with the fact that the US government is pouring in its resources to provide all schools with Internet and computers with current penetration at 98% as of this writing.

Graduating with Technology infographic

Not to mention that 3 out of 4 students prefer to use tablets like iPad to read books and other reference materials. With majority, at 90%, thinking that the use of such gadgets instead of the traditional printed textbooks help them gain more knowledge and perform well in school.

To date, there are more than 1.5 million iPads in use in schools and the numbers are steadily increasing as more and more learning institutions are switching to digital technology. Apple has successfully provided a great platform where students and teachers can use tablets and smartphones as learning materials and paved the way for the production of more than 200,000 educational apps in the Apple App Store.

The good thing about iBooks, Apple’s version of traditional printed textbooks, is that it drives the prices of textbooks down. Comparing the same book produced at traditional publishing house, a single textbook costing $65 would only cost $14.99 in Apple iBooks. This could save every single student around $900 per year for buying textbooks in school.

Many teachers are starting to see the positive effect of technology in student learning and many of them now use social media tools like social networks to assist students in their day to day academic work.

Latest statistics show that two out of three professors now use social media in their class as part of responding to students’ learning needs. In fact, 91% of school faculty now use social media as part of their work routine. What’s more exciting is that 84% of learning institutions now use Twitter as a communication tool to disseminate special school-related announcements. If you can’t be convinced, consider this: students who use Twitter achieve, by an average of .5 points, a higher GPA than those who don’t.

All these statistics can’t be ignored. What say you about these numbers? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave your comments below.

Breakthrough Tools for Modern Teaching

steve jobs pictureThere are technological advancements in the field of teaching and education that instructors can use for better teaching. We’ve probably seen them already or students have already been using them in classrooms. But exactly these tools are for and are teachers and students really prepared to use them?

We’ve seen this question raised many times in classrooms and academe agree that in order to modernize education, technology has to be utilized. The Internet itself present itself as another avenue to start the modernization process but little has been done in order to take educational institutions with it. While other industries such as engineering, biology, and chemistry has improved a lot for the past decades, education has been stuck in the 19th-20th century.

Education definitely needs a real facelift and many companies such as CourseEasy are doing their share to help both students and teachers to manage their resources and introduce gadgets that will be useful for learning. The universality of smartphones and increasing number of tablet use is an evidence that times is changing and that many students are starting to embrace technology to either advance their learning or make learning easier for them.

Wireless Generation

Have you noticed just how widespread wireless gadgets use is and how wireless technology like WiFi has began to occupy much of our preoccupation with students’ learning? This is because students now have gadgets like tablets and smartphones where they keep notes of what they’re studying and access free eBooks that are part of the Open Source Textbook project.

The use of tablets like the iPad is also starting to embraced by teachers. Many schools now promote the use of iPad in presentation and in helping teachers deliver their lectures while flashing data from their device onto the whiteboard. It’s amazing how this happened in only a matter of few decades considering that the Internet is young.

Innovation Feeds Development

Innovation in any form provide for the continued success and expansion of any industry. Think about all the businesses out there that failed to innovate – they crashed and died. Apple Inc. is one of the many companies that continues to breed leaders that are unconventional, modern, and radical in terms of creating the kind of technology people would like to use today. They somehow dictate the kind of technology people should use rather than predict what the public wants.

Many schools don’t realize the potential positive impact of technology if applied in school systems. CourseEasy has this system where students and teachers can manage their learning and teaching resources respectively in order to amplify academic work. CE operates in a powerful cloud computing technology that makes course planning and selection in a breeze and manage student and teacher’s academic tools all in one place.

Class collaboration has never been this easy and interactive with CourseEasy. It’s a social network and classroom in one. Interested to take your academic status at a the next level? Talk to us today.

Image by Ben Heine