Category: Technology In Education


How Technology Has Broadened Teaching Horizons

December 6, 2017

Technology In Education

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With today’s technological advancement, there is a race against time for classroom teachers to avail of the power of technology in delivering knowledge and all to their learners. If some of them are not adept at using technology in the classroom, chances are learners are in disadvantaged in learning against the ones who have been learning through the aid of technology.

This is why, during summer, teachers are trained to become knowledgeable in using technology in the classroom. In fact, just recently, selected teachers harnessed their skills in using Microsoft Mix, Sway, Prezi, to mention just a few. Expected output from said trainings would be for teachers to create lessons– for effective and efficient delivery, learners will surely be motivated to learn and teachers themselves will be more inspired to teach with high impact, both through presentation and assessment purposes.

To ensure global education for their learners, a creative and would-be technology savvy classroom teacher must have the following prerequisite skills:

First, booting up and shutting down desktop computer or laptop.

Second, doing necessary navigation–from using the cursor or arrow up, down or what.

Third, setting up a projector.

Fourth, making slides for presentation purposes.

Fifth, recording voice or videos.

Sixth, writing an email.

Seventh, making an interesting lesson out of the competencies required for learners to master and by taking advantage of the tremendous sources of information around the net so as to create interesting, fun and meaningful lesson presentation..

Last, presenting lessons using technology with high impact. Here, how teachers present themselves, the lessons and all to their learners. could either inspire them to learn more or discourage to pursue. From standing in front, manner of speaking, manner of emphasizing a point or preparing learners to the highlights of their lesson, wrapping up and motivating them to do something for extension activities– such important showmanship could really spell the difference between success and failure in getting across the wisdom they wanted to get absorbed by their learners.

How Will Virtual Reality Change Education?

December 6, 2017

Technology In Education

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Taking online classes is an example of virtual reality. Whether the online classes have a tutor or not, there will be lectures in the form of presentations which the students can follow. Making everything online may be difficult at the moment but with time all the required digital tools will be available. So what happens when virtual reality takes over traditional education?

Simple, students will not be required to go to schools or universities. By learning everything online and noting down important points, they make it. There will be replays available for online teaching lessons that students can play as many times as they like from the comfort of their home in case they missed something or didn’t understand something.

They can schedule an exam on one of the convenient dates online and appear in the online exam accordingly.

Books may not however go extinct. Along with the replays of tutorial lessons, students can buy hardcover or digital books, whichever they prefer, and prepare themselves for tests and exams.

Online classes are already available this way. Virtual reality taking over traditional education means online classes will become rampant and widespread.

Over the course of two or three decades, this is how I assume virtual reality will take over and how life would become more comfortable for students.

No need to wake up in the mornings, no need to gulp down a not so tasty breakfast, no need to commute or drive – life gets that simple and easy, all from the comfort of home.

Now comes the case of discipline. Will students rely on themselves and behave smart to attend all the online classes? Will they keep their promise to their parents that yes, they will act out of discipline and order?

In traditional education, there is always a teacher or professor to guide students all along. But can students stay disciplined and mature enough to stick to online rules or will they break all the rules and just be a vagabond?

The imminent danger also lies in the present day whether a student will stick to the values and principles and abide by the rules and work hard for a degree. S/he can easily go in wrong ways, get interested in weekend disco parties and become more fun-loving, without paying attention to their studies.

Therefore, in my opinion, although online classes or virtual reality poses a threat on future education, it is my belief that well-brought up children will be all willing to learn, graduate and eventually work. Of course, parenting does have a role in this. Good parenting will always suffice to give their children the right ethics, values and principles so that they do not go astray or out of their boundaries.

High-End RFID School Attendance System – A Smart Move For Schools

December 6, 2017

Technology In Education

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The latest technology of RFID is one such bliss that helps institutions in a great way by minimizing a lot of labor in keeping track of attendance.

Challenges That Schools Face In Managing Attendance

Tiresome manual job: The schools and colleges usually have clerks doing extremely tiring manual labor of managing attendance of students and staff. This just means wasting tons of paper and even time, as the professors and lecturers might log in and log out at different times. This would ultimately take the entire day and along with that, maintaining a register of students across grades would be tiresome.

Human error: It is always there as a big challenge, which one might face while entering the time or marking students’ presence or absence. In fact, just a minor discrepancy or error in marking a student absent might reduce his attendance percentage by a great margin.

New academic session challenges: When a school reopens after holidays, usually new admission adds on. This calls for a newer register and more of repetition and bringing all the students to sign in again or logging into this system.

Keeping all of these issues, RFID school attendance system is a new-age solution for bringing in timeliness among the students as they log in.

In these days of increased security threats, one cannot simply ignore the fact that every new visitor to the school premises would require careful scrutiny. However, just having security personnel for that purpose might not do. This is where the RFID school attendance system and access control systems are useful.

How Is the RFID Attendance System Superior?

This system would not just be a tableau of meaningless time entries or log in and log out data alone. The access control and attendance systems would further use this data to convert it into analytical data. A student’s entry pattern and leave details or logging out early would be visible to the school authorities to bring the student back to the rulebook.

A great benefit of this system is that it can work independently, and remote access is enough for the school authorities to keep an eye on the entry system. They can set the time deadline for the last students to troop in the post, which they would not be allowed to come in with a warning.

Such automated systems are the need of the hour, when one can use everything to bring in regulations, discipline among the school students and even use technology to ease the administration process.

How Technology Has Improved Education Levels

December 6, 2017

Technology In Education

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The use of technology in learning institutions has increased. According to a recent study by CompTIA, up to 78% of teachers believe the use of technology in schools has positively influenced student’s productivity while 65% of educators believe the use of technology has made students more productive and learning exciting.

Technology is today used in almost all aspects of our day-to-day activities. People have become accustomed to the use of devices developed through technology. Despite a smaller percentage of individuals claiming the use of technology has done as much destruction as good, education is one of the areas where its use has completely transformed the way people study and educational institutions operate. Here are six ways how the use of technology has managed to help improve education standards.

1. Online Resources

You can always research on the internet for any educational information you need. You are always bound to find some help on the web from the broad range of resources available. The use of online resources such as studying tips, free courses, and secure custom support will help improve your grades.

2. Multimedia learning

People learn in different ways. While some individuals learn better visually, others do so using audio. This has made most education institutions and teachers to change their tact. Instead of focusing on lectures and giving notes, most educators and schools have resorted to using of multimedia to help teach their students better. It comprises use of auditory, visual and kinesthetic. With technology, there is always a way you can effectively learn.

3. Use of E-books

Nothing bores a learner like having to lug around a pile of books for a curriculum. You can carry your entire course materials wherever you go in a tablet. You can always open the eBooks and do light studying wherever or whenever you wish like reading. The e-books are also known to cost less compared to the usual paperbacks making them affordable to most students.

4. Worldwide tutoring

The Internet is not just known for having the unlimited amount of information online; it also contains an infinite number of minds! With technology, you are now able to receive help from anywhere irrespective of your location. This is beneficial especially to people who are interested in learning other languages.

5. Online Editing

There are times when you might need a second opinion but might not have a friend around to have a look at it. Reading through your work and making corrections before submission is one thing you can never afford to ignore. You are most likely set to miss on something when you decide to edit all by yourself. Sharing your work with an online editor is one efficient method you can always use to help improve the quality of your paper.

6. Study Groups

Despite preferring to explore alone, there are times when you might be assigned a group project. However, scheduling a meeting with your group students can be impossible. With technology, there are online platforms making group discussions easier. You can easily share notes and other materials and collaborate through video chats. You can also decide to connect with other students doing a similar course even if you are not in the same group.

Technology is here to stay. Instead of opposing the use of technology in education, it is best to embrace it and use it to help improve your education by furthering your studies. Gone are the days when one will have to go through the entire encyclopedia researching for what you can get in seconds with the use of technology.

6 Enticing Ways You Can Improve Your Technology Skills

December 6, 2017

Technology In Education

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Technology is always changing and so you have to keep up with it. In this article I suggest six effective ways you can improve your technology skills. Read on to find out.

Here they are:

1) Improve your typing speed

Time yourself initially and see how many words you can type per minute. By and by try to type more per minute. Practice a little every day and you will get better and better at it.

2) Teach yourself how to pick up good stuff from the internet

When you come across something that interests you over the web, use your rational logic and ask yourself, “Is this going to help or hurt me?” Make a choice and carry it out. In this way extract always the good stuff and filter out the bad from the web.

3) Don’t always rely on the tech guy

Things like formatting your computer can easily be done by you instead of always calling in the tech guy. Learn and relearn and you will find yourself to be an expert at it.

4) Learn new programming skills

What programming skills do you currently possess? What is new out there? Research and find out. Go through the modern languages which you do not know yet and improve your programming skills. The more you keep them in practice, the better you get at them. Try to code every day for one hour or so and maintain it. It will add to your expertise.

5) Get more acquainted with Microsoft Office and Adobe products

For instance, getting familiar with new features of Word, Excel, Adobe Photoshop and Acrobat Reader/PDF Writer will allow you to soar high. The more you know about them, the more skilled you get, which might be beneficial for your digital tasks at home or office.

6) Strike a conversation with a professional expert on technology

Make friendship and converse with a professional expert on Technology at your office or somewhere else and keep yourself updated about the technological stuff he knows, does and teaches his team of people. You may not be able to grasp everything all at once. So meet up frequently, go slow and absorb as much as you can per conversation.

These are some of the six enticing ways you really can upgrade your technology skills and skyrocket to your best advantage. Always remember: Knowledge is power. So make it a point to learn some new digital stuff every single day.

The Pros and Cons of Technology

December 6, 2017

Technology In Education

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Using technology in the classroom is one of those issues that makes it easy to be a fence sitter. It’s difficult to be 100% for the use of educational technology all of the time, when there are so many convincing arguments against it.  Most teachers find a happy medium with technology—it’s useful in some situations, but a distraction in others.

This great article on Huffington post offers an example of a kindergarten classroom where young learners use technology naturally and in authentic ways. The article also goes on to discuss the problems many pediatricians have with technology use by young children, such as excessive screen time, which can lead to poor sleep habits. In addition, doctors worry that children who use devices at a very young age become more focused on learning to select and swipe than on developmental processes, like handwriting and shoe-tying.

Technology gives children the ability to learn in ways their parents and grandparents never had. Today’s learners have immediate access to answers and research. Yet, that immediate access is changing the way students think about work and how they feel emotionally. We’ve put together a list of some the pros and cons that surround the technology in the classroom debate.

Pros of Technology in the Classroom

  1. Data and analytic reporting: Apps and platforms offer teachers ways to combine all the information they might need to know about a student—title I status, attendance history, performance on quizzes, English language proficiency, participation in special education. With this information, teachers can easily see how their students are preforming as a whole class, as a subgroup, and as individuals, and can provide intervention as needed. Most edtech apps include easy to use reporting features, so that assessment data can also be shared with administrators and parents.
  2. Just in time information: This article from Computerworld explains how just in time learning is helping cooperate workers learn what they need to in order to solve immediate problems, rather than siting through entire classes full of information they may not ever use. The same goes for classroom learning. Edtech is allowing teachers to see where students may be missing particular pieces of understanding and to then target lessons just for that knowledge. Instead of sitting through hour-long lectures of material they’ve mostly mastered, technology is allowing students to learn what they need, when then need it.
  3. Differentiated instruction: Educational apps allow for students to progress at their own pace. Many are adaptive, meaning that questions and problems will get easier or more difficulty, depending on student performance. Programs can adjust to meet students at their precise learning levels. In addition, the multitude of apps and software available means that students in the same classroom might be using different systems to learn similar material, depending on their interests and learning.
  4. Different learning modalities: Incorporating technology into the classroom means that students have exposure and access to different ways of learning. Maybe some students do thrive in a lecture environment; others might be great independent learners, who can gather information from educational software. Giving students the choice of different ways to learn means they’ll likely explore and try different techniques, and in the end, learn the best strategies for themselves as individual learners.
  5. Assistive tech for special needs: We’ve covered apps specially designed for special education teachers and students in the past. Educational technology makes it possible for students with special needs to thrive in academic settings. From adaptive word processor apps to programs that speak for children who struggle with language, technology allows students to communicate and be involved with their teachers and classmates.

Cons of Technology in the Classroom

  1. Replacing teachers: Many tech enthusiasts roll their eyes when people voice their concerns that educational technology is a way to replace teachers in the future. But do their concerns lack validity? You don’t have to look too far in the past to find instances of technology replacing workers: the auto industry, agriculture, and manufacturing industries have all mechanized many parts of their process, laying off workers in the process. While few people think that teachers will become obsolete, the newest advances in edtech are powerful enough to deliver content, assesses, and set students on a new course of learning, all without teacher intervention. What does that mean for the future of teaching?
  2. Distracting: This is probably the number one worry of teachers who consider implementing classroom technology: the concern that students will be too busy tweeting and Snapchatting to pay attention to the lesson. Students’ innate curiosity, coupled with their tech savvy could lead to more online socializing in environments where devices are easily accessible.
  3. Easier to access others’ work: Plagiarism has been plaguing teachers forever. Students today can easily access essays, reports, class notes, tests, etc. online, making it that much more difficult for teachers to know if the work their students hand in is original. Though there are tech tools to help teachers discover if the work is plagiarized, no system is perfect.
  4. Disparity of access outside of class: Not all of our students have access to technology tools outside of the classroom. Yes, the library is an option, but there is often a wait for computers connected to the Internet, and even then, you can’t download apps and software onto public computers. Assigning technology use in the classroom is fine if all students have access to the device. But when edtech programs are considered for homework, at home intervention, or even flipped learning, student access to the Internet must be considered.
  5. Privacy: Privacy of student information and data is enough of an issue to keep many teachers and schools away from implementing any sort of broad reaching tech initiatives. Apps and platforms have come a long way in improving their privacy measures, especially where students are involved, but is it enough to convince schools that it’s worth the potential risk? Student data is invaluable within the classroom walls, but can teachers feel safe that that is where the information will stay when they use edtech apps?

There’s no right or wrong side of this debate. Educational technology has its plusses and minuses. It’s up to teachers, administrators, and district personnel to decide whether the good outweighs the bad. We’d love to hear where you stand on these issues.

Classroom Technology: What’s New For 2017?

December 6, 2017

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The invention of new technologies and improvement of old ones has shown no signs of slowing down for 2017. Cutting edge teachers will want to ensure that they’re up to date on all the latest trends and innovations so that their students are learning with the best technology available.

Many recent trends are expected to continue in 2017 and find their way into the classroom. From inexpensive virtual reality headsets and augmented reality glasses to better mobile device operating systems, educators should know what to expect in 2017.

Technology in the Classroom

The number of devices and uses for tech in the classroom has been steadily increasing over the years. According to a recent survey of 2,500 educators, 60% of teachers expect to use more technology in the classroom than in the past this current school year. Three out of four say they use some sort of technology each day in class, with as many as 80% reporting that technology is a positive in the classroom.

The most popular technology used in classrooms has been small laptops and tablets. Apple iPads and other tablets were adopted early by many schools because of their easy interface and touchscreens. Tablet apps can allow for fun learning in young students and has found many new uses with disabled students.

In recent years, Chromebooks have become the go-to classroom device due to their low cost, various hardware options, and simple Web-based operating systems. These small laptops also provide educators with control over students activities and can be preprogrammed with education apps. Students are able to use Chromebooks for everything from group collaboration on spreadsheets and documents to research opportunities. Chromebooks can be especially useful in schools where students have limited access to devices and Internet at home.

Tech-savvy teachers have also been adopting SMART Boards in the classroom in recent years. These computer-connected white boards use a projector and specialty pen sensors to allow writing on computer programs such as AutoCAD or PowerPoint as well as recording all written notes. Teachers can explain a concept on the board during class then save the lesson plan so that students can rewatch it later at home. It’s a great tool for students of all ages and a number of disciplines.

Some educators have been experimenting with virtual or augmented reality. Students can use high-end tech, such as Google Glass or low-end Google Cardboard VR headgear, to enter to three-dimensional locations. History students can visit far off locations via free apps or explore current events with new software from The New York York Times. Cardboard headsets can cost less than $10, use free apps, and only require a smartphone for operation.

Using technology in the classroom dates back nearly 100 years when radio stations began broadcasting on-air classes, according to Purdue University. Since then, innovations such as the overhead projector, the calculator, desktop computers, CD-Roms, and countless other inventions have transformed the teaching landscape.

Although these technologies have provided boundless opportunities over previous generations of students, they also produce myriad distractions and much higher costs. For example, access to Chromebooks can lead to wasted time on social media, and buying a SMARTboard for the classroom is a significant expense for many schools.

Looking to The Future Classroom

It’s easy to see the trend continue in 2017 and beyond, with technology becoming a more important part of the everyday classroom. Aside from the adoption of more classroom devices and teaching aids, like the SMARTboard, many of the future technologies are software and apps.

As Common Sense Media reported, cloud computing and online learning look to be some of the biggest trends going forward. Cloud computing allows for easier sharing of data between peers as well as students and teachers. Students could upload an assignment to specific software, online apps, or free software such as Google Drive for simpler review and grading by teachers. Cloud hosting of homework assignments and additional resources has already become popular in many schools. These online tools also provide analytics and other metrics for measuring student success and progress.

Online learning from free massive open online courses (MOOCs) from top universities such as MIT or Stanford allow students to pursue passions at a college level or provide teachers with top-quality teaching tools for free. There are a wide variety of online learning opportunities teachers can use. These technologies may help classrooms connect with other classrooms hundreds of miles away for more diverse learning.

Another major technology that could soon be in every school is 3D printing. These computer-programmable devices can work with a wide variety of disciplines from computer science and math to traditional vocational subjects. This technology is constantly evolving and may be cost-prohibitive at the time being, but its educational limitations may be close to limitless. Wearable technology may also have a place in the classroom in the near future.

Technology That Probably Won’t Happen

More online learning? More mobile device with educational apps? More nanotechnology?? Not every cutting edge technology will find its place in the classroom. Some of the newest inventions that are finding success in medicine, science, engineering, and technology are not likely to be teaching aids soon.

Some technologies–such as nanobots, quantum electronics, molecular sensors, and universal translator devices–may have teaching benefits but are too costly and impractical for schools to own. New inventions in the worlds of DNA hacking, cyber warfare, drone engineering, and many of the other technologies frequently in the news will likely stay out of the classroom in the near future for their dangerous possibilities.

Students would love it if fun, new tech such as magnetic hover boards, water jet packs, electric skateboards, and autonomous, crash-proof cars were part of the typical school day. However, these rare, extreme cost, and wild distractions will keep students from hoverboarding down the hallways… for now.

4 Examples Of New Technology In Education

December 6, 2017

Technology In Education

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What latest gadgets and gizmos are going to change your classroom in 2013?

It’s hard to know exactly what will catch on and what won’t, but the following list showcases some of the emerging new technologies, software, and platforms available. With their innovation and practicality, many of these are poised to enter the classroom and change the way students and teachers learn permanently.

4 Examples Of New Technology In Education

1. Flashnotes

Remember the days of doodling on the side of your spiral notebook while you tried to take copious notes from your boring biology teacher? Would you be more motivated if you knew that your notes would not only give you an edge on the exam, but could also earn you a bit of cash?

Flashnotes allows students to upload their lecture notes and sell them to other students who need more help or resources. The rating system allows the best note takers to get more business and the general pool of knowledge expands as students continue to share their work with one another.

2. Lore

The new startup is using a Facebook type platform- riding the wave of what works- and tailoring it for education. This social network allows professors and students to communicate, follow one another, and discuss class work and lectures.

In addition to the social aspect, it allows for document uploads, calendar sharing, and a grade book option. So why is this better than Facebook? Simply put, social networks aren’t always the best place to develop academic networks. Students can follow their professors and interact with them without worrying about that compromising photo from a crazy weekend party.

3. Study Blue

Imagine your smartphone as your primary source for study materials. This company has created an app that allows students to organize their coursework, store notes and flashcards, and share their materials with other students.

Study Blue’s main attraction is that it is mobile. Whether standing in line for coffee, riding the train, or waiting at the dentist, a student can easily access their class work and prepare for an exam. The social aspect also helps students find other people studying similar subjects, capitalizing on a different set of notes and study guides.

4. LEAP Motion

Imagine the ability to sign your name on a digital document using only your finger and the air. That is technology behind LEAP Motion, a company intent on giving people a more natural way to interact with the computer.

LEAP has developed a piece of hardware that allows anyone to write, draw, zoom, play, and interact with their computer screen using a finger, fingers, or entire hand. By moving your hand over the device, the mouse follows your movements.

This is a huge improvement from the days of the stylus and pad- even with the fine motor control- it was difficult to make drawings look authentic. LEAP is set to do that.

How Has Technology Changed Education?

December 6, 2017

Technology In Education

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Technology has impacted almost every aspect of life today, and education is no exception. Or is it? In some ways, education seems much the same as it has been for many years. A 14th century illustration by Laurentius de Voltolina depicts a university lecture in medieval Italy. The scene is easily recognizable because of its parallels to the modern day. The teacher lectures from a podium at the front of the room while the students sit in rows and listen. Some of the students have books open in front of them and appear to be following along. A few look bored. Some are talking to their neighbors. One appears to be sleeping. Classrooms today do not look much different, though you might find modern students looking at their laptops, tablets, or smart phones instead of books (though probably open to Facebook). A cynic would say that technology has done nothing to change education.

However, in many ways, technology has profoundly changed education. For one, technology has greatly expanded access to education. In medieval times, books were rare and only an elite few had access to educational opportunities. Individuals had to travel to centers of learning to get an education. Today, massive amounts of information (books, audio, images, videos) are available at one’s fingertips through the Internet, and opportunities for formal learning are available online worldwide through the Khan Academy, MOOCs, podcasts, traditional online degree programs, and more. Access to learning opportunities today is unprecedented in scope thanks to technology.

Opportunities for communication and collaboration have also been expanded by technology. Traditionally, classrooms have been relatively isolated, and collaboration has been limited to other students in the same classroom or building. Today, technology enables forms of communication and collaboration undreamt of in the past. Students in a classroom in the rural U.S., for example, can learn about the Arctic by following the expedition of a team of scientists in the region, read scientists’ blog posting, view photos, e-mail questions to the scientists, and even talk live with the scientists via a videoconference. Students can share what they are learning with students in other classrooms in other states who are tracking the same expedition. Students can collaborate on group projects using technology-based tools such as wikis and Google docs. The walls of the classrooms are no longer a barrier as technology enables new ways of learning, communicating, and working collaboratively.

Technology has also begun to change the roles of teachers and learners. In the traditional classroom, such as what we see depicted in de Voltolina’s illustration, the teacher is the primary source of information, and the learners passively receive it. This model of the teacher as the “sage on the stage” has been in education for a long time, and it is still very much in evidence today. However, because of the access to information and educational opportunity that technology has enabled, in many classrooms today we see the teacher’s role shifting to the “guide on the side” as students take more responsibility for their own learning using technology to gather relevant information. Schools and universities across the country are beginning to redesign learning spaces to enable this new model of education, foster more interaction and small group work, and use technology as an enabler.

Technology is a powerful tool that can support and transform education in many ways, from making it easier for teachers to create instructional materials to enabling new ways for people to learn and work together. With the worldwide reach of the Internet and the ubiquity of smart devices that can connect to it, a new age of anytime anywhere education is dawning. It will be up to instructional designers and educational technologies to make the most of the opportunities provided by technology to change education so that effective and efficient education is available to everyone everywhere.

What is the future of technology in education?

December 6, 2017

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A couple of weeks ago I was asked what I thought the future of technology in education was. It is a really interesting question and one that I am required to think about all the time. By its very nature, technology changes at a fast pace and making it accessible to pupils, teachers and other stakeholders is an ongoing challenge.

So what is the future? Is it the iPad?

No, I don’t think it is. For me, the future is not about one specific device. Don’t get me wrong, I love the iPad. In fact, I have just finished a trial to see if using them really does support teaching and learning – and they have proved effective.

iPads and other mobile technology are the ‘now’. Although, they will play a part in the future, four years ago the iPad didn’t even exist. We don’t know what will be the current technology in another four. Perhaps it will be wearable devices such as Google Glass, although I suspect that tablets will still be used in education.

The future is about access, anywhere learning and collaboration, both locally and globally. Teaching and learning is going to be social. Schools of the future could have a traditional cohort of students, as well as online only students who live across the country or even the world. Things are already starting to move this way with the emergence of massive open online courses (MOOCs).

For me the future of technology in education is the cloud.

Technology can often be a barrier to teaching and learning. I think the cloud will go a long way to removing this barrier. Why? By removing the number of things that can go wrong.

Schools, will only need one major thing to be prepared for the future. They will not need software installed, servers or local file storage. Schools will need a fast robust internet connection. Infrastructure is paramount to the the future of technology in education.

We don’t know what the new ‘in’ device will be in the future. What we do know, is that it will need the cloud. Schools and other educational institutions will need to futureproof their infrastructure the best they can.

This should be happening now. If you want to start to use mobile technology in your school, whether it is an iPad program or a bring your own device (BYOD) program your connectivity must be fast and reliable. Student and teacher buy in, is so important. If the network is slow and things are not working properly students and teachers will not want to use the devices. Make the sure the infrastructure is there before the devices.

Teachers can use the cloud to set, collect and grade work online. Students will have instant access to grades, comments and work via a computer, smartphone or tablet. Many schools are already doing this. Plus, services such as the educational social network Edmodo offer this for free.

This is where devices come in. All devices, not matter which ones we will use in the future will need to access the cloud. Each student will have their own. Either a device specified by the school or one they have chosen to bring in themselves.

School classrooms are going to change. Thanks to the cloud and mobile devices, technology will be integrated into every part of school. In fact, it won’t just be the classrooms that will change. Games fields, gyms and school trips will all change. Whether offsite or on site the school, teachers, students and support staff will all be connected. In my ideal world, all classrooms will be paperless.

With the cloud, the world will be our classroom. E-learning will change teaching and learning. Students can learn from anywhere and teachers can teach from anywhere.

The cloud can also encourage independent learning. Teachers could adopt a flipped classroom approach more often. Students will take ownership of their own learning. Teachers can put resources for students online for students to use. These could be videos, documents, audio podcasts or interactive images. All of these resources can be accessed via a student’s computer, smartphone or tablet. As long as they have an internet connection either via Wifi, 3G or 4G they are good to go.

Rather than being ‘taught’ students can learn independently and in their own way. There is also a massive amount of resources online that students can find and use themselves, without the help of the teacher.

This of course means the role of the teacher will change.

Shared applications and documents on the cloud, such as Google Apps will allow for more social lessons. How often do students get an opportunity to collaborate productively using technology in the classroom? It isn’t always easy. However, students working on documents together using Google Apps is easy. They could be in the same room or in different countries. These are all good skills for students to have. Of course, these collaborative tools are also very useful for teachers. I for one have worked on several projects where these tools have lets me work with people across the country. Some of which I have never met.

What we must remember is that when schools adopt new technology and services, they must be evaluated. This way, as a school, you know if they are successful and what improvements are needed. Staff will also need training, you can’t expect staff to use new technology if it they are not confident users or creators. Any initiative is doomed to failure without well trained, confident staff who can see how technology can support and benefit teaching and learning.

Plenty of schools have already embraced this, but there’s still a way to go to ensure all schools are ready for the future of technology. It is time for all schools to embrace the cloud.