95% of teachers are using Digital Technology Tools to improve the classroom experience. There is an ongoing debate regarding the benefit for both students and teachers. Let's take a look at digital classroom tools to help you decide for yourself.
What are digital technology tools for the classroom?
Many apps, software, and platforms support communication, collaboration, engagement, and curriculum creation for learners in any context. Social media, online games, multimedia, and mobile apps are tools that both students and teachers can use to interact. Programs for editing digital materials and platforms, including Office 365 and Google Suite, support collaboration and resource sharing. Digital tools provide a way to implement text, images, audio, and video for an immersive experience. Some popular digital classroom tools include Chromebooks, tablets, and Airtame devices.
What are some key examples of digital technology tools that support learning?
Companies have developed learning software and applications to support students inside the classroom. Digital learning platforms produce learning experiences that enable students to participate and explore educational content actively. These platforms are used to create an immersive environment for students and offer personalized lessons for each student. Some of these products include:
Learning software and applications:
Google Classroom combines Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Calendar into a single platform where assignments, collaboration, communication, and grading are integrated into one ecosystem. Google Meets can be used to create an interactive learning environment.
Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Office 365 are cloud collaboration tools that can create a feature-rich, 21st-century digital classroom that can be accessed on Windows, Apple, Android, and Chromebook devices. Office 365 includes Outlook for students, OneDrive, Office, Powerpoint, OneNote, Excel, Teams, Forms, and Sway. Google Apps includes Gmail for students, Drive, Google suite (docs/sheets/slides/calendar), Google Classroom, Forms, and Hangouts.
Flipgrid is a free video discussion platform built by Microsoft that helps create a social learning classroom environment. This application lets teachers post discussion prompts and enables students to respond in a short video format.
Seesaw is an app designed to keep students engaged and connected to their class, either in an online or classroom environment. Students are encouraged to document their learning, be creative and learn how to use technology.
In a collaborative learning environment, students work in small groups (usually 3-6) to answer problems, ask questions through theory development, idea testing, and documenting results in a collaborative learning environment that provides essential development for students.
Gimkit built two engaging and easy-to-use tools for learning. This group quiz-based assessment tool has questions repeating on a random repeating loop. Kahoot is a similar group quiz tool aimed towards more competitive students. Quizlet is a learning tool that incorporates flashcards and games (with study and games modes). Minecraft for Education is a game-based learning platform that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving through blocks or text-based coding with Python.
Educational devices come in multiple shapes and sizes, and each fit a specific need for classrooms.
Google Chromebooks and iPads are portable devices and can be used in both online and classroom activities. Electronic devices that may or may not be portable include computers, clickers, SMART boards, and projectors. Some benefits include wireless screen sharing and interactive display features, depending on the hardware and software selected. One example of a wireless screen-sharing device is Airtame. This classroom hardware enables Rise Vision templates, emergency alerts, and messaging seamlessly through the device.
In a 1-to-1 learning setting, schools provide each student with a laptop or digital device. A "bring your own device" program offers flexibility for students and is one option for digital learning. Virtual learning and conferencing are available teaching solutions where students can interact and learn with others outside their classroom. Creative Cloud apps can be used to create documents, animations, audio, videos, and websites.
How do digital tools support learning?
Digital tools transform education by connecting teachers and students to content, resources, and platforms to improve instruction and personalize learning. It is crucial to understand how they affect teaching. Digital technology also makes processes and classroom routines more accessible, collaborative, efficient, and effective. Understanding the usage and the ways that online tools support key learning and improvement efforts will help you determine the best way to achieve your goals.
In the past decade, the use of technology in the education sector has tripled. Digital tools improve collaboration by linking teachers to students and turning the classroom into an online community. Studies show that 86% of teachers think using EdTech in the classroom is essential, while 96% believe it increases student engagement, and 63% of educators believe educational technology accelerates learning.
Web-based discussion platforms (e.g., social media) change how students involve themselves in assignments. Online courses make project-based lessons easier to develop and deliver. This online environment creates a step-by-step exchange of ideas and allows teachers and students to ask questions freely.
Additionally, digital technology improves research by providing students with tools to analyze and understand large amounts of complex disciplines and media, including data and photographs. Digital tools create an open environment where engagement in the form of inquiry and response can be asynchronous, allowing students time to prepare answers, promoting the exchange of diverse views and collaboration.
Teachers use digital classroom technology to streamline the assessment process. Equipping teachers and students with the ability to give and receive real-time feedback through online digital tools provide a powerful incentive for learners to take charge of their classroom outcomes.
Students can choose the best tools for their learning styles and improve their skill sets to improve engagement, authenticity, and more value in the learning process. Digital tools enhance other essential skill sets, including communication, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, digital and financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and global awareness.
To best utilize the online setting, schools must use social media and digital tools for active and engaged learning as part of a rigorous program. Knowing which digital tools to use creates a compelling and challenging digital leadership environment where students can learn and develop.
To find out about how Rise Vision can help your digital technology needs attend our weekly webinar.