Classrooms Finally Catching Up to Technology

Classrooms Finally Catching Up to Technology
Classrooms Finally Catching Up to Technology
The Digital Age has revolutionized the way that we do a lot of things. Letter correspondences have all but died out in the face of cheaper and faster e-mail services, thin credit cards have replaced the need to carry around checkbooks and wads of cash, and small MP3 players have replaced the need for hundreds of CDs, cassette tapes, and vinyl records. Even technology that was already advanced has been upgraded, such as new touch-screen cell phones that have eliminated the need for a keypad altogether. Yet, even though students tramping into the classrooms of school buildings across the nation carry all of these "latest and greatest" gizmos, their classrooms have remained largely behind the times. In fact, for many schools, the most advanced upgrade classrooms have received have been the transition from a chalkboard to a whiteboard. But finally, some schools are ushering in the Digital Age with a few new technologies.

In grade schools and some universities, a slick new device called the SMART Board has been making quite the impression. The instructor’s computer screen is projected onto the SMART Board, which resembles a plain white flat surface. But when the teacher begins poking around that surface, the SMART Board comes to life. The touch-sensitive whiteboard interacts with a special stylus that can make it do nearly anything that a computer can do. Teachers can use it to do something as simple as show a movie or project a slide show, or become more creative and have their students participate in activities like dragging the shapes of states onto a blank U.S. map. SMART Boards already grace the classrooms of more than 900,000 classrooms worldwide, according to the Katy Times. That number is expected to grow as more success stories from users come rolling out.

Universities are acclimated with another type of technology: the clicker. Clickers resemble something out of a game show. They have several buttons that allow for students to "click in" an answer to an instructor’s question. Many educators use this device in classes where there is a large student body. In order to make sure that every student understands the lecture and does not fall behind the others, instructors may pose a question and give the students a few options of answers to choose from, or they may click in their own answers. The technology allows for the instructor to see individual student responses on a personal computer screen. If the class overwhelmingly answers a question incorrectly, the instructor will know that further clarification and explanation is needed before moving onto the next topic.

These novel new technologies may be just that – novelties. But if the use of such instruments indeed enhance student learning, then more classrooms may embrace the SMART Board and clicker and turn the technology from novelty to teaching staple.
http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2010/04/

Classrooms Finally Catching Up to Technology 7.3 of 10 on the basis of 2602 Review.