As part of our special series this week (see Celebrating Teachers) I am featuring a guest blogger each day this week. Lots of good ideas here!
By Kelly Walsh
Last April, I published a post titled “10 Internet Technologies That Educators Should Be Informed About.” This article continues to be a popular draw on EmergingEdTech.com. In the year since then, I have learned about and looked into many other web-enabled applications that can benefit educators. Here are 5 of these technologies that I think should be added to that original list.
Free tutorial and lecture content: Every day the volume of free tutorial content and captured lecture materials on the Internet grows. Sites like The Khan Academy and WatchKnow offer thousands of free video tutorials, covering most academic subjects. Students all over the world are benefitting from this body of shared knowledge.
Lecture Capture: The potential for this technology to supplement course delivery is something educators should be familiar with. Lecture Capture applications let students focus more on what is being taught and less on keeping up with note-taking. Lecture Capture enables students to easily access captured lecture content through a web browser or mobile device any time after the lecture is given, and review complex topics as often as they wish. (Check out the Tegrity Showcase page to review examples of what captured content can look like after it’s been ‘packaged’ for delivery.)
Online forums and communities: Would you like to learn about other educator’s experiences with technology and ask their opinions, or seek feedback about a question you might have? Social community sites like Classroom 2.0 and Tech-In-Ed make this kind of dialogue possible. Additionally, these types of exchanges are often searchable, and you can usually review organized forum conversations and glean insights and ideas. There are forums out there focused on many different topics (the two examples I’ve provided here happen to be focused on Education Technology). To find a forum of interest to you, try a search for an applicable topic combined with the words “forum” or “social network.”
Tools to keep parents in the loop: Imagine an educational environment where parents can quickly and easily check on their child’s grades, access their next assignment, leave a question for a teacher, or learn about that upcoming field trip. Imagine being able to do this from any Internet browser. In fact, some parents can do some of these things for some of their children’s classes today, but it’s far from commonplace. I envision a day when this is the norm and rather than the exception.
Mobile access: Providing small mobile devices access to applications and information is yet another technology that has emerged and will only become more ubiquitous as each year passes. For example, today many web sites can be accessed via cell phones and other mobile devices. As more applications become web-enabled, and more mobile devices enter the marketplace, the day will probably come that mobile access outpaces the tied-to-a-desk application access that most of are used to. As educators and educational administrators plan for the years ahead, they should keep the growing availability and popularity of mobile tools like these in mind.
So there you have it – five more technologies to be aware of. Click on over to one of the example sites above and start learning more about these emerging education technologies today!
Kelly Walsh is Director of Institutional Information & Technology at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY, and the author of EmergingEdTech.com, a website and blog focused on engaging students and enhancing learning outcomes with the help of Internet and Instructional Technologies.