How Technology is Improving Education

These changes have been more profound with the development of technology. Just like other sectors of the society, technology has impacted the education sector. The impact has majorly bordered on the positive. An example of technological impact in the education sector has reared itself in the case of Maths online. This is an Internet application that allows people to undertake mathematical exercises.

The case of Maths online is just but one of the numerous ways that technology is transforming the educational landscape. This digital phenomenon has widened its tentacles to all the other fields of the education sector in varied ways.

How technology is improving education

Many educational institutions have opened themselves to the idea of technology. Such schools have realised that technology is key in improving the delivery of education services. As such, technology has positively affected various strategies in the classroom. These include: Continue reading

Applying Technology in the Classroom

The recent advances in technology made possible by the internet have resulted in a rapidly changing world. In order to keep up with such advances, the presence of technology in the classroom has become of increasing importance.

Integrating Technology into Teaching is a great way for an educator to enhance the effectiveness of their lessons and connect with their students. After all, the current young generation has been immersed in technology like never before, and using instructional technology is a way to accommodate their educational needs in a way that is familiar and fitting for them.

So what are some of the meaningful ways to include technology in the classroom? Continue reading

Backing Up on CD

We think it’s a great idea to present very practical ideas in the classroom. You can talk about homework and data all day long but talk to a student about their music collection and they will listen. Make a practical and useful lesson out of something with their music and you have a winning combination. When you need to back up music on a CD, you are obviously going to be copying music onto that CD. For some folks, the territory of music copying is kind of iffy because they are unsure of what the law allows and what the law expressly forbids. Here are some tips on what to do and also what not to do when you back up any of your tunes on a compact disc. Continue reading

HDMI Cables

HDMI cables as well as component cables are some of the most popular cables from which to choose when it comes to home theater cables. Your total viewing and listening experience will no doubt be affected by your choice of home theater cables so you better make sure that you know what each one does. Here are the ones from which you will be choosing.

HDMI cables: These cables will deliver the greatest picture and sound quality possible inside of a single cable. Using these cables is ideal if you want to preserve the sound quality when you convert digital to analog. They are also capable of supporting up to eight channels. Continue reading

About Ethernet Cables

Computer networking technology has a set of standards which is referred to as Ethernet. These standards smooth the progress of interaction among different paraphernalia like intermediary devices, printers and personal computers. A piece of equipment can be easily added to develop on hand network, provided that the device conforms to the set of standards.

A computer network contains hardware and software. The former is a physical link layer while the latter is a logical or data layer. The hardware performs as the channel where the electronic signals will pass through. The physical link layer that carries the connection between the devices must correspond to specific types of design to turn into a common medium. On the other hand, in the logical or data layer, there are protocols or set of rules defined by Ethernet standard that administer how the devices attached in the network could interrelate with each other.

Ethernet cable is one of the vital devices of the hardware. Ethernet cables link the network’s pieces of equipment like adapters, routers and modems. They send out data by means of Ethernet Protocol. Ethernet standards are constantly upgrading to cope up with the advances in hardware. Before, coaxial cables were used. But now, Ethernet set ups utilize fiber optic or twisted pair cables. Computer networks of Ethernet normally utilize the latter that is why it was referred to as Ethernet cable. Continue reading

Educate Students on Using Technology

Nonetheless, success requires a lot of hard work. Technology creates a more favorable climate for that success, but only when the right is used correctly. Following are some ways to use technology for your school.

Social media has become a powerhouse for marketing, information, and education. There are various platforms that must be utilized for greatest success. It is not just about placing a link on the sites once in a while; you have to engage consumers with posts.

Learning search engine optimization (SEO) may be the next class added to the high school curriculum. SEO experts use keyword research to make sure they are placing favorable keyword on sites, in articles and posts to draw traffic to targeted sites. This improves ranking. This is a key in modern day internet business success. SEO techniques include being found on local searches. If you are not found locally, you are not going to get the business you deserve.

Education and educators should ensure that technology is used to produce young adults that will help business grow.

Facts about LAN Cables

LAN(s) or Local Area Networks are the small-sized sets of connections to which various users of home and office computers primarily connect. LAN networks facilitate the sharing of printers, drives and files at the same time regulating interchange to and from the internet.

Despite the fact that Wi-Fi connections are becoming so prevalent, the utilization of LAN cables is still applied specifically for large size networks with combined wireless and wired networks. This type of network system has a very significant part in the general operation of large networks. Thus, before you build up a large networking system, you have to know and understand how to manage a cable network well.

It is required to set up a speedy LAN network to sustain the current and future needs of your network services and applications. By tradition, UTP or Unshielded Twisted Pair structured cabling system provides fast and reliable connections using the high-speed technology – the Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet (GE). For the potential development of your wired network, the GE for backbone LAN wiring is suggested. Using GE or even faster Ethernet together with the optical fiber backbone is mandatory in diffusing fast inter -LANs. Continue reading

Technology in Education

Educational technology is becoming more and more common in schools and this is a great thing. School officials, parents, principles and teachers all know that educational technology helps a student to learn more, learn faster and become more organized students. The limits are endless what a student can learn by successfully integrating educational technology into their studies. If they are taught in school how to use the Internet and educational technology to better their education, then they will be very prosperous in school. It’s important for teachers to incorporate educational technology into classrooms not only because of the educational benefits that come from becoming very familiar with using technology as an educational tool, but because students respond well to technology.

Children now are run more by technology than ever, their wish lists went from bikes, baseballs and basketball hoops to Nintendo’s, cell phones and laptops. Children love technology and the unlimited opportunities of entertainment it gives them, so why not add it into schools to keep kids excited and wanting to learn? Technology helps a lot to organize students, whether it be on the computer, saving documents to different folders, creating organized and clearly written essays or utilizing any of Microsoft’s programs to enhance their document skills, educational technology helps children to become more organized. Since children love technology so much and use it so frequently a nonprofit group, Netday wanted to compose a survey to all school aged kids about technology and how it would influence them in their schooling. The survey was only supposed to last one day, it was called Speak Up Day, but because of the tremendous response they extended the survey to one week.

Officials were not surprised that children love technology and would like to see more of it, they already knew that when introducing technology into the classrooms in the past, it always caught the student’s attention and got them interested. These days it requires a lot ore to be able to get students to focus and be interested in a classroom setting because of the immense amount of technological distractions that could b taking place, whether it is them texting on their cell phone, playing games on their cell phone, using handheld video game devices, listening to an iPod, or even other students doing any of these things, it causes distractions in the classroom and they don’t get everything they should be out of the lesson that is being taught. By introducing the educational technology, students will put their handheld entertainment devices away and be interested to learn and see what the new technological devices can do.

In the survey what surprised school officials and the non-profit organization, Netday, who organized the survey, was that students not only wanted more educational technology, but also were coming up with ways to earn the money for the schools being able to equip their classrooms with more technology. This was surprising to the school officials because students not only wanted the technology but that wanted to help raise money by doing fundraisers to financially help equip their schools. This shows how important technology is to our students and children, we need to start giving them incentives to raise money for technology and help the schools to become more technologically equipped

The Current State of Technology in Education

Remember filmstrips, movie reels, overhead projectors and transparencies? These are the “tech tools” that I remember from my school days. Not an interactive anything anywhere. It was simple. Teachers and professors had to decide between blackboards or overheads, black, blue or maybe green ink and that was about it.

We’ve come a long way from those days, and in many cases new technologies have quickly replaced the old. There is however a wide variation on how advanced school districts are in terms of their education technology implementations. One thing is clear; no matter how limited resources are, all school districts have formed a set of goals around education technology. If we expect to reach any of these goals, we have to understand the underlying factors that can affect the character and complexity of a problem. These factors will in turn affect how we approach a particular problem and the solutions that are applied to reach our goals.

From a 30,000 foot perspective, there are commonly three key components to an education technology solution; Hardware, Software and Training (the often forgotten, but many times most important component).

In today’s education tech world, you will not get very far without the three vital components mentioned above. These are however, merely the tools that we will use in reaching our educational goals. If you were to place all of the best hardware, software and training materials in a room, they would not magically yield higher test scores, achievement and graduation rates all by themselves.

You might think that what I’ll be saying next will have to do with people and how they can be the difference makers. This of course is true, but the actual focus should be on what these all important people are doing (and unfortunately in many cases not doing) in order to achieve our collective educational goals.

Many of us have lost sight on the “education” in education technology. It’s right there in front of our eyes and we still manage forget that this is about properly educating students and enabling them to reach their fullest potential.

The following list contains some of the most common pitfalls that we see on a day-to-day basis as education technology integrators. These are the processes and activities that have proven to be inefficient, ineffective or counterproductive to education technology goals.

1. Having no goals to begin with – This situation is all too common. A school district is hard-set on implementing and/or upgrading their education technology resources, but nothing is tied back to curriculum goals. The purchase and installation of projectors, interactive whiteboards, response systems, classroom sound systems etc is not the implementation of a solution, it’s simply a purchase. Avoid asking yourself “now what?” once the smoke has cleared. Achieve this by creating a real implementation plan that is tied to long term educational goals and state standards. All of the best education technology hardware manufacturers have researched education requirements in detail and have designed their solutions accordingly in order to help schools reach these goals through the use of their products. Ask your technology provider questions related to your educational goals and only engage with those who understand your goals and can tell you how their products will help you reach them.

2. Cookie cutter approach – Let’s outfit every classroom and every teacher with the same exact technology tools. And let’s not stop there, let’s do it all at once so everyone is happy and nobody feels left out. Makes sense – right? Well not exactly. Administrators and Tech Directors don’t want to hear grumblings about inequities or create an environment of haves and have not’s even for a short period of time. This would be disaster – or would it?

One of the best examples I can think of is interactive whiteboards or IWB’s. These boards are incredible tools and can greatly enhance a learning environment when implemented properly, but the addition of this technology tool is not always a “no brainer” in all learning environments. Companies like SMART Technologies and Promethean may disagree, but in the end, if the educational goals of their customers are being met, it will be a win-win situation for all involved – especially the kids.

This is a trend that is difficult to break. It is fairly easy to understand how this has come about since politics can many times trump logic.

Learning activities can vary greatly from room to room and from subject to subject. The learning goals for math will likely vary greatly from the learning goals in science class versus foreign language classes. Science room environments may vary even further based on whether you are dealing with Physics, Chemistry or Biology.

The variances can run even deeper based on other district based requirements, room arrangement or teaching style of an individual teacher.

Taking a step back to do some real analysis and planning may help you and your schools get on a more accurate track in terms of matching technology tools to actual academic goals. To say that “we’ll figure that out later” adds to the risk that you will leave a critical requirement unaddressed.

3. Making all decisions from the Top Down – Not that you would do this, but too many Tech Directors or IT Managers make district wide decisions without gathering any input from the end users of technology. In this case it is of course teachers that would help drive accurate requirements from the bottom up that would complement the decisions being made from above. This will no doubt take more time and effort, but in the end it will likely uncover more detail and accuracy to your requirements that will help minimize risk and decrease the chances that you’ll miss a requirement or waste time and money spent re-working your initial solution with an unplanned “Phase 2″ of your implementation.

4. No Training or Professional Development (PD) Plan – You might be lucky enough to have a real go-getter on your staff that takes the ball and runs with it, creating your training program in the process. These self starters do exist, but you can’t count on training and PD taking care of itself. Full adoption and use of new technology tools requires planning AND management of the plan. If done correctly, your educational goals are met and everyone comes out looking and feeling like a champion.

5. No metrics – How do you show that your plan has been successful? Part of proper planning is establishing a pre-determined method of measuring success via a set of well chosen metrics. Not everyone loves numbers by nature, but I’m betting that everyone will love them when they definitively show that planning and implementation has led to success.

6. Buying solely on price – Hopefully you have not grown completely cynical when it comes to value. If you spend the time talking to your prospective sales people and service providers, you will see a wide range of offerings presented to you. If you want to do what’s best for your schools, you will spend some time calculating the true cost of a solution where the physical hardware is only one component. If you make your decision solely on the price of hardware, you might be doing a great disservice to yourself, your schools, your project team and your students. Some of the most important value differentiators will have to do with service, support, training and professional development. A quality solution provider will not only sell you the hardware, they will pro-actively support it. They will work with you consultatively and open an ongoing dialogue with you and your staff to assist in reaching your goals. Many providers have dedicated Education Consultants on staff that are familiar with state and federal education goals. This further enables you and your team to map education goals to the use of education technology tools in the classroom.

7. Thinking your planned solution is “good enough” – This might apply when buying a car or home appliance when added cost is usually associated with “bells and whistles”, but a classroom is not about getting to point A to point B or how white your shirts can be. True adoption of education technology in a classroom can be a tricky goal to meet and adoption must come with real results like increased test scores and graduation rates. If you are heavily constrained by budget, I recommend creating the best solution possible and starting with one room. If you don’t have the funds to complete an entire room, do it in well thought out phases with guidance from your education technology integrator (remember that thing about added value? – A perfect example). If you continue this process over time, you will end up with quality learning environments in every room vs. a watered down “solution” in each room that yields no actual results.

8. Thinking you are “done” – This relates directly to #7 above. It’s important to have a mindset of constant improvement. New and improved technology is constantly being developed. This can offer great opportunity, but it can also create confusion. In the ‘one room at a time’ scenario above, it would be of added benefit to re-evaluate your plan as time progresses. This will give you the ability to fine tune your solution over time. For this reason, it will be important to pay attention to feedback from end-users of technology enabled classrooms. There may be a new and improved technology available or you may have realized that you “over-bought” in a particular area and can then adjust your plan accordingly. Ideally, there will be no changes at all and simply a confirmation that your plans and system designs are sound. If you reach the end of an implementation and everything has gone according to plan, you are still far from being done. As with all technology, there are the elements of hardware maintenance, support and an ongoing training/professional development plan. If you have specific plans in place in all of these areas and actively manage to your goals, your chances for success will be greatly improved.

 

Using Instructional Technology

In the past few years of research on instructional technology has resulted in a clearer vision of how technology can affect teaching and learning. Today, almost every school in the United States of America uses technology as a part of teaching and learning and with each state having its own customized technology program. In most of those schools, teachers use the technology through integrated activities that are a part of their daily school curriculum. For instance, instructional technology creates an active environment in which students not only inquire, but also define problems of interest to them. Such an activity would integrate the subjects of technology, social studies, math, science, and language arts with the opportunity to create student-centered activity. Most educational technology experts agree, however, that technology should be integrated, not as a separate subject or as a once-in-a-while project, but as a tool to promote and extend student learning on a daily basis.

Today, classroom teachers may lack personal experience with technology and present an additional challenge. In order to incorporate technology-based activities and projects into their curriculum, those teachers first must find the time to learn to use the tools and understand the terminology necessary for participation in projects or activities. They must have the ability to employ technology to improve student learning as well as to further personal professional development. Continue reading