What Does #EdTech Mean to Students?

Laura is a writer and recent Cambridge graduate with particular experience in the area of education technology. She has worked with a variety of different education companies and is active in the 'edtech' community on Twitter, so she prides herself on always being in touch with the latest developments and exciting new tools in e-learning.

For teachers, education technology means connections, tools, resources, ideas and limitless ways to bring learning alive. But what different things does it mean to different students?
EdTech Connectivity

Connectivity

Education technology allows students to connect with one another in a way that was simply never dreamed of before. Tools like Skype Classroom and initiatives like the incredible Global Nomads Group videoconferencing project enable pupils from countries around the world to share information, ideas and culture in an incredibly enriching learning experience.

Access to education

The development of free online distance learning programs by some of the most highly respected academic institutions in the world has suddenly enabled access to outstanding education for anybody with internet use. A wealth of new students have been connected to some of the best teachers of their generation thanks to fabulous, pioneering programs like MIT’s Open Courseware.

Self-expression

For some young people who feel more at home online than in the classroom in this digital age, the advance of education technology has provided fantastic opportunities to express themselves in unique and personal ways. Take, for example, the opportunity to create incredible art-inspired stories and share them with others online using a great resource like Storybird.

MuxtapeThe new ‘old-school’

Fantastic sites like Muxtape reinvent traditional classics, allowing kids to create their own digital mix-tapes and share them with their friends.

Accessibility

The advent of education technology has created brilliant ways to make all subjects accessible to all students in new and innovative ways. A fantastic resource like Zoey’s Room, which introduces middle school-aged girls to the creative joys of science, technology, engineering and maths, is a great example of how #edtech can open up completely new and refreshing ways of approaching traditional subjects.

Teamwork

Some of the very best #edtech innovations are those that find incredibly imaginative ways of bringing kids together – none more effectively than the great Think Quest competition. It challenges groups of students of different ages to get together and design a website according to strict criteria; using technology to solve problems and competing alongside many other groups.
Discovery

Discovery

Brilliant interactive sites like Tate Kids, the wonderful and exciting website of the Tate Modern Museum, combines discovery with creativity; not only inspiring students to explore the work and world of famous artists but also to start their own gallery, uploading their artwork and exploring the work of their peers.

Taking Charge

One of the greatest joys of education technology is its ability to let students truly take the reins. Sites like Built By Kids encourage enormous creativity and involvement on the part of young people, while other websites like Students Taking Charge enable pupils to harness the power of the internet to start campaigns, mobilise youth and get inspired by other students’ success!

 

What does #edtech mean to your students? What are their favourite online resources? Let us know below!

 

Feature image courtesy of Flickr, flickingerbrad.1st image courtesy of Flickr, Mooganic2nd image courtesy of Flickr, Esparta3rd image via Flickr, RDECOM
  • http://twitter.com/umbrarchist umbrarchist

    What if it means greater opportunity to learn without teachers but that is not how educators want to implement it?

    • FractusLearning

      Interesting take… I don’t see the evolving education landscape removing teachers at all though. What I do see is a radical change in the role and skill-set required of teachers. There is less need for teachers to lecture, present and create learning content. These resources are becoming more freely available. A teacher’s role is now growing to help students find the best information and inspire them want to learn, understand and apply the knowledge. What are your thought?
      Nick

      • http://twitter.com/umbrarchist umbrarchist

        We could have created a National Recommended Reading List decades ago, long before we had cheap computers. The problem is still similar now, “What to load on the computers?” I found this but I don’t hear the people blathering about STEM education saying anything about it.

        https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.everycircuit&hl=en

        I could have been told about this in high school.

        The Tyranny of Words (1938) by Stuart Chase
        http://www.anxietyculture.com/tyranny.htm
        http://archive.org/details/tyrannyofwords00chas
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9H1StY1nU8

        I didn’t encounter it until 2010. Centuries ago most people could not read. Now you keep people ignorant and confused by bombarding them with CONTENT. Empty content is just like empty calories. Yeah, read Catcher in the Rye or Hunger Games. How about:

        Voyage from Yesteryear by James P. Hogan

        But now anywhere for 100 to 90,000 books can fit on a single microSD. But the Google Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD do not have microSD slots. Have to by a Chinese Android tablet for $120.