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?
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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, Mooganic. 2nd image courtesy of Flickr, Esparta. 3rd image via Flickr, RDECOM