The Future of Technology in Education

The Future of Technology in Education
Gone are the days when our primary resource was the blackboard. Join the digital revolution. #CloudNotChalk #ICTEDU

What will the future hold for education and teaching? We are now at a point where students could attend a lecturer virtually via a VR (Virtual Reality) head set such as Oculus Rift, without ever attending classes physically. They could also use VR technology to “be” at the battle of Waterloo, rather than just read about it. This has the potential to completely change education.

As great as this sounds, something would be lost along the way. There is no substitute for face-to-face interaction, or the experience of being in a physical location with other people. Digital technology, no matter how good, cannot really substitute for hands on experience. I think teachers will always need to interact in a physical environment with students in some capacity. After all, science fiction has often postulated the idea of eating your meals in a pill form, but I cannot imagine anyone packing away their dinner plates any time soon.

By looking at the bigger picture of what technology can bring to our classrooms, and upgrading our thinking, we can become more open to embracing the new and exciting technologies that are widely available to us.

The call for presenters for this year’s ICT in Education conference is now open at bit.ly/icteducall.

For more on how ICT can help to improve the way you teach, or to join the digital revolution, come along to this year’s ICTEDU (ICT in Education) on Saturday the 23rd of April in Limerick Institute of Technology, Thurles. For more information see http://lit.ie/ictedu.

Written by Kevin Dwane, Digital Animation Student in Limerick Institute of Technology, Clonmel, helping to promote #ICTEDU during syndicated online conversations, along with his team Laura Pigott, Sean Jordan and Marta Casalini.

The Virtual Classroom

Learning with Technology
Gone are the days when our primary resource was the blackboard. Join the digital revolution. #CloudNotChalk #ICTEDU

Learning today is a far cry from the picture twenty years ago. Lecturers consisted of hand written notes on a blackboard, whiteboard or overheads. Students looked forward frantically transcribing the lecturer in illegible handwriting – perfect study material for adding to exam stress two days before the exam. With the addition of online notes, students can now better decipher these notes by combining their own with the lecturers, to produce a higher level of learning.

Communication between students and teachers was also far more formal in the past. The way in which teachers engage with students project work has also changed. Assignments no longer need to be physically delivered to teacher’s pigeonholes. Student’s located dozens of kilometres from the college can upload their assignments remotely 24/7. Teachers can see exactly when assignments were uploaded. They will know if it was submitted before or after the deadline. Students can include much more information surrounding their projects with their submission, plus a multitude of online resources to back up their work. This gives teachers a much clearer picture of the student’s thought process and work method.

The delivery of information is not the only thing that has changed about education. Digital technology has completely altered the student/teacher relationship. Students can now access teachers as never before, thanks to email and social media, which has its pros and cons. It enables teachers to answer queries and give feedback on the current state of assignments, but it can also blur the lines of appropriate student teacher interaction. As a consequence, teachers need to be much more aware of protocol when engaging with students, particularly during out of school hours, and so appropriate codes of conduct should be put in place to ensure the rules of engagement are clear.

The call for presenters for this year’s ICT in Education conference is now open at bit.ly/icteducall.

For more on how ICT can help to improve the way you teach, or to join the digital revolution, come along to this year’s ICTEDU (ICT in Education) on Saturday the 23rd of April in Limerick Institute of Technology, Thurles. For more information see http://lit.ie/ictedu.

Written by Kevin Dwane, Digital Animation Student in Limerick Institute of Technology, Clonmel, helping to promote #ICTEDU during syndicated online conversations, along with his team Laura Pigott, Sean Jordan and Marta Casalini.

From clouds of chalk dust, to cloud computing

Technology in the Classroom
Gone are the days when our primary resource was the blackboard. Join the digital revolution. #CloudNotChalk #ICTEDU

It was not too long ago that a teacher’s primary resources were the book and the blackboard. Students would sit while teachers imparted wisdom, scribed in chalk onto the all-conquering slate. When the board was full, all that information would disappear into a cloud of chalk dust, which benefited everyone’s lungs. If you were really lucky you might watch a video that was often older than the teacher who was letting you take a break from your normal studies. Those days are long gone. Learning has entered the digital revolution. Tablets, desktops and laptops have replaced books. Digital projectors have replaced black boards. The World Wide Web is the new school library. Everyone can now breathe easier (pun intended) that the internet is speeding through the school corridors.

The digital revolution is changing the way we live and learn in the 21st century as much as the industrial revolution changed lives in the 18th century. Oceans of information have flooded the classroom thanks to the internet. However, is all this unfettered unlimited information a good thing? In the past, teachers only had access to books and journals through the library or by mail order. It was cumbersome and slow, but students had time to digest what they learned.

Now teachers can project pre-prepared lessons onto a white board, sprinkled with the latest video links. This allows for a much more immersive and interactive experience for all concerned. Pressure is taken off the teachers, as they can generate materials that can be reused again and again. It also gives students a much more enriching experience. Educators can now focus more on educating, than writing the lesson content on the board during class time. Students in turn can access the lecturer’s notes and video links online at a time of their choosing. They need no longer concern themselves with excessive note taking while simultaneously trying to listen during lectures, as they are now free to take shorter notes, or even doodle the content that is being explained to them, to hep accommodate a diverse range of learning styles across the student population. This takes the stress off both students and teachers.

The call for presenters for this year’s ICT in Education conference is now open at bit.ly/icteducall.

For more on how ICT can help to improve the way you teach, come along to this year’s ICTEDU (ICT in Education) on Saturday the 23rd of April in Limerick Institute of Technology, Thurles. For more information see http://lit.ie/ictedu.

Written by Kevin Dwane, Digital Animation Student in Limerick Institute of Technology, Clonmel, helping to promote #ICTEDU during syndicated online conversations, along with his team Laura Pigott, Sean Jordan and Marta Casalini.