With 2017 behind us, it’s time for teachers (both ESL and traditional) to embrace the new year and all the tech hiccups that might happen while you put your skills to good use.
Managers, school owners and governments now look at technology to play a larger role in how to educate new generations. Reinforced by a modern home environment, they want students to relate their trendy devices with being at school. Things like Smartwatches, Ipads and laptops are obvious staples that schools try to integrate.
Whether you’re looking to teach English abroad for the first time or already hold many years in the ESL field, you will find that the “traditional” class experience isn’t what it used to be. Things that may have been innovative to us in school such as computer rooms, projectors, and whiteboards are now considered basic elements of any school.
Admittedly, the fresh blood in the ESL field has the advantage of association and practice when it comes to embracing new technology schools bring into the class. However, that is no excuse why you old guns besides getting your TESOL certificate can’t master the top technologies found in today’s modern class.
Even if you’re still a gizmo skeptic, you can’t doubt traditional learning has shifted as students can now access, utilize and learn on their own. Supported by web resources, forums, and Youtube videos, maybe adapting to new trends doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.
And who knows, you may even learn a couple tricks from your students.
1. Smart Boards
Smart Boards have been around for some time. Forward-thinking schools have taken the bold step forward as they attempt to impress new students, teachers and even parents.
But how are these electronic whiteboards changing education?
Other than having more utility than your grandmother’s chalkboard (copy paste options, different colors, formatting, editing modes), Smart Boards take away traditional tools like pens, computers, USBs, erasers, projectors, rulers, pulldowns and more!
2. Creative Spaces
Getting innovative in class isn’t all about the latest gizmos and gadgets though.
Best said by Danish Kurani and Zoe Balaconis in an article for EdSurge,“Stuffing schools with high tech tools isn’t the answer to offering dynamic learning experiences”.
Even the most basic schools are looking for fresh ways to incorporate new environments to nurture creativity and production.
Infusing creative space with educational goals, architects are looking to provide schools a physical space where students can share ideas, work or just relax.
Optionally, spaces can incorporate charging points, strong wifi, and hydration. They can also host beanbags, storyboards, graphics and motivation as décor too.
3. Online Video and Image resources
Search engine imaging, mapping, and video streaming make the world a much smaller yet visual place.
Your students will probably know a thing or two already, but there are still lessons to be learned about looking up resources online. For example, modifying your web search results in include or exclude specific criteria is still an unharvested technique that students can take beyond the class.
Moreover, knowing the differences between Bing, Yahoo and Google results can further enrich group research, mapping and assignments as these platforms (and their apps) all offer something a little different.
5. Cloud IT
With internet access, all students can access a centralized location outside tedious and buggy school websites. The available cloud servers can cover any school model and size with ranging security which is why they’ve been so popular recently.
Logins and member sign up is kept simple for all students and staff. Creative notes are easily shared as well. Teachers are breathing a sigh of relief as potential missing homework and projects are now as easily submitted.
Gone are the days of “My dog ate my homework”.
New tech toys have also changed the physical classroom. It’s not uncommon for educators to take discussions to blogs, online groups, video-stream discussions and shared webinars.
These touch the homes of millions every year who would traditionally be too far or couldn’t afford to go to school.
Being an informed and responsible online citizen has never been more important too. Your ability to provide students with a safe and knowledgeable understanding of web-based learning and exploring is imperative.
Knowing safe web resources, the implications of data collection and targeted advertising is an exceptional asset in the field and a qualification schools are now looking for. After all, with great technology comes great responsibility.