Classroom tech trends to watch

Schools focus on new ways to educate

(Photo courtesy of MetroCreative)

Technology continues to evolve. With computers, tablets and smartphones, people of all ages are immersed in technology.

According to the Pew Research Center, 56 percent of teens between the ages of 13 and 17 go online several times a day. Teens are not just relying on technology at home or while on the go, but they’re also doing so in school.

Schools are now recognizing how influential mobile technologies are on students and how they can shape teaching and thinking. As a result, technology is now a major component in the classroom, where educators are implementing technology to help students succeed not only in school but also after they graduate. The following are some of the growing tech trends inside of the classroom.

≤ Internet connectivity: Students most often connect to the Internet using their mobile devices. Many schools have replaced their older computer labs with tablets and other mobile devices. Students can simply sit at their individual desks and connect directly to the Internet. Once online, students can access shared drives where assignments can be found or homework can be posted.

≤ Tech homework: Rather than homework in the traditional sense, students are being asked to research information online and then submit assignments directly through an application like Google Classroom. Homework also may involve spending time on educational apps that help reinforce lessons learned in school that day.

≤ Personal mobile device access: In addition to tablets, students also have access to Internet-connected smartphones, which may even be their own phones when personal phones are allowed in the classroom. In a 2013 Speak Up Survey from Project Tomorrow, 89 percent of high school students have access to Internet-connected smartphones, while 50 percent of students in grades three through five have access to the same type of devices. Those numbers only continue to grow.

≤ Classroom smartboards: Described as large tablets, smartboards have all but replaced chalkboards and even dry erase boards in many schools. Teachers can present lessons through the display, and students interact with the board to answer questions.

Technology use in the classroom continues to grow as students and educators grow more accustomed to using technology in all aspects of life.