It is important for both new and veteran teacher
s to understand the changing technology in classrooms today. New technology is not only enabling students to succeed in the classroom, but it's allowing teacher
s to reach students from all over the world in a virtual space that redefines language.
Many schools in the united states
during the mid 1980's were starting to see the use of computers in the classroom, but only in limited application
. Still, this was a stepping stone for a new set of learning aids that would soon develop through the decades into more and more innovative ways to instruct and educate people even outside of the classroom. Towards the end of the 1980's, laptops and PCs with multi-media capabilities are created that allow for animation and sound to be displayed with computer-based tutorials. As this technology started to grow into educational software and advanced testing systems, the internet also start to integrate with education, allowing teacher
s and students to communicate on assignments and test results in their own households. Already as the 1990's were ending, classes were becoming more compact and creative.
Around 2003, online schools started to become more popular, allowing teacher
s to use their own personal computer with an internet connection, microphone and webcam to connect to students online. Students may now gather resources and lectures from teacher
s who can give them feedback and corrections in an annotated or audible form, and may even develop their own blog or online rapport with their classmates and other learners of a language. These technological advances have helped self-motivated students to benefit from all-access public domain which can replay previous lessons and offer
more learning materials, but what about the classroom environment itself?
Interactive White Boards
Following from 2003, schools in the UK and Asia started to see an increase in the application
of Smart board technology. Smart boards are essentially large computer screens that resemble whiteboards and can be interacted like one with a pen that allows the teacher
to perform the same actions that PCs can. Educational resource developers quickly found a use for this technology and since then many advances have been made in the way the students may learn. In younger classes that focus on basic cursive or printed writing, students may write on the smart board while an animation of the stroke order plays for them to imitate actively. While the tangible use of objects and subjects is still greatly important in the class, this technology patches many problems with traditional classroom environments, combining a computer, whiteboard and OHP into one unit. All while standing in one spot, the teacher
may put on a movie, audio or video file, large texts, games, websites with resources, and any other tools such as board games and dictionaries to be accessible in seconds.
While this technology has been difficult for traditional styles to adapt to, the rewards for being innovative and efficient in the classroom are even greater thanks to the bridges being built by technology alone. Of course, the right use of such resources is a fundamental skill to any teacher
, but it is clear that the invention of these tools will help teacher
s become better learners themselves.