As technology and education become more and more entwined, schools across the country are using many varying types of hardware to improve their students’ learning experiences. With funding, college acceptance, and the job market becoming even more competitive, staying up-to-date with technology trends in schools is a must.
With such a wide range of different types of hardware and so many different companies that make them, it can become hard to choose. However, if you look at the most popular choices and the facts about what has made them so popular, you can choose what technology will serve your students best.
Most Popular Hardware and What It Does
The iPad was one of the earliest and most popular hardware choices for classrooms, and for good reason. The highly intuitive interface makes it easy for people from a variety of tech backgrounds to use, and there are hundreds of educational apps that make learning more accessible and interactive. Furthermore, iPads can eliminate the need for textbooks, promoting sustainability and lessening the strain on students’ backs from carrying around pounds of books!
Interactive whiteboards are becoming increasingly popular in both K-12 and college classroom environments. Combining, as the SMART board website states, “the simplicity of a whiteboard with the power of a computer,” teachers can use these boards to show pictures, text and to write or draw charts and equations on the spot. Students can also use a remote control to select answers to multiple-choice questions, with an automatically generated bar graph showing how many students picked which answer.
Chromebooks are in some ways an alternative to iPads, but in other a supplement to them. The advantage of Chromebooks, of course, is that they can be used alongside Google Apps for Education, which we wrote about here. Also, unlike the iPad, it comes with a keyboard (keyboards can be attached to iPads, but are usually used without). The Chromebook keyboard, also, is an advantage for older students needing to write longer papers and presentations.
Challenges Schools Face Incorporating Hardware
Bringing a new type of hardware into a school environment brings plenty of challenges. One of the biggest problems educators may face is ensuring that the devices are properly set up and ready for students and teachers. This involves not only networking the devices, but also ensuring proper firewalls and other security measures are in place.
The hardware options discussed here can be hugely beneficial to students’ learning and testing results, but only if used properly. If teachers are not instructed on the best usage of these technologies, it might actually inhibit students’ learning, not to mention frustrate the teachers. Make sure teachers are adequately trained and given plenty of examples of lesson plans that use whiteboards, iPads and other hardware in ways that make the best use of the hardware. New tools always require new training.
A New Frontier
Technology is changing the face of education, and the hardware used in classrooms shapes the unique way that students will benefit. Whether it’s a tablet, a netbook or an interactive whiteboard, the key is to make sure that both teachers and students are getting the most out of the experience. Be sure to look for local IT companies with good reviews to help you with all your security and installation needs.
submitted by http://blog.rddata.com/