The Modern Classroom – A Changing Environment

While Irish schools desperately try to catch up with the digital age and providing basic internet access and enough computers for their pupils, the world of education has moved forward in new, innovative ways with technological advancements which will change the modern classroom into a learning environment comparable to any SciFi movie. Check out some of the most amazing up and coming technologies which could potentially change education for the better.

Augmented Reality (AR). is changing educational content and making it much more exciting and engaging for students.  Google Sky Map, a free app which works on Android phones 1.6 and higher, is a prime example of how AR is revolutionising the learning experience.  Simply point the smartphone at the sky to receive automatic identification of stars, planets and constellations on your camera screen. FETCH! Lunch Rush is an amazing little app which helps to bridge the gap between the paper and reality when it comes to maths questions.  It successfully teaches math skills to primary school students through the use of visualization. french-teaching-strategies3Designed in 3-D, the app uses your smartphone camera to place graphics on your camera over real-world surroundings. It then teaches children to add and subtract using real-world scenarios which allow for visualization while solving math problems. There are many augmented reality apps available to make learning more fun.

The 3D printer is emerging as a vital piece of technology in the modern school with decreasing price points, a 3D Printer should be a feature of all modern classrooms going forward. In July this year, Gabriel Fillipini a sixteen year old junior student at Park View High, Virginia successfully used the school’s 3D printer to provide his 6 year old brother with a prosthetic hand. Woodworking classes will never be the same again. Budding engineers can effectively test out engineering designs and perfect them prior to making a prototype. When used in conjunction with CAD (computer-aided design) modelling software, students can experiment freely and at a fraction of the cost

Cloud computing will assist in the drive towards a paperless classroom and finally provide a solution to those heavy school bags.  Students can log on to access homework information, school tutorials and all timetable information. China has already installed more than 6,000 cloud computing terminals on 118 schools. This means that learning is 6benefitsofcloudcomputingsupported at all times, even when the library is closed, it is still available online. On the downside, this will stop dogs eating homework and negate the ‘snow day’ excuses for avoiding school and work. Of course, the internet speed and availability would need to support this advancement.

Whiteboards are now the norm in most classroom settings as blackboards become obsolete. The next generation of ‘blackboards/projectors’ comes in the form of a giant touchscreen interactive LCD screen, which would be capable of detecting multiple touch inputs from many students simultaneously. Check out this video and throw your chalk in the bin forever.

The future of learning in the modern tech-savvy classroom is an exciting and intriguing prospect. The potential for collaborations with other learning centres across the world and for a more practical and enjoyable learning experiences are endless.



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