Top Tech Devices to Enhance the Classroom
Jessica Oaks | On 01, Jul 2014
Any tools that enhance the classroom learning experience should be embraced – whether those tools are tried and tested or brand-new. One such tool is digital technology, which provides a unique opportunity to improve overall learning outcomes by making instructional materials and information more accessible than ever. Digital technology can put the world at the fingertips of young boys and girls, and present the world in such a way that students actually want to engage with it. Text books, for as thorough and comprehensive as they may be, often fail to achieve like results.
There are a wide range of tech devices available that can benefit the classroom. For the purposes of this article, you’ll notice that we’ve left off software programs and Internet connectivity – their inclusion is a foregone conclusion. In many ways, what is more important is the devices on which these programs are accessed. After all, a software is useless if it doesn’t find its way in front of a user – that’s what these devices allow.
When it comes to buying computers for the classroom, cost is a factor that must be taken into consideration. It’s simply a fact of life: classrooms have limited budgets and any cost savings can reap huge dividends when purchasing dozens or hundreds of a particular tool. What the Chromebook offers in spades is incredible performance and capability at an extremely competitive price. It also helps, of course, that the Chromebook is a laptop, making it portable and easy to move about a classroom. With performance to match entry-level desktop devices, a full keyboard, and a full suite of software programs, the Chromebook should be the computer of choice for schools looking to empower their students.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
As powerful as modern laptops may be, many schools are finding that their educational and instructional needs are better served by tablets – children in particular seem to find their touch-screen interfaces to be intuitive and engaging. For schools looking to bring tablets into the classroom, there is one choice in particular that bears consideration: the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. This latest version of the popular Galaxy Note tablet is more powerful, advanced, and useful than ever. Among its unique features – and the features that make it a great option for classrooms – are its stylus, which allows students to write on the tablet in a natural manner, and its split-screen functionality. It is a tablet that makes serious inroads into the world of the laptop computer, and with some carriers offering free 4G LTE coverage for schools, it’s a no-brainer for the classroom.
Nintendo Wii U
It may not seem an obvious choice for inclusion onto this list, but anyone who has ever played with a Nintendo Wii device can tell you that it’s no ordinary game console. It eschews outright performance and adult-oriented games for colorful and fun graphics, a collaborative play mode, and titles that encourage both physical activity and mental aptitude. The latest device from Nintendo, the Wii U, carries forth with this tradition, offering a number of unique game titles that are perfect for the classroom, such as ScribbleNauts Unlimited, an open-world game that allows for creativity and exploration, Big Brain Academy and National Geographic Challenge. The Wii U, perhaps more than any other tech device, has the ability to make the learning process interactive and fun.
Digital whiteboards, such as the line of SMART whiteboards, combine the features of a projector with a traditional chalkboard or whiteboard for an enhanced learning experience. Images can be projected onto the whiteboard and the teacher can interact with the whiteboard in a range of novel and compelling ways, all of which can help him or her make the teaching experience more engaging for the student. SMART whiteboards also allow for the teacher’s notes – in effect, the day’s lesson – to be saved with a simple touch of a finger. No longer does the day’s notes have to be permanently forgotten once erased from the chalkboard.