The Role of Small Tech in the Classroom

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You’re almost certainly already aware of how much technology is changing classrooms in the modern era. The large tech companies in the world are coming out with products that are very helpful for education. However, it isn’t only the biggest players in the tech world that are having an impact on education. Read on to explore the role of small tech in the classroom so that you can come to appreciate what these smaller companies are doing for education. 

Small Tech Companies Provide Innovative Products

If you ask most educators who are familiar with small tech companies and their products, they will likely tell you that the smaller companies are very innovative. They must be for them to be able to compete in the education sector with the biggest companies in the world. You’ll often see these smaller tech companies coming up with very unique ideas that wind up being useful for learning. Sometimes this involves digital textbooks and other times it might involve some new type of educational software or tool. 

You might even find that small tech companies are a bit ahead of the game when it comes to EdTech. They come up with these fantastic ideas and they wind up directly helping out various education systems. The larger companies will sometimes catch wind of this and decide to try to purchase the smaller companies. Some small tech companies remain the same, though, and they continue to provide great educational tools to educators in their own ways. 

Working with Small Tech Companies Is Nice

It’s also just a lot nicer to be able to work with small tech companies when compared to trying to work with the giant corporations. You see, smaller tech companies are significantly different than their larger counterparts. A small company is less likely to be robotic about things and they’re actually going to take the time to speak to you about your needs. If you need assistance with your products or if you have questions about an order, then you’ll often get a personal touch. 

This isn’t always the case when you’re trying to work with large corporations. If you care about customer service and you want to work together for the good of the students, then small tech companies certainly have a role to play. This doesn’t mean that tech from larger companies won’t have a place in your classroom, though. It’s simply nice to have innovative tech from companies that are truly passionate about what they’re doing. 

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Why Online Learning Needs to Be a Part of Teacher Prep

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Teacher prep doesn’t always include being taught about online learning. This is problematic since many people in the education industry recognize that online learning is going to be a huge part of the future of education. Currently, online learning is already important and it’s becoming more prevalent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep reading to learn why online learning needs to be a part of teacher prep. 

Teachers Need to Know How to Teach in an Online Environment

One of the biggest challenges for a teacher who is going from a traditional teaching environment to an online one is the lack of familiarity. Since most teachers aren’t being taught about online learning as a part of teacher prep, they wind up not understanding the differences between teaching online and teaching in person. Some teaching skills will translate very well to teaching online, but you might not always be able to utilize the same lesson plans. If you want students to be engaged, then you need to learn about keeping students engaged in an online learning environment. 

Teacher prep that focuses on online learning as part of the process will be the most useful in the modern era. Experts agree that education is moving toward online learning at a rapid pace. If programs can start to adopt better online learning practices in their teacher prep processes, then things will improve. It’s better for the teachers and it’s certainly beneficial for their future students. 

Online Learning and Blended Learning Are in Demand

There is a much bigger demand for online learning experiences and blended learning now. You should know that online learning is becoming more common even in areas that once balked at it. Also, blended learning is seen as a great option for students and is being implemented already in many universities. This is a type of learning that involves some online content, some in-person content, and giving students more choices over how they learn as well as where they learn. 

If teachers aren’t informed about these new in-demand learning experiences, then how are they going to teach effectively? The days of teaching entirely from brick and mortar schools might be in the past. As time marches on, online elements will only become more commonplace in schools around the globe. It’s time for teachers to start learning about how to teach effectively in an online environment. 

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Voice Tech in Education

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You are probably familiar with voice tech because of how popular it has become for consumers. Many people use voice tech to talk to virtual assistants and navigate menus. Did you know that voice tech is now being utilized for educational purposes, though? Read on to learn a bit more about voice tech in education. 

Gaining Information in an Engaging Way

Proponents of voice tech say that it’s useful in the education sector because it allows students to gain information in engaging ways. Students are able to ask questions and get answers using voice technology. It’s easy to understand and kids will be able to use it without having problems. It might even be better than using something like a tablet or laptop since those devices have the potential to distract students from the desired learning experience. 

There are some concerns about voice technology being used in the classroom, however. For example, some are worried about these voice tech devices collecting information about kids and their classroom experiences. The information being collected might seemingly be harmless since it could be used for educational purposes, but it also has the potential to breach certain privacy concerns. This is why utilizing voice tech in the classroom needs to be done in the right way. 

Set Boundaries and Know the Limitations

First, you need to know that voice tech does have limitations and that it isn’t going to replace a student-teacher relationship. It’s simply a tool that can assist with education when necessary. Teachers will also need to set limits on the voice tech to ensure that things stay on track or else students would be able to ask for things that they shouldn’t be asking about. As long as you approach using voice tech with common sense, it’s going to be helpful for the students. 

Never Share Any Personal Information

Students utilizing voice tech need to be informed that they should not share personal information with voice tech devices. This means that questions shouldn’t include things such as names, addresses, ages, and other bits of personal info. The voice tech should only be used to answer educational questions. As long as you use things in this scope, there is very little to worry about. 

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School Bus Tech Trends

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School buses aren’t the same as they used to be decades ago. In modern times, school buses make use of technology in exciting and useful ways that help both drivers and students. Examine the following school bus tech trends so that you can learn more about it. It’ll help you to realize just how much more sophisticated the school bus experience is for kids these days. 

Radio Communication

It’s imperative for school bus drivers to be able to stay in communication. Radio communication has evolved on school buses over the years and most drivers utilize push-to-talk radios now. It makes it easy for school bus operators to communicate with each other and routing supervisors are always able to get in touch with any necessary information. This helps to improve the overall safety of the school buses to ensure that the kids get to school on time. 

Cameras with Data Offload

Cameras are also commonly found on school buses and you might not think that this is anything new. However, it is now possible to automatically offload the data from the school bus cameras instead of having to manually eject an SD card. This saves a significant amount of time and allows everything to just work seamlessly. This technology generally utilizes LTE data and the cloud to make this possible. 

GPS

GPS is now becoming more commonplace on school buses and this makes it easier for drivers overall. School bus drivers can very easily get where they’re going by using GPS data and it also helps to track the school buses. Some enhanced types of GPS systems can even allow parents to see where their kids are if they want to track a school bus when it’s going on some type of school trip. GPS technology will only become more prevalent in school buses moving forward. 

Wi-Fi

Did you know that many school buses now have Wi-Fi that kids are able to use? This is fantastic for kids who want to be able to study on the bus or finish up homework. Not every school bus has Wi-Fi in America, but it is becoming more common and is a tech trend to be aware of. Having Wi-Fi on school buses will be a game-changer for kids who don’t have access to Wi-Fi at home and it’s something that many school districts should consider.

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What Is Blended Learning?

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Have you heard people talking about blended learning lately? Many people are starting to discuss blended learning as an important strategy for providing education to students around the world. This is already being implemented in many classrooms and schools, but it’s not something that everyone is aware of. Read on to learn more about blended learning and what it has to offer. 

Understanding Blended Learning

Blended learning is similar to online learning, but it can also involve some traditional classroom experiences. Many colleges offer blended learning courses that involve parts of the class happening online and other parts happening in the classroom. There are also blended learning courses that happen almost entirely online. One of the most important things that sets blended learning apart from traditional online education is that students are given an element of control. 

The blended learning approach involves students having a degree of control over when they take tests, the pace at which they complete things, and sometimes where they complete certain things. This concept of putting control into the students’ hands makes it a lot different from traditional online courses. Normal online courses will have the same strict deadlines that you would expect courses to have and students are generally required to log in to attend a class at the same time. Blended learning lets students learn in ways that they’re comfortable with and that suit their current situations. 

Why This Approach Works Well

This approach to education works so well because it allows for more personalization. Being able to personalize education experiences to a certain degree gives students a better chance of success. They’re able to work around certain things in their lives so that they can get the most out of the course. It also helps students because they’re able to decide whether learning in a classroom or doing certain things entirely online will be better. 

Experts think that blended learning is going to become more commonplace in the education system moving forward. It’s a good model that takes what works from online learning and gives students more options to consider. Students who use blended learning to its full potential can truly get a great educational experience. Time will tell just how popular blended learning will continue to be, but the future of this concept looks very bright. 

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