Monday, May 11, 2009

May 11, 2009 - Want to transform your classroom?

eSchool News has an interesting article about six technologies that will transform schools within the next 5 years with the focus on elementary and secondary schools.

Within the next year -Collaborative Environments and Online Communication tools which foster teamwork and critical thinking skills. Challenge for teachers - assessing these types of skills in real time.
  • Web-based tools for collaborative work like Voicethread
  • Multiplayer gaming environments - Xbox anyone?
  • Social networking platforms like Ning
  • Virtual worlds like Teen Second Life
  • Online communication tools like Skype, Twitter, and Edmodo

2-3 years - Mobile Devices and Cloud Computing

Mobile Devices
  • Mobile devices like smart phones that can record audio/video, store information and access the web - much like a laptop. We will be using iPod Touch in a pilot program with PreK and 5th and 8th grade next year. $200 is an inexpensive computer...not appropriate in all situations, and not something that we want students to use all the time but...
  • Mobile gaming
  • Simulations
  • Research
  • Field work
Cloud Computing - Networked computers distributing processing power and applications can provide students and teachers with free or low $$ alternatives through a web browser.
  • Flickr
  • Google Docs
  • YouTube

4-5 years - Smart Objects and the Personal Web

Smart Objects

Smart objects are "any physical object that includes a unique identifer than can track information about that object"

  • I didn't know that was what I was using, but my public library has an automated system that allows me to quickly check out books by myself-all I have to do is lay the book down on a square and a device "reads" the title, author, etc. and checks it out to me. Libraries are able to track their collection and check materials in and out.
  • Inexpensive enough for students and teachers to create...check out or to learn more. Kind of interesting...have to think about the applications to my life and job.

The Personal Web - Ability to recognize, configure, and manage online content rather than viewing it

  • I've recently began using Netvibes to do this. It allows me to subscribe to content and supports my academic/professional activities. PageFlakes is another form that this takes.

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