The A-Z of EdTech Literacy: Letters A-B
As a teacher, it’s your job to make sure your students are technology-literate. Limiting students’ exposure to today’s digital devices in favor of sticking with more traditional media will only hurt them in the end. Students need to be able to learn and compete effectively in a world where technology is only becoming more and more important to higher education, work, and everyday life. To introduce your students to the latest technology, you need to be technology-literate. To help, I decided to create a guide that explains the A-Z of what it means to be literate in all things edtech. In this article, we will tackle A-B.
3D printing. Also known as prototyping, this technology will allow K-12 students to create tangible models for their ideas. Many fields, like manufacturing, already make use of this technology to determine the effectiveness of ideas on a smaller, printable scale. In education, this technology will bolster creativity and innovation, along with science and math applications. The STEM Academy has already partnered with Stratasys, a leading 3D printing company, to start integration of the technology in programming classes.
Alternative input devices. These tools are designed to allow students with disabilities to use computers and related technology easily. Some alternative input devices include touch screens, modified keyboards, and joysticks that direct a cursor through the use of body parts like chins, hands, or feet. Some up-and-coming technology in this area is sip-and-puff systems, developed by companies like Microsoft, to perform computer functions through the simple process of inhaling and exhaling. On-screen keyboards are another area of input technology that is providing K-12 learners with disabilities better use of computers and mobile devices for learning.
Assistive technology. Is any device or piece of equipment that helps compensate for a person’s disability.
Blended learning. Blended learning is the best of both worlds. Online courses, especially in higher education, have become extremely popular. Online courses allow students to watch lectures and complete classwork when and where it’s convenient for them. The rise of online classes has allowed adults who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend college to earn their degrees while continuing to work or raise a family. However, there are some drawbacks to online learning. Many students feel that it is impersonal. Students can feel isolated without the in-person support of classmates. It can also be difficult to get help from professors or ask questions in an online course. By combining online and in-person elements, educators today are creating the best learning environment possible through blended learning.
Blog. Is the name given to a type of website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.
BYOD. As a kind of movement within education, BYOD has already gained momentum in many districts across the country but should continue towards mass adoption within this calendar year. Places like Chesapeake Public Schools are already allowed to use privately owned electronic devices to access the wireless network on the school system’s filtered Internet. In Chesapeake, as in the other public and private schools where BYOD policies exist, students must sign a responsibility form that says they will only use the mobile device for academic enrichment while on school property. Students who bring their own devices into the classroom eliminate the initial costs and are also already comfortable with the technology. The downside is that not all students can readily afford such technology. Many must look for schools to develop technology financial assistance programs for families to help offset the full cost and maintenance of school-owned devices.
Well, that’s it for A-B. Did we miss any?