The proliferation of mobile devices has brought in an influx of new applications and new education technology tools into the classroom.
And with most new mobile devices the best selling factor is exactly that – they’re new! It’s hard to not get caught up with shiny new things, especially when they're like iPads or Chromebooks.
However, when finding the right classroom technology to introduce to your students, the tools you pick should give your students real value, not just something new to distract them.
Sometimes we get focused on the fact that it's new so much that we compromise the very reason behind why we're trying to use it in the first place.
So you have to ask yourself, will these new tools benefit you and your students, or will they be a distraction and a new source of frustration?
Finding the right classroom technology tools for your students is a matter of asking the right questions.
Here are some targeted questions to help you decide which classroom technology tools are right for your students to succeed.
1. It's not about the individual
One thing that will differentiate the right classroom technology from a not so good choice is if it is actually intended for the entire classroom and not for the individual. Finding options like this will keep the entire classroom in mind and will benefit the collective group rather than just one student.
When introducing new technology in the classroom, consider if it can easily be deployed in your particular environment and if it will add value to you and your students as a whole.
The main goal should be enhancing the classroom experience for everyone.
2. Is it easy to use?
Integrating it into your everyday lessons means you want the technology to prop up the lessons and not the other way around. If it takes more time for your students to figure out how to use it then the new tech helping them to learn the material, it's probably not the right fit.
The technology should be foolproof. Your students should be able to efficiently navigate it and easily understand how to use it.
If you have to take time everyday to refresh your students’ knowledge on how to use the technology then it will detract from the lessons and will probably just make your job even harder.
Suggested Reading: "3 Brilliant Examples of How Beacon Technology is Transforming Mobility"
3. Will it provide a way to do something new?
There is a lot of awesome technology out there from you to choose, all of which have the potential to contribute to the learning experience, but you should ask yourself, will it allow my students to do something they weren’t able to do before?
Before you know whether it is a good idea to introduce a new tool or not, you should consider if it offers something new, something really valuable.
For example, Google Earth can help your students see parts of the world that they wouldn’t normally get to see in everyday life, some even in their entire lifetimes.
Or perhaps taking your lessons to the cloud, this will provide your students resources that they can access anytime.
Both are examples of technologies that present new opportunities for learning, but knowing which one is best depends on your specific goals.
4. Can your devices and wireless network support it?
Another thing to consider is compatibility. If you’re students each have an iPad in the classroom, then you wouldn’t choose an app that only works on Android, right?
There are tons of new education technologies out there, be sure to pick the ones that are compatible with your current devices and ones that your school’s wireless network can support.
This will make your rollout seamless and will ensure that the school doesn't have to resolve any unnecessary expenses.
There's nothing worse than implementing new technology into the classroom and then it not working properly because your wireless infrastructure ins't robust enough or set-up properly to effectively support it.
Suggested Reading: "How to Effectively Plan Your Next Wireless Network Design"
New classroom technologies are being developed everyday. With so many choices available finding the right tools for your students isn't as easy as it seems.
To do it right takes planning and proper analysis of not only the new education technology itself but also the wifi network it will be running on. Remember it's always better to plan twice and implement once.
At SecurEdge we've been helping schools of all sizes and types to deliver robust, secure classroom technology solutions for their students. If you have any questions about updating your wireless network to implement new technology into the classroom, simply contact us here, we’d be glad to help.