Digital Classroom - Technology tools for virtual classrooms
The increasing use of digital technology in classrooms is not without its detractors. The recent move to virtual classrooms and distance learning has put a spotlight on the incredible resource that technology tools are. They have also put a spotlight on the advantages of using technology in schools.
Digital technology tools cover a broad spectrum of apps, software and collaborative tools. They are enabling students to learn and to interact both with their teachers and their fellow students.
For many students and educators, it’s their first time participating in virtual classes. This runs the risk of technology overload for the least tech savvy amongst them. The challenge for schools is to choose and use the best classroom technology for both students and teachers.
Essentially education and classroom technology tools fall into seven broad categories.
EdTech is the backbone of any successful remote or hybrid classroom and includes the likes of Google Classroom and Apex Learning tools. It includes any assistive technology in the classroom used to promote and access education – hardware, software or other tools. There is also a trend in flexible financing education technology such as software leasing, technology leasing and object financing.
Smart Video Camera
Smart video cameras are bringing the online virtual classroom to the next level. They pivot 360° following whoever is speaking and doing a good job of replicating a real classroom situation.
Asynchronous Learning Tools
This type of learning is one that doesn’t take place in real time. This allows students to work at their own pace. They form just part of distance learning and include self-paced modules, pre-recorded lectures or online forums and discussion boards.
Synchronous Learning Tools
The opposite to asynchronous, this is learning happening in real time where students and peers or teachers interact. Examples are video conferencing platforms, live webinars, virtual classrooms and instant messaging.
Many remote classes try to replicate the classroom experience as much as possible. Video conferencing is an important way to ‘see’ each other. It is considered to be the key to a synchronized learning environment, rather than solely self-paced modules and activities. Popular platforms are Zoom, WebEx and Skype plus many more which have been designed specifically for a classroom environment.
This valuable tool allows students to buy or rent digital copies of textbooks rather than having to purchase the actual books. This can be a money-saving device and often the books are interactive and have additional course material attached to them. Many schools opt for virtual notebook leasing and laptop leasing to supply their students with the best tools possible.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
An LMS is a software application managing the administration and delivery of educational courses and materials to students. They are very user-friendly and often include digital textbooks and many other resources. Often the LMS is prescribed by the educational body.
If you are looking to invest in technology and feel that a leasing finance option can support the integrtion technological advancements in your school or college we would love to hear from you.
Talk to a Grenke advisor today.