New gadgets and the improvement of old ones continue to happen at break-neck speed around the world.
As 2017 starts to pass us by, technology that was new last year is already becoming out of date – just look to smartphones for proof – everyone wants the latest iPhone or Samsung which come with a better camera, dual pixel technology, expandable memory and so on.
There are cutting edge teachers out there who want to stay up to date, and know the latest trends and innovations, so their students are learning with the best technology available.
Many recent trends are expected to continue in 2017 and find their way into the classrooms.
The number of devices and uses for tech in the classroom has been steadily increasing over the years, with most teachers agreeing its use is generally positive – if managed correctly and responsibly and with net-safe guidelines in place.
Popular technology used in classrooms has been small laptops and tablets – and tablet apps can allow for fun learning in young students and has found many new uses with disabled students.
Chromebooks have become the go-to classroom device due to their low cost, various hardware options, and simple Web-based operating systems.
These small laptops also provide educators with control over student’s activities and can be pre-programmed with education apps.
Students are able to use Chromebooks for everything from group collaboration on spreadsheets and documents to research opportunities. Chromebooks can be especially useful in schools where students have limited access to devices and Internet at home.
Meanwhile, schools with the resources, and tech-savvy teachers, have also been adopting SMART Boards in the classroom in recent years.
These computer-connected white boards use a projector and specialty pen sensors to allow writing on computer programs such as AutoCAD or PowerPoint as well as recording all written notes.
Teachers can explain a concept on the board during class then save the lesson plan so that students can watch it again later at home.
Some educators have been experimenting with virtual or augmented reality and students can use high-end tech, such as Google Glass or low-end Google Cardboard VR headgear, to enter to three-dimensional locations.
In 2017, the adoption of more classroom devices and teaching aids, like the SMARTboard look set to continue as costs come down for schools to install these resources.
Software and apps will continue to be developed with the aim to enhance learning.
Cloud computing allows for easier sharing of data between peers as well as students and teachers and students can upload an assignment to specific software, online apps, or free software such as Google Drive for simpler review and grading by teachers.
Another major technology that could soon be in more schools is 3D printing.
These computer-programmable devices can work with a wide variety of disciplines from computer science and math to traditional vocational subjects.
This technology is constantly evolving and may be cost-prohibitive at the time being, but its educational limitations may be close to limitless.
Wearable technology may also have a place in the classroom in the near future.
We will have to wait and see what the techies have instore for us next – and no doubt it will be before us in no time at all.