Technology Assignment Christmas

At present, educational sector holds the highest priority on our list. People are keen to gather knowledge from best institute or college to meet their academic requirements. But the world is developing at a rapid pace and the central reason for this advancement is the breakthrough of technology. Yes, every new invention has helped to solve a number of challenging problem in this modern world. Therefore, this power of improvements and innovations have made our life better.

Years of hard work and creative use of brain has resulted in a better output than anytime every around the globe. We have successfully designed a number of technological instruments that ease our task and serve as a better medium for a number of activities. We have employed technology in every step of our life that starts right from the beginning of the day and continues until the end of our routine.

Though most of the areas are improvised with technologies, right now the preference must be given to the educational sector. With increasing population and busy lifestyle, it is tough for teachers and learners to follow the traditional method of learning. Moreover, the academic curriculum is getting elaborated and tougher. So, learner’s desire of better medium for learning that helps them obtain information quickly in short duration of time. Yes, there are some countries where different technological mediums have been employed to make learning effective and easier. But still, more of the improvisation is required in the upcoming days. So, here is a list of 6 technologies that is expected to bring advantageous change in education in near future.

1. Cloud computing:

Cloud computing denotes “Internet-Based Computing”. Presently, cloud computing is used by a number of big organizations and firms where members within or outside the organization share information’s, applications and data’s. This method neither requires programs nor software. Moreover, a good internet connection is important to avail the facility of cloud computing. The most beneficial feature of cloud computing is that data’s and information’s can be stored remotely in servers across the world. This is the main reason that efficiency of a business or any IT firm has increased resulting in better output. Time-saving, no hardship and moreover, increased efficiency are some of the important advantages that can be grabbed using cloud computing.

cloud computing

Still wondering, how can Cloud Computing be used in the Educational Field?

Just like a business enterprise, when you are in schools, colleges or universities; you require notes from teachers, you would like to have important power-point presentation demonstrated in the class, you might also sometimes need to share or exchange notes with your friends or classmates. So, till date, most of us either carry a portable device like a pen- drive or cd to store this information. But what if you have stored an important information from your teacher and unfortunately your portable device fails to work when you need to retrieve the stored data?

So, in such cases; cloud computing can be of great advantage. According, to the recent news and discussions, cloud computing can bring a drastic change in the educational sector. Receiving, sharing, accessing information will become an easy task thus saving time and effort. So, just go through the points below, these points will help you locate the advantages of cloud computing in the educational sector.

I. Neither you need to install time- consuming applications or software, nor you need to carry a portable device; Since information is stored in the cloud, just a simple login will help you to access data’s and information without any hardship.

II. If you are concerned about losing your device that has important project stored in it, cloud computing can be the best option. No matter if your hardware or device stops working, you can still get your stored project since it is present in the cloud.

III. You can easily share your ideas and information’s with the desired people within few second of time. If you are doing any project or work in collaboration with your friend, you can share your part of research or find just by sending a link.

IV. Teachers can share students score, performance report and class conductivity with parents, authority and individual students through cloud computing.

V. Time for filing, sorting and storing is reduced since everything is in the cloud and can be easily accessed as desired.

These are few points that clarify the importance of cloud computing in the educational field. There can be even more advantage if this technological idea is brought in use.

2. Mobile Learning

mobile learning

Presently, students are seen using tablets and smartphones most of the time. Some use it for social networking site whereas other uses it to browse different pages. But it is expected that soon these mediums will be cheaper and easily accessible for students. Students can use this medium to get descriptive information on a myriad of topics desired by them. No matter where they are, with a good internet connective and a mobile phone, learners can get desired information on any topic at a blink. It will soon be a safest, cheapest and easiest means of learning.

3. Game based learning

Who doesn’t like playing games on their mobile phone or PCs? Everybody does, right! When we are walking on the street, waiting for a friend or relative, traveling in the metro, flight, or buses or when we have nothing to do at all, playing the game in mobile phones have become our favorite pass- time. But what if these games along with entertainment also serve as a good source of learning. Yes, you can have fun as well as sharpen your brain will a handful of information.

game based learning

But, here we are talking about GBL and not gamification. Yes, though these terms sound similar there is a basic difference between the two. Gamification refers to employing principles of the game in the classroom whereas GBL means adding game (video game) in lessons to clarify the concept that makes learning interesting. A number of games like Bridge Constructor, Oregon Trail, Spore etc. have been employed in some of the classrooms that make it easy for students to understand a hundred pages of their textbook within few minutes of time. Besides serving advantage for a better learning format, there are many more advantages of employing GBL.

A virtual field is created for learning that exposes learners to challenges, where they are allowed to make mistakes number of times and correct them without any loss of information or data. Hence, this will help them grab information that is correct and accurate. So, just imagine playing a game like crossing a river but following certain clues that are provided to you. Undoubtedly, once you start the game, you will find it challenging. Hence. You will use all your tricks, tactics and mathematical calculation to complete the game successfully. You might fail many times, but of course, this will never be an issue because you are allowed to do it as many times as you like. Hence, playing this game will not only lighten up your mood, but it will also add an advantage to brush up your mathematical skills and knowledge.

So, using GBL in Educational field develop the creative side of your brain, increases IQ and makes you interactive. Presently only some schools and colleges have employed GBL in their curriculum but this process of learning will soon be implemented by all the educational institute.

4. E- book:

E- Book called Electronic book can be read using mobile phone, laptop, iPhone, tablets or e-book reader. Though many learners have already started using an e-book, yet there are several others who are even not well aware of this technological medium. Reading from e-book rather than a textbook can provide a number of advantage for the learners that include: easy accessibility, inbuilt features of saving, marking, searching, adjusting and reading.

ebook

Presently, students are more engaged with technological mediums; and e-book has become a best technological source for learners who desires 24*7 access to information and reading materials. Moreover, use of e-book keeps reader busy all the time displaying important information at any point. So, it can be the best medium for students in those areas who need to struggle to buy voluminous textbooks.

Yes, everyone is not enthusiastic about learning from a text- book but most of us stay excited to learn from a technological device. Hence, if this technological medium is made available; learners tend to develop more interest in having a deep insight on every topic.

5. Virtual learning:

A small glimpse of educational development can be observed in the classroom where videos and powerpoint are used to explain topics in an elaborated way. Virtual learning can be explained in the other way as well, studying outside the classroom or studying in the classroom virtually; but the lectures are delivered from elsewhere.

virtual learning

Virtual learning is applied in many schools and colleges, yet the figure has not reached to a substantial level. This technological idea is yet to be followed in many parts of the country. Let’s take an example: There is only one best teacher available for your course but he doesn’t takes classes in your college, school or university. Since you love your subject and want to be guided by the best teacher, what can you do to be under the guidance of that teacher?

Will your longing get over if you get a live class from that tutor? Yes, right! This is virtual learning, where you can listen and see the teacher no matter how far you are from him. You can discuss your queries, doubts and questions just like you do in your normal classes.

This example makes it clear about the benefit of virtual learning. Moreover, virtual learning is not restricted to timing or study material’s; rather it’s more about the students urge to learn and grasp the information whenever required. So, if visual learning is introduced in classrooms, students can even attend any important lecture of their teachers without being physically present in the classroom.

6. Gesture-based learning

Have you ever noticed teachers delivering a lecture in the class and student yawning or taking a nap; finding the lecture boring and uninteresting? We usually do notice this in every level of student life. I am sure that even you have surely taken a nap during your classroom periods. So, to boost student’s interest and maintain their focus, this idea of gesture-based learning have bumped in some intelligent brain.
Gesture-based technology is not a new term for us. Gesture means posture, the way you walk, watch, act or perform; and integrating technology in our gesture clarifies the concept of gesture-based learning. It means that this technological medium takes our gesture as the input. No keyboard or mouse is required to provide the data to the system. You can note the difference that this gesture-based learning is 3D based and allows you to work without the help of external devices. Some of the systems that use gesture-based technology are 6th sense, G-Speak, L- motion etc.

gesture based learning

Though you don’t require any external handheld device to access this technology, yes there are some other devices to capture your gesture and propel it to the system. So, this is done using Stereo cameras, Single camera, wired gloves, Depth- aware cameras, Controller- based gesture and much more. All these devices capture your gesture thus providing the required output.

We have been talking about gesture since the beginning of this heading, but the focus needs to be raised to the point that what types of gestures are recognized by the system. Yes, gesture technology does not again mean that you do anything and aspect the system to recognize it. Some of the examples include facial gesture, pointing, Virtual controller, Sign language recognition etc. These are few example of gesture-based learning that can be adapted to provide input to the computer.

Coming to the key point; how can a Gesture Technology make learning effective and easier?

The shift in educational paradigm has brought lots of changes in the process of learning. Discussion between the members of the educational board has clarified that gesture-based learning can contribute to development in learners cognitive skills. It also increases student’s interest by creating an interactive environment in the classroom. Gesture-based learning can be fun-filled for teachers, learners and parents. Yes, even parents can get off their couch and enjoy helping students with their academic curriculum. If we take it in the other way, it is just like exercising parts of the body by merging videos with play, where you are the instructor as well as the viewer.

Suppose that, gesture learning is introduced in your classroom, your teacher comes there and starts explaining you on a topic. Now when she’s speaking and showing you some interesting video, images, data’s and graphs, just by pointing the finger from a certain distance? Will you find the topic interesting? Yes, right. You get enthusiastic automatically to listen to her and watch the way figures are displayed on the screen. So, when you are focused on your curriculum; automatically an interactive environment is set up. Moreover, the time for preparing, writing and explaining gets minimized and teachers can easily answer address students queries at that very moment. Gesture technology has been applied in smartphones and laptops, and even there are instruments that are based on this technological medium, but applying this technological idea in the educational sector is yet to be done.

This is the list of 6 technologies that can bring a great shift in the educational field. Once implemented, these technologies will make learning efficient, interesting and enjoyable.

Cloud computing, E- book, Emerging Education Technologies, Game based learning, Gesture based learning, Mobile Learning, virtual learning

Are you looking for some FUN winter themed technology activities?

Winter is here! I have compiled a list of FUN techie activities your students are sure to love while also keeping your classroom activities academic.

Using ReadWriteThink's Trading Card Maker, have students create a trading card for a character that they read about in a winter themed book. Some ideas include but aren't limited to: Santa, Rudolph, Scrooge, Frosty the Snowman, Elsa, etc.. This is a great activity for teaching character traits. The final product can be printed out and looks just like a trading card!


This website is SO simple:

Upload an image straight to the site. Then fill in the empty fields. Finally, click "Finish Editing" and Print. That's it! I like ReadWriteThink's websites because it allows students to save their work so they can go back and continue working on it at a later time. Get this: They don't even have to sign into the website! If they choose to save, the website will generate a file to download. The next time you want to work on it, click on the Open tab at the top and upload the file.

This tool is also an iPad app that you can find HERE.

Using ABCya's Create a Snowman website, have students design a snowman:

For K-1 students you could have them choose to print their creation and write winter related words or a sentence at the bottom of the page. An option for upper grades would be to save their creation and import it into a program like PowerPoint, Word, Pages, Google Doc etc. and have them type a sentence or paragraph at the bottom about any prompt you give your students. It would be really fun to pull the images into a collaborative Google Slides presentation. Each child could add their snowman to one of the slides and add some text to go along with the image. Add a title slide entitled Our Digital Book of Snowmen and email it home to parents and/or embed it on your class blog or website! Your students will have a blast looking at their classmates' creations and reading their paragraphs.

Finished Example

Use Scratch to have your students code a scene about animal adaptations that occur during the fall↠winter season. Here is an example a third grader created last year. Her teacher wanted her to show examples of migration and hibernation. This was a beginner coder who only had 30 minutes to complete this assignment. If she had more time, then she could have added more to her scene. 

Click the green flag. Press the right arrow key to activate the bird. Press the down arrow key to activate the squirrel.

                   

Do your students like Choose Your Own Adventure stories? If so, they will LOVE writing their own winter themed story using the free web tool, Inklewriter. Creative writing and critical thinking will both be practiced during this lesson. Not only will your students enjoy creating their own interactive story, they will also have a blast reading their peers' stories!

The site provides easy to understand tutorials to help students build their stories.

For those of you who have access to iPads, last year I blogged about an activity called Synonym Snowman. Since then I have found a Make a Snowman app that I like even better BECAUSE you can add your own background. 

The FREE Make a Snowman app is super easy to use and saves your image straight to the camera roll. Students can take a picture of anything or make an image in another app and set it as the background. Then they build and customize a snowman using the different tools included.

In the example below I app smashed using Schoolkit Math Manipulatives, Make a Snowman, and YakIt Kids. Get creative and use your imagination as to what students set as their background. I simply used Schoolkit Math to make an arrangement of fractions and took a screenshot. I added the snowman in Make a Snowman. Then I made the image come alive and talk as I explained my thinking using YakIt Kids. Enjoy☃

Fractions from Julie on Vimeo.

Another idea for the iPad is to have students use the app PicCollage or PicKids to create an acrostic poster on a word related to winter. Note: The word "winter" was a HARD one! If you are not familiar with how to use this highly versatile and FREE app then I encourage you to check out THIS tutorial by Erintegration. If you want to take it a step further, have your students use an app like Lumyer to add the snow effect. You can save it as a movie or as an animated gif like the example below:

These animated posters could easily be uploaded to your class blog/website or added to a collaborative Google Presentation.

UPDATE since I wrote this post! This app has been changed to Toontastic 3D

Here is one more idea for the iPad. Using the FREE app Toontastic, have students research and create a cartoon about different holiday traditions. Here is a quick example I threw together using just one scene in the app (you can have up to 5 different scenes!):

IMG 2060 from Julie on Vimeo.

There are many different "winter/holiday" characters to choose from:


They even have a Snow Day Escapade scene and a North Pole scene:


Another idea is to have students upload their own image as a background!

Do you have access to a 3D printer? If so, have your students design a Christmas ornament or a symmetrical snowflake in Tinkercad (or whatever software you use) and give it to someone special for the holiday season! To give your students a little inspiration, share 3D Printing Ninja's Top 3D Printed Ornaments of 2015. Amazing!

If you like to carry out activities in Google Drive then you HAVE to check out my latest product that I posted to my TpT Store last week: Design an Ornament in Google Drive. Students individually make an ornament in Google Drawing, save it as a png and import it into a collaborative Google Slides presentation (1 slide) to decorate their class tree. Makes a cute poster or holiday card that you can send home to parents!



To see this product in more detail, check out this promo video:

Students would LOVE to help you decorate the classroom for the holiday season with this Design a Holiday Light in Google Drawing™ resource.

I also have two different collaborative digital books in Google Slides. Students work on a collaborative presentation to create a class book about a writing topic related to winter holidays or snowmen. These "digital books" can be emailed to parents or embedded into your class blog/website. You could also print to make an actual book or turn into a cute bulletin board!

   


Have fun with your students this winter!


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