There is no doubt that technology has made its way into the classroom. New forms of education technology have changed the way that students learn and interact with one another in the classroom. The roles of teachers and administers have also benefited from education technology. The following list details a few tools that school administrators may want to make sure are in their classrooms. “These technologies can enable educators to improve communications, enhance student learning, control costs, manage Internet access in the classroom, and more.”
Classroom Management Applications: New software developed for computer labs restores power to the teacher in a technology-filled classroom. With the help of classroom management applications, teachers can turn Internet access off or on, limit the content that their students view online, or even override controls put in place by the school district. In addition, teachers can monitor what their students do online and view a listing of sites that they visit.
Lecture Capture: Lecture recording tools allow teachers to record their lessons with much more ease and convenience than cassette-tape recorders, which have become an item of the past. Captured lectures can be replayed for students who either missed class or need further clarification on concepts that are difficult to understand. Lecture capturing systems have not been shown to hurt class attendance, and are expected to decrease in cost as they gain popularity.
Parent Portals: Technology has been created to allow parents to take a more active role in their child’s education and progress. Parent Portals, like SchoolTool provide parents with access to information on how and what their child is doing in school. Standard features provide parents with access to class schedules, grades, and state assessment scores from past years. The portals also list teacher contact information.
Skype: This free video conferencing application is useful to teachers and students for a variety of academic purposes. Teachers can bring guest speakers into the classroom via Skype, and students can use the application to deliver presentations from home or other locations. In addition, a school can use Skype to visually connect with other schools around the country, or even the world.
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