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Quick and Dirty IT Guide for the Laggard Teachers

IMG_0800What a time to be alive! With technology advancing at such rapid pace, it is of little wonder of how teachers used to teach is now slowly become considered to be obsolete. Vendors and start-ups have been unleashing a torrential of solutions with the aim of capturing the entire campus of students as their primary market.

Yet, with the overwhelming force unleashed, the teacher (you) – often tasked with the responsibility of developing the holistic child – stands alone, unsure and neglected.  Teachers are looking at each other and navigating cautiously among the sea of numerous solutions…terrified to enter the dark abyss alone.

To aid the struggling one, here is a quick rundown of what’s what and to save you from looking like a lost sheep someone mentions these terms:

Interactive Websites 

An increasing number of sites are appearing with the aim of simplifying concepts for students in subjects such as Science and Maths. These websites aim at engaging the students by is usually media rich in information and resources . These may include practices, simulations, and other learning activities. Some of them can be used for simply drill-and-practice while others may be highly interactive games that force students to think.

 

Digital Storytelling

We know stories move people. We can tell of a simple incident how truing off the iron may end up burning our clothes to captive audience if we do it right. So what is digital story telling? It is simply the telling of a story using a variety of media that ranges from  graphics, audio, video, and Web publishing. Many of these stories vary from 2 to 10 minutes in length and its topics range from personal to history and even envisioning of the future.

 

E-Books

E-books have now become so pervasive that you would at least encounter one before. While in the past, it used to refer to documents – it is now defined as reading any articles electronically on a screen. Apple has upped the stakes with their offerings of iBooks where one can now include media such as quizzes, movies etc while reading the book.

 

Online Behaviour Monitoring System

A system that help teachers to track students terms of behaviour, reports and homework,  many are aim to simplify the teacher’s workload in data collection and analysis. Some of them even track automatic detention scheduling and  rewards  system.

Applications

Do you use a smartphone? If you do, congratulations! You have used an application software! Application software is a program usually designed for the end-user to achieve a certain task such as surfing the internet or doing up a spreadsheet. Currently, it is found on two main platforms: Android and iOS. Most teachers I know shiver at the sight of the thousands of apps that are swimming out there this instant.

 

Interactive White Board

I’m sure you know this one. Search your school .. I’m pretty sure it’s there somewhere. An instructional tool that allows  computer images to be displayed onto a board using a digital projector, cue the “oohs” and “ahh” as students watch  the instructor manipulating the elements on the board by using his finger as a mouse, directly on the screen. Items can be dragged, clicked and copied and the lecturer can handwrite notes, which can be transformed into text and saved.

 

Cloud Based Response System

Designed to engage today’s mobile app generation, students are able to exchange feedback and respond in real time with teachers . It usually works in group settings where synchronous and asynchronous tests, quizzes and polls can be set. The fun kicks in when students are able to view their answers on screen and this usually opens them up to more discussion.

 

What are other terms you have come across that leave you swirling? Share with me!

 

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