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Technology has transformed the modern classroom, making it possible to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment.
One challenge with integrating classroom technology into the teaching process is ensuring that it is used in a way that supports, rather than distracts from learning. Teachers must carefully select technology that aligns with their learning goals and pedagogical approaches and ensure that students are adequately trained in using the technology to support their learning.
There are a number of new technologies available that can help make classroom teaching more interactive and engaging for students. Here are our Top 5 new classroom technology innovations every teacher needs:
1. Interactive Whiteboard (smart board, LED Touch Panel or Digital Board)
Although smart boards are not a brand new technology, the power of Digital Boards revolutionises the way teachers deliver lessons. Along with the recent advances in the technology, makes it worthy of the number 1 spot on our list of innovative classroom technology.
What is an Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) and what are they used for?
IWB’s are large, touch-sensitive screens that can display images, videos, and other multimedia content. Teachers can use a stylus or their fingers to interact with the content and annotate over it.
Interactive smart boards are particularly beneficial for South African classrooms because they are addressing some of the key challenges facing the education system, such as a lack of resources and overcrowded classrooms. With this technology, teachers can make the most of their limited resources and create a more engaging and interactive learning environment that piques students’ interest in various subjects.
Example of a Powerful and Affordable smart board
The EduBoard EduTouch™ LED Interactive Whiteboard is a cutting-edge classroom technology that has the potential to revolutionise the way teachers deliver their lessons. With its state-of-the-art hardware and software, the EduTouch™ LED interactive whiteboard is designed to help teachers enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of their lessons while also engaging students like never before.
The specially crafted interactive classroom software that comes with the EduTouch™ LED interactive whiteboard gives teachers and students access to teaching methods and resources that were previously unavailable. With just a few taps on the interactive whiteboard, teachers can quickly access multimedia resources, educational videos, and interactive quizzes to make learning more engaging and fun for their students.
EduBoard EduTouch™ LED, stands out for their comprehensive client-centric service and after-sales support. They offer extensive training and support programs to help educators learn how to use their products effectively. Additionally, the EduBoard EduTouch™ LED provides ongoing technical support and maintenance to ensure that their products continue to work effectively.
Another significant strong point is the education software and licensing fees. EduBoard EduTouch™ LED offers a perpetual license for their standard education software (Oktopus) and all screen software that comes with the solution. This means that there are no annual renewal fees, which makes their product more affordable and accessible to educators.
Or find out more about the LED Panels
2. Data projectors
By themselves, data projectors are no longer groundbreaking technology even though, still today, they provide a critical and diverse function in classrooms. When they are combined with interactive conversion kits and whiteboards or other white surfaces, they offer a highly affordable alternative to LED Panel Interactive Whiteboards (albeit not quite as effectively and elegantly). The fact that data projectors can be converted into smart boards is why they are number 2 on our list of innovative technologies.
What is a data projector?
Data projectors can be used to display digital content, such as presentations, videos, and interactive software, on a large screen or wall. This can make it easier for students to follow along with the lesson and see details that might be difficult to discern on a smaller screen. Teachers can also use data projectors to create interactive activities, such as quizzes or games, that students can participate in using clickers or other input devices.
What is a data projector-based interactive white board?
A projector-based interactive whiteboard is a type of display technology that combines a data projector with an interactive whiteboard surface or device. The projector displays digital content onto the whiteboard surface, which can be interacted with using touch or stylus input.
To convert a standard data projector into a projector-based interactive smart board, a simple piece of technology is required which can detect movement of hands, fingers or a stylus making a teacher able to interact with the content being displayed by the data projector.
Projector-based interactive whiteboards are a powerful tool for enhancing teaching and learning in the classroom. They allow teachers to create dynamic and engaging lessons that incorporate multimedia content, interactivity, and collaboration. By carefully selecting and integrating projector-based interactive whiteboards into their teaching practice, teachers can create a dynamic and engaging learning environment that supports student success.
Limitations of data projector-based interactive white board?
While projector based interactive whiteboards can be a powerful tool for enhancing teaching and learning in the classroom, they do have some limitations and problems that can mar their effectiveness. They can be difficult to use and require training for both teachers and students.
Maintenance can also be an issue with projector based IWBs. Projectors require regular maintenance, such as changing lamps and cleaning filters, which can be time-consuming and expensive. Additionally, projectors can lose brightness over time, which can affect the quality of the image displayed on the IWB. When using a projector, you need to ensure that the venue is dark. The darker the room, the better the image quality.
LED-based smart boards like EduBoard EduTouch™ LED, offer several advantages over projector-based IWBs. LED technology is more durable and long-lasting, with a lifespan of up to 30,000 hours or more, compared to the 6,000 hours of a projector. LED technology also provides a higher resolution, brighter and clearer display, which can enhance the learning experience for students.
LED-based smart boards like EduBoard EduTouch™ LED are also easier to use and require less maintenance than projector-based IWBs. They do not require regular lamp replacements or filter cleanings, which can save time and money on maintenance costs.
Two examples of projector based interactive whiteboards and conversion solutions
One common type of projector-based interactive whiteboard is a touch board. Touch boards are designed to be used with any standard data projector, and can be installed on an existing whiteboard or wall.
Touch boards are compatible with a range of software tools, including educational software, presentation software, and web-based applications. Teachers can use touch boards to deliver interactive lessons, engage students in collaborative activities, and provide real-time feedback on student work.
Another type of projector based interactive whiteboard is the EduMax Pro™. The EduMax Pro™ can convert existing data projectors and virtually any smooth, white surface or whiteboard into a fully interactive digital classroom. This solution is a complete interactive whiteboard system that includes a data projector, interactive whiteboard surface, and software tools for creating and delivering interactive lessons.
3. Programmable Robots
Everybody knows what robots are – some people love them, some people are outright scared of them. When it comes to teaching though, you have to love how robots can engage and excite students and help teachers explain difficult concepts and prepare their students for the modern world. We love the potential that robot classroom technology has in education which is why we placed programmable robots at number 3.
What is a programmable robot for classroom teaching?
A programmable robot for education is a specialised robot designed to teach students programming concepts and principles. These robots are designed to be user-friendly, with a simple programming interface that allows students to create code sequences that control the robot’s movements and actions. The purpose of these robots is to provide a hands-on, interactive way for students to learn programming skills and to introduce them to the world of robotics. These robots can be used in a variety of educational settings, from elementary schools to universities, to teach coding, robotics, and engineering principles, as well as to promote creativity and problem-solving skills.
Example of a programmable robot for education
Marty the Humanoid Robot is a programmable robot designed to teach children coding and robotics in a fun and engaging way. Created by the UK-based start-up Robotical, and distributed in South Africa by EduBoard, Marty stands at just over a foot tall and has a cute and friendly appearance that is intended to appeal to young and older learners. Marty is fully programmable using Scratch, a visual programming language that is widely used in primary schools. Marty also has unplugged mode, sequencer and Python coding options, catering to all levels from primary to secondary education levels.
Although there are other humanoid robots available, Marty is considerably less expensive than others on the market, making it a more accessible option for schools and families. Marty comes equipped with a range of sensors and actuators that allow it to walk, dance, and perform a variety of other movements. The robot’s open-source software also enables users to customise and extend its capabilities, making it a versatile tool for learning about robotics and coding.
Overall, Marty the humanoid robot is a valuable classroom technology resource for educators and parents who want to introduce children to the world of robotics and programming. With its friendly appearance and intuitive programming interface, Marty makes learning about technology fun and accessible for children of all ages and abilities.
4. Document Visualiser (also known as Document Camera Scanner)
Document Visualisers are a fairly new classroom technology but have really made a huge impression. Likely popularised during the Covid pandemic when remote teaching was so prevalent, this versatile piece of classroom technology is helping teachers all around the world live stream themselves or their documents/real life objects to their class making it a truly powerful piece of equipment and number 4 on our list of innovative teaching items.
What is a Document Camera?
Document Visualisers can be used to display real-world objects, such as documents, textbooks, or science experiments, on a screen or projector. This can help make the content more visible and engaging for students, as they can see the details and interact with the material in a more tactile way. Visualisers can also be used to share student work or demonstrate problem-solving techniques.
This can be particularly useful for remote teaching or in pretty much all subjects including science or art, where students need to see close-up details of documents, specimens or artwork.
Example of document visualiser for classroom teaching
IPEVO has a range of document cameras suited for every personal preference or unique context. These are just perfect for classroom teaching due to their slick and exciting appearance together with their high-definition cameras on foldable and adjustable arms.
Here are some ways IPEVO is helping classroom teaching in South Africa:
- Live demonstrations: Teachers can use visualisers to demonstrate experiments or procedures in real-time, allowing students to see and understand the process more clearly.
- Document sharing: Teachers can use visualisers to share physical documents with the class, such as a worksheet or textbook, and annotate or highlight important information for the students.
- 3D objects: Visualisers can also be used to display 3D objects, such as a model of the human body or a piece of artwork, allowing students to explore and examine the object in detail.
- Assessment: Teachers can use visualisers to assess student work, such as by displaying and evaluating a student’s written work in real-time.
- Video recording: Video record lessons or experiments which can later be shared with students and colleagues or used for revision.
- Webcam: Used as a webcam for video conferencing calls.
5. Virtual and augmented reality
Now we are starting to get really advanced! Although this is still a very new and not yet widely used classroom technology, especially across South Africa, there is huge value being added to subjects like science in the use of VR and AR and that is why it has spot number 5 on our list of classroom technology.
What is virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the classroom?
VR and AR can create immersive and interactive experiences for students, allowing them to explore historical sites, scientific concepts, and other environments in a more engaging way. This can be done through interactive software that recreates real life scenarios on the computer or by wearing VR/AR goggles and entering a digital reality to experience real world concepts.
Examples of VR and AR classroom technology
mozaBook, which is distributed by EduBoard in South Africa, is an educational platform that has integrated Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies to create immersive virtual simulations for learning. By doing so, mozaBook has transformed traditional classroom learning into an interactive and engaging experience for students.
One way mozaBook leans into VR and AR technology is through virtual simulations. These simulations allow students to experience realistic scenarios that they may not have access to in real life. For example, students can explore the solar system, witness the water cycle, or visit historical sites, all through the use of VR technology. This not only enhances their understanding of the subject matter but also helps them to remember and retain the information better.
Additionally, mozaBook’s virtual simulations offer a safe and controlled learning environment. Students can make mistakes and experiment without the risk of physical harm.
Another way mozaBook uses VR and AR technology is through the gamification of learning. By gamifying education, Mozabook makes learning more enjoyable and interactive for students.
The integration of VR and AR technology provides an immersive and interactive educational experience that enhances learning outcomes.
BONUS Innovation: ROQED Science and Virtual Laboratory
How can technology innovations be affordable to the schools?
Bordering on VR and AR teaching software we have to mention ROQED Science and Physics. EduBoard also distributes this software platform in South Africa, which offers virtual simulations of science and physics to a point. This software is a powerful tool for schools as it allows students to access laboratory experiments virtually, without the need for physical equipment, and at a fraction of the cost.
The cost of setting up and maintaining a science laboratory can be prohibitively high for many schools. By using ROQED Science and Physical laboratory, schools can save a significant amount of money on equipment, maintenance, and supplies. This makes science education more accessible to schools with limited resources.
ROQED Science provides a library of educational content, including simulations, and quizzes, that can be accessed through the platform.
The software is designed to work on a range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, making it accessible to a wide range of students and teachers.
ROQED’s virtual laboratory environment can allow students to conduct experiments and observe phenomena that may be difficult or impossible to replicate in a traditional classroom setting.
Conducting virtual experiments using ROQED Physics is an engaging and enthralling process. The app contains over 80 virtual 3D laboratory instruments, and it is an ideal environment for preparing and conducting experiments based on the school curriculum.
ROQED’s virtual physics experiment laboratory can also provide students with immediate feedback on their experiments, allowing them to quickly adjust their procedures or approach to achieve better results. This can help students to develop their scientific skills and understanding in a more engaging and interactive way.