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When technology enters the classroom

Techology is rapidly changing how children learn in classrooms. Image sourced from ruthcatchen.wordpress.com.

“That’s it class – you’ll find the notes and the PowerPoint on the S-Drive and a version on Moodle, there is also some relevant info on my edublog”.

Eh?

It was a Social Studies 10 class and the topic was “Exploring Twentieth Century Canada”. The teacher’s personal “edublog” included additional references, access to YouTube videos, and archived material on lessons for that class to date.

It was at that point that I realised how much the delivery of learning has changed, and how fast. Student access to a teacher guided world of information has revolutionised how, when and where kids are learning now.

Not in the future – now.

Edublogs accommodates and manages student and teacher blogs, and quickly customizes designs to include videos, photos and podcasts.

Moodle (an abbreviation for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is a free source e-learning software platform.

As of 2012, Moodle had almost 58 million users in 215 countries.

Check those numbers again.

The traditional classroom, teacher at the front and the source of all information, blackboard, desks in a row is not obsolete but as Bob Dylan sang “it’s not dark yet but it’s getting there.”

To revisit an educational cliché that has been around for some time, the teacher role is evolving from “the sage on the stage” to “the guide on the side”.

And now access for learning is available for everybody, not just kids in school.

I had never thought about myself as a math student. Algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus just did not, as they say, float my boat.

But my leaky old boat righted itself a few weeks ago when, urged on by a math infatuated friend, I discovered the Khan Academy and an online lesson called “Simple Equations”.

I was hooked immediately. After looking at a series of other lessons I now begin to “get” math.

The Khan Academy is one of many online gateways to new knowledge that may be the early indicators of the directions in which public education will inevitably have to go.

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