As a child, I used to fall for every shiny device facilitating some sort of technological evolution. Be it pagers, or the first mobile phone device used by my father; technologically advanced gadgets have never failed to impress me in and out. Cut to the chase; in 2019, my affinity for smart tech gadgets still remains the same.
Especially, in a world where the E-learning market is projected to be worth $325 Billion in 2025, I am all the more intrigued to be a part of this digitally advanced era. Talking of technology and smart devices used in education and learning, one must know how to use them, based on preferences, feasibility, purpose, cost and other factors.
Now that you too are on the lookout for roping in digitized tools to ease the burden of Matlab homework or any other work for the matter of fact, know how to make a smart choice for maximum engagement and usability.
Your choice should align with the purpose
You should not make a choice for educational gadgets just for the sake of it. Your choice and purpose should align with each other.
You need to understand the fact that not all tech devices are designed to serve multiple purposes. For example, you cannot expect to use applications such as Evernote (note-taking and task organization app) to proofread texts of look for grammatical assistance. You need to use tools such as Grammarly for that purpose.
- Consider aligning your learning objectives with your choice of educational technology.
- Opt for lightweight applications ranging from 10MB to 60MB.
You must consider the cost associated with the tech as well
From Project Gutenberg to Live Binders, there are a number of Ed techs available in today’s world. However, the idea is to rope in the one that would ensure the best value for money.
Unless you are able to download or install an application that is both useful and comes for a cheaper price, you won’t be able to ensure the coveted return on investment. There are certain tools that require users to pay upfront. And then, there are ones that are available for free.
- Opt for technologies and software that come with “Free Trial” options.
- Visit the official website of the software you would buy, and find out whether there are hidden charges associated with the purchase.
- If you are subscribing to premium plans, make sure the software comes with easy monthly installments with secure payment options.
Make sure the tool offers real-life solutions to problems
According to a report, it has been found that students are more engaged with content and technologies when they can identify the relevance of use and how it will help them with real-life solutions to problems. A digital tool is worth your time and investment if it helps you to establish a meaningful connection.
To cite an instance, Frieda Thomson, a student of Management from the United Kingdom, ended up installing an application that had nothing other than a few blogs to offer. She was initially of the opinion that the software would generate well-researched answers to academic questions.
After installing the tool, Frieda was shocked to realize that every time she would place a query, the result page gets redirected to a handful of pre-loaded journals and blogs. That’s not a real-life solution. She was expecting accuracy, relevancy, and range as well.
- Take some time to read through reviews and gather feedback from other sources to figure out if the application generates accurate solutions.
- Opt for software such as Equity Maps and Epic that allow students to extract real-life solutions in the form of learning videos, quizzes and easy access to digital libraries at their fingertips.
The technology should be accessible everywhere
It won’t be of any help if the software can only accessed or used via personal computers and fails to run on Smartphone platforms. Accessibility is one major concern when it comes to choosing smart gadgets and technologies for your academic course.
For instance, the digitized academic platform edublogs.org, powered by WordPress, provides fully customizable solutions in the form of thousands of blogs for schools, colleges, and universities.
Students can both visit the site via computer or access it through mobile devices on the go. As a result, your access won’t be limited, and you can actually catch up on reading while returning home from college, or reaching examination halls and the likes.
- Opt for open-ended education apps such as Notability, ThingLink and BrainPOP.
- Make sure you have a data package for your cell phone device and a stable network connection, in case you would consider using the application on the go.
Refer to academic videos to cover up intricate lessons
Talking of making smart tech choices in academic courses, this is one particular point that gets a special mention. It goes without saying that every curriculum involves a wide range of lessons to cover. While some of them might prove to be relatively easy to understand, you might come across a few lessons that are hard to grasp. Using video lessons as an effective tool to learn things interactively might ease the pressure. There is a reason why 86% of colleges and universities have a presence on YouTube, and 27% of audiences watch live educational talks or lectures.
- Visit digitized academic platforms such as WatchKnowLearn, Amazon Education, and BrightStorm for online video lessons from professional educators.
- There is an education-only version of YouTube. Activate the mode for filtered search results, catering to your needs effectively.
Utilize the potential of podcasts
Are you aware of the fact that playing podcasts can not only supplement your academic lessons, but it will also act as a mobile learning station? As a matter of fact, students use podcasts to refer to lectures, carry out homework assignments, handouts, and other daily academic activities.
- Use podcasts that include interviews with an author of a textbook you are currently reading or professors explaining a particular lesson you are a part of.
- Visit online learning communities such as www.EducationalPodcasting.Today, and www.EducationalPodcasting.tips for the perfect head-start.
- Consider referring to The Chromebook classroom, which is hosted by John Sowash, one of the best Google trainers in the country.
To Wrap Up
Now that you are aware of how to make smart choices about tech for your course, embrace the best practice, and put a step ahead with confidence to stay ahead of the league. Here is a quick glance of the essential takeaways:
- Your choice of tech should align with the purpose.
- Consider the aspect of pricing while choosing techs for education.
- Make sure the tool offers relevant and real-life solutions.
- The Ed-tech platform should be accessible on the go.
- Utilize the potential of educational videos.
- Refer to academic podcasts for easy references and interactive knowledge on the move.