Before plunging into some of the ways technology is becoming normalized in today's classrooms in the West, the Raspberry Pi deserves some attention. Originally revealed in 2012, the $35 computer is as small as a credit card. The Linux-based machine has found its way into the classroom, allowing students to create networks and programs and learn about hardware — without blowing up expensive equipment.
The original Raspberry Pi has evolved for many forms and functions, including Microsoft's , a Windows-compatible development board.
In addition, there are many popular services — ranging from storage to communication — that are beginning to offer custom systems for the education profession. For example, Google recently launched the following pilot schemes in schools. Google Classroom integrates Google Drive, Docs, and Gmail in order to encourage teachers to use the services for assigning and collecting work online, as well as boosting communication channels for teachers and students inside and outside of school. Classroom is offered as part of the Google Apps for Education suite.
Google recently said that over and teachers are using the Classroom education suite.
One of the benefits — and perhaps curses — of the Internet is that it is easier than ever to connect to other people. For teachers, the Internet proves to be a valuable resource for lesson plans, lectures and advice. Perhaps the most valuable element of the web, however, is the chance for teachers to connect and talk to each other.
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Mobility is key to many of our lives today and its use has leaked into the education system. iPads and Android-based tablets are being used across classrooms in the West, giving students the chance to access educational apps and become familiar with today's technology.
From a business point of view, if firms donate mobile gadgets to schools, they expose students to particular operating systems early and are increasing the chance of a wider customer base in the future.
While the increased popularity of movie and film streaming may cause headaches for Internet providers and carriers, for teachers, the wide range of free content related to their subjects can integrate easily and well into lesson plans. When I used to teach, setting up VCRs and scanning to find the right section of a faded, worn video often wasted time — but now, a simple search on YouTube provides hundreds of thousands of clips that can enrich a lesson without adding to the time of lesson planning.
The ability to learn online, both free and paid, is a subject well worthy of mention. As the days of dial-up fade into our past, high-speed Internet and increased bandwidth allowances have contributed to the creation and evolution of massive open online courses (MOOCs). MOOCs allow students to learn at their own pace, fitting distance-based courses around their lives. However, open online courses also have a fringe benefit — the chance for educational establishments to promote themselves online, secure additional students who may later wish to undertake paid courses, and create new revenue streams — a valuable element of MOOCs that universities and colleges, in the current financial environment, often cannot ignore.