Traditionally, technology has been associated with distraction in classrooms. If students are beating their high scores or texting their friends during class, they won’t listen or retain the lessons.

But technology harnessed for the purpose of learning offers limitless potential for students. If students use technology as a tool rather than a toy, they can engage with the material they are learning more fully.

While cellphones and laptops might still be up for debate, there are many new devices and platforms that encourage students to think critically and creatively on a daily basis. Here are a few key pieces of technology that are transforming classrooms in 2019.

Smartboards

Most classrooms today have some sort of projector system that allows teachers to display notes, PowerPoint presentations, or websites. Smartboards take the display a step further by adding an interactive screen.

Teachers can write on smartboards with multicolored digital markers, just like how they used to write on traditional whiteboards with dry-erase markers. Students can tap, drag, and drop all sorts of content on the smartboard touchscreen

Smartboards can serve students who are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners and help them engage with their lessons. They are clean, low maintenance, and much more environmentally friendly than paper worksheets or handouts.

Smart Tables

In the same way smartboards offer interactive demonstrations, smart tables offer interactive collaboration. Students can complete group activities that promote problem-solving and discussion gathered around a horizontal smart table surface.

Smart tables offer hands-on learning experiences that help to keep students focused. Since smart tables are essentially oversized tablets, they can easily be connected to the internet as well as software designed specifically for collaborative classroom use.

Digital Textbooks

Imagine your professor or even your kindergarten teacher saying, “Open your tablet and turn to page 3.”

Any college student will tell you that textbooks don’t come cheap. One of the go-to solutions for reducing this expense is to download textbooks temporarily in a digital format.

Physical textbooks are a pretty hefty expense for school districts as well since they must be constantly updated and replaced from wear and tear. But digital textbooks can be downloaded as PDFs onto any computer, tablet, or smartphone at minimal cost.

College students have created a demand for digitized learning materials, and many major companies are rising to meet it. With time, high schools and primary schools might follow suit and turn to digital textbooks as an effective solution to budgetary restrictions.

3-D Printers

There are countless creative uses for 3-D printers in modern classrooms. Younger students can hone their geometry skills, while high school or college engineering students can draft and build specific and complicated parts for machinery.

3-D printers can create topographical maps for geography lessons, human anatomy for science, or even unique sculptures for creative art. Students are used to engaging with their lessons on paper or screens, but 3-D printing technology adds a whole layer of physical interaction with any subject.

Virtual Reality Tours

Thanks to huge advances in virtual reality video technology, teachers are no longer limited to the four walls of their classrooms. Using apps like Google Expeditions, they can bring their students along on a 3-D journey to significant places all over the globe.

Not only can students view 3-D images and videos on virtual field trips, they can also create their own adventures using Google Tour Creator. Tour Creator combines Google Street View footage with 360-degree pictures shot with Google technology by a teacher or student. Students can use this feature to reflect on what they learned during a field trip, to showcase their own school or town, or to research and present on any location across the globe.

Technology has made an enormous impact on our students in their personal lives. It only seems natural that it would impact their studies as well.

If we fight the tidal wave of new tech available to students, we deprive them of newfound enrichment in their learning experiences.

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