Schools Allow Students to ‘Power Up’

Kindles, smart phones, iPods, portable DVD players. Technology isn’t just for teens and adults. Today, children are born into the world of instant information and gadgets, and they’re learning fast.

To keep all ages of students engaged in the classroom, many schools are realizing the importance and necessity of advanced technology. 

Traditional classroom devices, such as projectors and computers, continue to play an important role in students’ learning as their technologies advance.  Some other areas educators should consider, according to Green Schoolhouse Series Partner Extron, include:

Digital video

Manufacturers are trending toward digital video outputs, such as DisplayPort and HDMI on classroom PCs and laptops, but Extron says this transition doesn’t mean that analog connections, such as VGA and composite, will stop working in the near future.

3-D video

No longer exclusively available in movie theaters or Disneyland attractions, 3-D video is now being used by educators.  Extron says the most common 3-D projection systems for education requires special battery-powered shutter glasses, which cost an average of $100 each.  Glasses-free 3-D is on the horizon, though.

Distance learning

This method of teaching and learning relies heavily on a combination of video, audio, data, and telecommunications technologies to work effectively, not to mention thorough planning.

What Schools are Saying

Some schools are even allowing a variety of devices, such as iPods and cell phones, to be used in the classroom – devices that, when used in the past, were cause for punishment.

Schools in the Lewisville Independent School District in Texas, for instance, will be allowing cell phones, iPads, laptops and smartphones in the classroom beginning next fall, according to a Star Newspaper article.  In the article, spokeswoman Karen Permetti says, “We want the students to power up when they are at school, not power down. And they feel like if they can’t utilize technology to its fullest, then they’re powering down.” 

Permetti also emphasized the importance of preparing students for technology, saying, “We’re not sure what it will look like when they’re adults. Each invention progresses, so we need to embrace it because that’s how students learn.”

According to Extron, there are a number of changes happening in products supporting educational technologies and curriculums, and the knowledge of what may be coming is the best way to be prepared.

For more information on emerging technologies in the classroom, check out Extron’s “Classroom Technology for the 21st Century.”

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