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Classroom Technology

Classroom Technology: Old School & New School

By DeVry University


Emerging Technology Reshapes Education

“Classroom technology” used to refer to education-related tools in a physical place that helped teachers teach and students learn. Today, classrooms are anywhere and everywhere: onsite and online, schoolhouse and coffee house, in the field and in the office. This means “classroom technology” now refers to various tools that help teachers teach and students learn seamlessly – anytime, anywhere.

Jeff Dunn, senior director of DeVry Experimental (DV X™) at DeVry Education Group, is constantly on the lookout for new, innovative technology to improve teaching and learning. He’s also spearheading the DeVry EdTech Incubator, a partnership between DeVry Education Group and 1871®, Chicago’s entrepreneurial hub for early stage digital startups.

“As educators, we must expand our definition of the classroom and re-imagine education in this digital age,” advises Dunn. “Students and instructors should keep an open mind and embrace innovations that enhance education worldwide. Taking advantage of the latest education technologies goes a long way toward helping graduates feel comfortable when they begin their careers.”

Here are a few of the ways emerging technology is enhancing education across the country:

Game On

Educational games can improve students’ cognitive development and motivation.[1] Dunn says they present concepts in a fun, engaging and challenging way for students of all ages.

DV X recently partnered with Leila McKinney, campus president at Chamberlain College of Nursing in Atlanta, to pilot the nursing video game PharmPhat which helps students learn about pharmacology in a simulated, low-risk environment.

Other educational games include:

   •  OpenSim™: A virtual reality platform with 3D environments for exploring historical sites or experiencing a unique workplace.[2]
   
   •  Chaotic Moon™: A buzzed-about creative technology studio launched a 3D-gaming innovation for students to access virtual environments that mimic what they’re learning about via an Oculus Rift® headset.

Instant Connection

Students thrive with technology that helps them interact with their teachers, and helps teachers adapt to individual student needs.

“DV X is experimenting with Civitas Learning® software, a predictive analytics platform that analyzes diverse sets of educational data and delivers actionable insights directly to advisors, teachers and students, in near real-time,” Dunn says. “Advisors receive alerts about at-risk students so they can help those struggling and give them immediate support. These insights improve student outcomes.”

With the right parameters, social media has the potential to enhance educators’ connectivity, particularly with students who don’t thrive in more traditional classroom settings. In addition to Facebook® and Twitter®, which can help increase student participation,[3] some educators are experimenting with collaboration tools that afford students the opportunity to connect and learn from each other remotely. They include:

   •  ThinkBinder™: A virtual study group environment that facilitates group discussions, note sharing and real-time interactions.

   •  Wiggio®: Provides instructors with engaging capabilities such as class polling and a shared events calendar.

Rules of Engagement

“Long ago, the textbook and pencil were considered profound advancements that revolutionized education,” explains Dunn. “Today, technology brings educational concepts to life, engaging students and helping them understand concepts more quickly.”

DV X has experimented with FluidMath™, a cutting-edge teaching tool that helps bring core math concepts to life. Teachers draw, graph and animate math problems via whiteboards or devices and lessons can be saved and recorded. All participating faculty reported FluidMath increased their students’ understanding of course material.

Engaging, educational technology is available for nearly every subject or level of education. Examples include:

   •  A.D.A.M. Education™: A variety of software that allows allied health, nursing and other medical students to view and interact with hundreds of anatomical structures.

   •  SMART®technology: Helps teachers bring concepts to life visually to engage students, improve classroom performance and build curiosity. For example, science students can interact with 3D objects, and math students can collaborate on problems, rearranging formulas with the swipe of a finger.


Want to know more about learning with today’s advanced classroom technology? Visit devry.edu.

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[1] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/media-spotlight/201402/are-there-benefits-in-playing-video-games
[2] http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2013/02/educators-build-historic-recreations-in-opensim/
[3] http://www.edudemic.com/top-5-tech-advancements-changing-the-face-of-education/