It’s no secret that technology has profoundly impacted almost every aspect of our lives. And the education sector is no exception. In recent years, there has been a shift towards using interactive technologies in the classroom, and for good reason. Interactive technologies, such as interactive displays, mobile devices, and educational apps are radically changing how students learn, enhancing communication and collaboration, and allowing students to learn at their own pace.
What is interactive technology?
In the context of education, interactive technology is any technology that enables students to view information and interact with the content in their lessons.
Interactive technologies in the classroom can take many different forms. Some examples are:
- Interactive classroom displays: These allow teachers to create interactive presentations and activities that engage and motivate students.
- Mobile devices: Students can use their smartphones or tablets to access online resources, collaborate with classmates, and submit assignments.
- Educational apps: There are a wealth of apps available that cater to different learning styles and can be used for various purposes, from revision and practice to assessment and feedback.
- Augmented reality: These apps provide an immersive experience that can bring concepts to life and make learning more engaging.
- Video games: While not traditionally considered educational, a growing body of research suggests video games can be used effectively to teach a variety of subjects, from literacy and numeracy to science and history.
How is interactive technology changing education?
Interactive technology has revolutionised learning by making it much more engaging. It has also made learning more accessible, as students can access online resources from anywhere at any time.
In the past, education was often delivered with a one-size-fits-all approach, students being taught in the same way, at the same pace. However, with interactive technology, students can learn at their own pace and in a way that suits their individual learning styles.
This shift towards personalised learning has been made possible by using data and analytics. By tracking how students interact with the content, teachers can adapt their lessons to better meet their students’ needs.
The benefits of interactive technology in the classroom
There are many benefits of using interactive technologies in the classroom, both for teachers and students.
Some of the benefits of interactive technology for teachers are:
It allows them to create more engaging and interactive presentations
Teachers can use interactive displays and apps to create more engaging and immersive presentations than traditional PowerPoint slides. Teachers can encourage student participation by adding hyperlinks to additional content, pop-ups, quizzes, or games to their presentations.
These types of presentations are also much more flexible and dynamic, allowing educators to tailor their presentations to the needs of students and the direction of the discussion at any given time. Educators can jump between slides and access additional resources as new questions arise.
It gives them the ability to easily assess student understanding
Digital assessments connected to a digital tracking system allow educators to keep track of test scores, homework completion rates, number of reading hours, and other essential metrics in real-time. This allows educators to easily assess students, provide more attention to students who need it, and pivot their teaching strategies if required.
It saves time by providing access to a wealth of resources in one place
Interactive technologies give educators access to a wealth of information and educational resources, making sourcing and using valuable lesson resources much faster and easier. Locating saved documents, finding new resources, or finding information during lessons becomes much easier when an educator can search for it in a digital database.
For instance, lesson-creation tools explicitly designed for teachers can help educators create dynamic and interactive lessons with much less preparation than would generally be required. Educators can leverage online resources, create interactive activities, use polls and quizzes to encourage discussion, and use e-portfolios to record student learning.
It allows them to get more creative
Interactive display technology enables teachers to think outside the box and integrate more of their creative ideas into their lessons. These tools can allow teachers to create lessons with mixed media, gamified elements, video clips, and more, with relatively minimal prep and planning.
It enables them to tailor their lessons to meet the needs of all learners
By providing content in a variety of formats, such as audio, video, and text, as well as a range of interactive features, such as quizzes, polls, and games, all learners can access the material in a way that suits them best. Digital tools also enable teachers to cater to students with special needs and allow them to identify students who need more attention.
Some of the benefits of an interactive classroom for students are:
It increases motivation and engagement
When students are actively engaged in the material, they are more likely to be motivated to learn. Interactive technologies provide opportunities for students to be creative and explore new ideas. They also allow students to receive immediate feedback on their work, which can help them stay focused and engaged.
It develops 21st-century skills
Interactive technologies require students to use various skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration. By using these technologies in the classroom, students can develop these essential skills and, of course, any skills related to the use of the technology itself.
Through daily use of technology at schools, we teach students how to safely and effectively use technology, setting them up for the future. For example, they can learn how to use the internet, find resources online, and differentiate between reliable and unreliable information (a task that requires critical thinking skills and technology skills).
It builds confidence
Using interactive technologies in the classroom can help build student confidence. These technologies allow introverted students to participate in class without having to speak in front of their peers. They also enable students to take risks and experiment with new ideas without the fear of failure.
It allows them to learn at their own pace
One of the key advantages of using technology in the classroom is that it allows students to learn at their own pace. With online resources, students can review concepts as many times as they need to understand them fully. They can also move ahead at their own pace without waiting for the rest of the class to catch up.
It caters to different learning styles
Interactive technologies provide content in various formats, which cater to different learning styles. Visual learners can benefit from videos and infographics, while auditory learners can learn from audio recordings and podcasts. This means that all students can access the material in a way that suits them best, resulting in a more effective learning experience.
It provides opportunities for collaboration and communication
Technology makes it easier for students to brainstorm with their peers, share and work on projects together, and give and receive feedback. For example, discussion boards on online learning platforms provide a space for students to ask questions, share ideas and have discussions with their classmates outside of class time. This is particularly beneficial for introverted students who may not feel comfortable participating in class discussions.
Interactive technology can also help students improve their ability to communicate with their peers and their teachers. For instance, students can be encouraged to share ideas or concepts on the interactive whiteboard, give presentations, use video conferencing tools, or communicate with others working on collaborative projects.
It gives them instant feedback
Interactive technologies give students instant feedback on their performance, which can be a significant motivation booster. When students can see their progress and how well they are doing, they are more likely to stay engaged.
3 interactive classroom technologies
Here are three examples of using interactive technology in the classroom to enhance lessons.
Mind mapping is a great way to brainstorm ideas, make connections and see the big picture. It’s also a very visual activity, making it perfect for interactive displays.
Many mind mapping software programs are available, such as XMind and MindMeister. These programs allow students to create mind maps that they can share with their classmates or teachers.
An interactive whiteboard, such as Promethean’s ActivPanel, is a great way to deliver content and engage students in the classroom. Promethean’s ActivPanel comes with a built-in computer, projector, and speakers. Paired with interactive lesson delivery software ClassFlow, the technology allows teachers to create and deliver engaging lessons. ClassFlow comes with several features that make it interactive, such as annotating images and videos, using digital ink, and saving notes.
Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes computer-generated images onto the real world. Teachers can use this in the classroom to create immersive learning experiences.
Many different augmented reality software programs are available, such as ARIS, DAQRI, and Aurasma. These programs allow students to create and view augmented reality content.
When used in the classroom, teachers can use augmented reality to create virtual field trips, interactive simulations, and more.
The benefits of interactive technologies are only getting clearer
The benefits of integrating interactive technology into the classroom are clear. Interactive technologies can help educators create a more engaging learning environment tailored to each student’s individual needs. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that technology is revolutionising learning.
If you’re interested in incorporating interactive displays into your classroom or would like to know more about our products and services, contact us today for a free demo!