Digital Signs For Education – Technology Continues to Evolve Our Centers of Education

Education is a dynamic process in any society, and experts agree that it takes a wide range of different communication styles to get across to all the different learning styles that exist. As our modern world evolves and becomes more sophisticated, so do our learning institutions. And one way technology is being used to continually adapt to the complicated learning process and make it more efficient than ever is by using digital signs for education.

Here are just 5 ways that interactive digital media is being used in our top learning centers.

1. Bulletin Boards

Digital platforms are an extremely efficient means for replacing the drab bulletin boards of the past and create a vibrant, attention-getting visual display with video and audio for maximum effect. The bulletin boards were a waste of paper that was always being thrown out and after time even the boards themselves broke down and needed to be wasted. A video wall does not produce this kind of waste and gives information in way that will be noticed and not easily forgotten.

2. Navigation

Bigger universities are finding that interactive displays are excellent tools for assisting navigation around new universities for students and visitors alike. Complex mapping systems that plan out your route with a couple touches of the finger and concierge displays delivering essential information provide a great way to communicate with someone who is unsure of where to go and what to do. Less freshmen stumbling around with a dazed look on their face and less wasted time for employees giving directions for the hundredth time in a day.

3. Donor Recognition

Many of our top universities survived under the support of generous donors who wanted to give back to society or had a special place in their heart for that particular university. Interactive displays provide creative means of recognizing those contributions in a modern, eye-catching way that does wonders for the image of everyone involved. Donors feel a significant effort has gone into showing appreciation for their efforts and universities show they are embracing modern technology and staying ahead of trends.

4. Posters

Part of education involves other ways of communicating with students – such as informing about societal issues, advertising necessary services relevant to college students, and simply providing entertainment venues to keep college life exciting and welcoming. This is why you so often see posters plastered across the campus. Digital signs once again take away the need for wasted paper and communicate much more effectively. And instead of tearing down all the old stuff again and again, you can simply enter new data into online software from any comfortable location.

5. Emergency Systems

We all wish university life consisted of nothing but learning, growing, and having good times together. Unfortunately, bad things do happen, and certain aspects of modern culture have made tragic universities occurrences all to commonplace. And any venue this size needs an organized emergency system. A network of digital signs can provide that immediately, broadcasting images and announcements all prepared in advance.

Educational Technology Tools

Introduction:
Nowadays, technology and education are quite inter-related. Almost every teacher has some favorite technology tools that he / she use to involve the students in the lecture. With the advancements in the field of technology, the educational tools are also constantly evolving along with the addition of some better functionality and features. Therefore, it is difficult for a teacher to stay updated with the technology and utilize the most useful and newest tools. The educational tools can be characterized into various categories. Here, some of these tools will be discussed.

Technology Peripheral Equipment:
• Cloud Computing
• Social Networking Tools
• Web 2.0 Tools
• Classroom Instructional Media

Cloud Computing:
Cloud Computing uses the central remote servers and Internet in order to store the applications and data. Generally, the term ‘cloud computing’ is used for anything that provides the hosted services all over the World Wide Web. It enables the individuals to access their data and precious files from anywhere just with an Internet connection. This technology provides very effective computing by using a centralized data storage, bandwidth and processing. The most common example of cloud computing is Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo mail and so on. You can use the services just by connecting to the Internet.

Nowadays, many businesses are offering ‘virtual storage space’ which is a form of cloud computing. The students can use this technology in order to store their precious information. This would allow them to access their required information from the Internet even in the situations of data losses from their hardware devices.

Social Networking Tools:
With the rapid prevalence in our daily life, institutes still hesitate to use the social networks as an educational tool. There is a wide range of social media tools that can be used to make even better and more interactive environment in the classrooms. These tools enable the teachers to engage students in inventive ways by stimulating discussion and encouraging collaboration even among some soft-spoken students.

Different social networking tools possess distinct features. For example, Symbaloo provides the classroom resources management for the teachers. EDU 2.0 provides the course management system and teachers are able to share the quizzes, experiments, assignments, videos, lesson plans and other contents in a shared folder. Another tool Edublogs is quite similar to WordPress blogging platform and it only supports the educational content. Moreover, you will find a large number of other social networking tools that are currently used by the teachers and offers various different features and functionalities.

Web 2.0 Tools:
Web 2.0 tools provide an easy way of sharing, collaborating, editing and creating the online content generated by users. The teachers and students do not have to download and install these tools and they can effortlessly learn them within minutes. For example, Video Tools allow the user to integrate the useful videos into shared presentations and projects. Next, Presentation Tools make it easier for both the students and teachers to edit, create, upload and share their presentations. Moreover, Mobile Tools support quizzes, blogging, podcasting and media sharing etc. The use of these interesting applications in your cell phones can make it an efficient teaching tool. Furthermore, Community Tools provide a way for teachers and students to share their work.

Classroom Instructional Media:
The classroom instructional media includes audio, video and graphics services. These services are provided by the highly skilled co-ordination department and they are responsible to train the faculty members for operating media-equipped lecture rooms, maintain media-equipment in the lecture rooms and produce instructional material.

Conclusion:
With the rapid advancements in the technology, nobody can deny its importance in any field of life. Now, teachers and students can have a better collaboration and sharing by the use of ICT (Information Communication Technology). It is important for the teachers to stay updated with the latest advancements and newest features in the field of technology, so that they can deliver their lectures and helping material to the students in a better way.

Future Possibilities – Education Technology

Laptop and PDA’s

Individuals in the business world have been utilizing the power of the laptop and handheld for years now. The educational community has just started to utilize these tools in their schools. Many teachers have begun to use laptops and handhelds to create lesson and assess student achievement. Students with exceptionalities are also utilizing laptops and handhelds to assist them in their studies.

The future could have every student and staff carrying a laptop or handheld throughout the day. This phenomenon is already occurring in most post secondary institutions and as the cost of these technologies go down the more likely it is that every student will soon be booting up at the beginning of each instructional day.

Online textbooks

The financial burden the cost of textbooks put on the education system is staggering. New textbooks are purchase every couple of year only to be replaced a few year later with the new cutting edge book that is not much different from the previous. Many companies are beginning to create CD-ROM and online versions of their books.

In the future we will probably find school boards paying a yearly subscription to the textbooks of their choice, which will allow their student to have unlimited access to the books via the internet or downloaded directly to their on their laptops at a fraction of the cost of providing a physical text for every student. Publisher need not fear this will not be the end of the book as we know it since we all still enjoy curling up with a good novel and love flipping through our favourite picture book.

Using the Experts

It is already possible to watch a live feed of Elephant Seals from California and have students ask questions to an onsite marine biologist. However, this could occur more effortlessly and regularly in the future.

Teachers could have access to thousands of experts around the globe and be able to utilize their expertise and knowledge when teaching specific topics. Students would be able to ask questions via video conferencing and perhaps even witness live experiments and studies happening around the world.

Virtual Reality Experiments, Activities and Field Trips

Virtual worlds such as Second Life are beginning to make it possible to create your own digital self (avatar) to travel and experience the world of cyberspace. Currently people are creating stores, team, games, homes and companies in these virtual worlds. Even corporations and educational institutions are experimenting within cyberspace.

In the future a teacher could take their class on a tour of the Amazon rain forest or the Great Barrier Reef within cyberspace and allow each individual student to explore using their own avatar. This may seem a little far out, but believe it or not it is already happening.

Instant assessment and feedback

With the use of laptops and handhelds teachers are already beginning to be able to record their instant assessments of students instantly. Not only are the teachers able to document student’s achievements quickly but with the help of virtual educational communities they will be able to give instant feedback to the student, parents, other teachers and administration.

Worldwide collaboration

World wide collaboration has already begun as students communicate with others around the world via email, video conferencing and instant messaging. Many collaborative projects are also occurring in the shape of online collaborative websites know as wikis. These sites allow anyone that has permission to add and edit the sites information. The most popular wiki, Wikipedia, is use by many internet surfers today.

The future possibilities of worldwide collaboration are mind boggling. Students studying Africa could be teleconferencing with a classroom of children in Botswana. A student writing an essay on the holocaust could have an instant message conversation with a holocaust survivor. An Art lesson on Picasso could begin with a question and answer period with his granddaughter. This is not very far fetched as many universities have been using these types of technologies to enhance their lectures and programs.

Streamlined Administration

Departments of education and school board are beginning to realize the power of streamlining educational data. Marks, reading levels, medical history, achievements, learning disabilities, attendance and many other important data about students is beginning to be compiled into streamlined databases that will help educators understand their students better and customize their lessons to improve achievement.

The Future is Now

Even though many of these technologies are available today, and are beginning to be used is some classrooms around the world, it gives us an idea of where we are heading. What educators and administrator need to remember is that we need to make sure that we keep the art and the human aspect in education and not let technology and ourselves turn it into an exact science that suffocates creativity and unique teaching styles. The possibilities endless we only need the creativity and willingness to embrace these new tools.