High-speed Internet gives schools an advantage. It can better connect students with teachers, foster communication and collaboration in the classroom, and power educational tools that make it easier for students to learn. It can be especially advantageous for schools to have high-speed Internet in rural areas, where a large variety of physical educational resources may be harder to find. Current trends and top advances in educational technology all depend on high-speed Internet to function, so access to Internet for rural areas is extremely important.
Paperless textbooks or e-books can help schools avoid the costs of replacing outdated textbooks. While the use of electronic textbooks requires every student to have a computer or tablet, this cost is offset by the savings gained by using each computer or tablet for multiple subjects and multiple version updates of the same textbook. Tablets are also easily transportable and can hold multiple subjects-worth of materials into one device so that students don’t have to carry around large bookbags. Paperless textbooks also allow for multi-media tie-ins such as videos or audio that can enhance the learning experience.
In conjunction with e-books, cloud computing is helping students access assignments, grades and materials and collaborate for group projects. It can also help parents be more involved in the material their kids are learning about with sections on school websites for parents who want to stay up to date on their kids’ presentation due dates and topics.
Cloud computing can also help schools save money. eSchool News reports that cloud computing can allow schools to get more hard drive space but maintain their current computers, reducing the storage space required on servers. Cloud computing and storage can also reduce the need for large IT teams for each school district.
LCD touchboards are the white boards of the future. These multi-media enabled boards can show video and images on a screen so that teachers and students can edit in real time. They also allow multiple users to collaborate at one time so that kids can work on and present group projects to the class. Teachers worried that presentations would be cut short by the school bell can save all the materials and writing on the Touch board for future use.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistants can now be used in tutoring for subjects such as math and reading –assistants that can listen for correct answers and help out students that are stuck on certain problems or words.
Hand grading has traditionally taken up much of a teacher’s time. With artificial intelligence (AI), schools should soon be able to implement automatic grading. An AI automated grader can cut down on the time it takes to grade tests or quizzes, allowing teachers greater time to analyze the results and craft personalized learning techniques.
Where is technology trending over the next ten years? As virtual reality headsets become more prevalent and less expensive, their uses could extend to the classroom. Virtual reality headsets can now be used in a myriad of different ways for education, one of which is virtual field trips. When wearing a virtual reality headset, kids can take field trips not only to different parts of the country, but also to different parts of the world. Virtual reality can be used in the classroom to hammer home a message or to provide context to a lesson in subjects as diverse as history, sociology or biology.
A high-speed Internet connection can be important for education and for kids using online sources to learn both at school and at home. High-speed Internet in rural areas has many advantages, but one important one is improving the education within those communities.