Innovation is everywhere in education. Hardly a day goes by without a new hardware or software release that promises to revolutionize teaching and learning.
It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that one of these innovations could someday alter the student-teacher dynamic. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.
As we gas up our cars and brave airport security lines to spend time with friends and family this Thanksgiving, it seems as good a time as any to take stock of the innovations that we are most thankful for in schools.
To do that, we polled our readers on Twitter, asking them to name one technology that they couldn't imagine life in the classroom without.
@edtech_k12 Blogs in general ... ability to easily publish teacher and student information in a professional manner
— Mark A. Bates (@markabates) November 1, 2012
Blogs have been around almost as long as the Internet, but educators continue to use them for writing instruction, collaboration and professional development.
@edtech_k12 A digital camera - portable, handheld, accessible for all even very young children, & support alternative ways of expression.
— Dr Narelle Lemon (@rellypops) November 1, 2012
The handheld devices make it easier than ever for teachers and students to bring the world around them into the classroom.
Edmodo!! “@edtech_k12: Can you name a classroom technology or app, excluding tablets, that you are most thankful for? Let us know.”
— Michael Quinn (@neurophilomath) November 1, 2012
This social learning platform simplifies classroom-based online interaction between students and teachers.
@edtech_k12 Google Drive, Docs & Sites are my top apps, easy, collaborative, powerful
— Jason D'Argent (@JASONDARGENT) November 1, 2012
Free resources from the online search provider continue to give schools more options for storing and creating documents without the cost.
@edtech_k12 - Simply theLCD projector. It replaced wrestling with slide carousels and gathering students to see small images.
— Laura Lamey (@LauraLamey) November 12, 2012
@edtech_k12 the projector.I would be lost without it!
— Christy Tyler (@christymtyler) November 1, 2012
Portable LCD projectors have made those clumsy overhead machines a thing of the past, and teachers—and students—couldn’t be happier.
@edtech_k12 Students' laptops and a decent browser, that allows them to use free, webbased learning tools without hassle
— e-Didaktik (@edidaktik) November 2, 2012
Perhaps no single piece of technology has done more for education in the last 10 years than the notebook. And web browsers, particularly ones with security measures that schools can adjust and monitor, make all the difference.
— John Iglar (@j_iglar) November 12, 2012
Software can be an expensive proposition for a lot of schools. Open source gives educators options that won’t break the bank. (edit: And, as John Iglar points out in the comment section below, the tools also give teachers and studetns improved "choice and control," allowing them to become more software creators than consumers.)
So, what classroom innovations are you most thankful for?