Teaching in class using tech today has traditionally been with the use of either computers or presentation devices such as projectors. Optimally, these would have been sufficient enough. However, seriously advanced tech-wise in the past few years, and there are now far more options and features available on various gadgets that may be efficient for use in the classroom. What are these you ask? Well, let’s look at the four coolest gadgets you can have for you classroom.
Wireless External HDDs
Let’s start with something basic and generic. In our mobile device era, owning a smartphone or tablet in the modern classroom is the norm. So, what better way to give your class access to needed information and data by opening up a wireless external hard drive for your students to use? You can either use a WiFi based HDD, or some of the other ones that use multiple wireless methods, depending on what your class can access the easiest.
There aren’t any actual specific brands recommended for this, but be sure to get something that is adequate for your data sharing needs. Oh, and don’t forget to set your files and data to read-only.
Voice recognition is the craze nowadays, with innovations in the technology as demonstrated by Google Now and Siri. Amazon Echo more or less functions like those two. You can ask the weather, sports, facts, or even a few mundane questions that would have it mimic an actual human being. The difference is that it has the convenient feature of listening to the voice commands of every potential user in the room. It can collectively share information, opinion, and digital resources with multiple users.
For example, it can act as a teaching assistant in class, relaying information live, or bringing up information on a screen for students to hear and see. Conversely, it can also act as a learning assistant for the students themselves. It can save and record every single voice query, along with the answers it gives, through its associated mobile device app.
Here’s a good and very simple gadget that can be used to add considerably more spice to any teacher’s class sessions. The Chromecast is basically like your plug-in Android OS dongle but is instead optimized for media streaming. In the days of the old, giving a video presentation usually required bulky VHS or disc players. Today, we have multimedia microconsoles, with Chromecast even bearing a form factor several times smaller than the average Roku or Apple TV.
If its convenience isn’t yet obvious, remember that entire DVD set of “Cosmos” you used to show in class? Well, you can now easily stream the entire series collection from your phone to a single Chromecast device.
Touted as the device the re-sparked interest in VR, the Oculus Rift provides an out of this world experience by combining motion tracking, sights and sounds to provide an almost realistic experience inside a digital world. How would VR reshape the classroom specifically? If you haven’t heard the buzzwords “immersive education” or “VR education”, well hello Rip Van Winkle, it’s probably time for you to wake up.
Here are three words that can give you an idea of Oculus Rift’s potential in education: World of Comenius. The World of Comenius is, in a nutshell, a VR learning platform, in which the software can actively teach a user almost anything at any subject using the tangible interactivity. In other words, it is the students themselves that explore worlds, dimensions, concepts and processes using intuitive interaction, observing VR objects and ‘holding’ them as if they are actually there.
Curious? Check out this video to see how a few “elders” felt about the Oculus Rift.