Top Free Technology Resources Educators Must Use!

Effective education is the need of the hour. Future of any country depends on its force of well-educated, well-groomed and responsible students. These are the students who will be responsible for bringing good innovations in their respective fields of interests. And these innovations fuel their nation’s economy. A student is an outcome of various teachers and their methods of teaching which shaped him/her. And hence, the teacher plays a crucial role in shaping the future of the country.

A teacher teaches many students, who might have varied interests. Imparting knowledge to such students in a way which will help them understand and apply better while keeping in mind their diverse field of interests is a difficult task to do. Whereas it’s tough for teachers to consider each student’s interest as they are restricted to their conventional style of teaching.

Evolution of the Gurukula System

Teaching is the passage of information with excellent communication happening between the teacher and student. The style of teaching has evolved a lot since the Gurukula system which was residential in nature. In this system, the Guru and the Shishyas would live in proximity of one another. The Gurukula system focused on effective communication and learning. The educating and learning scenario changed a lot now. The distance between the teacher and the student is increasing as distance learning classrooms are evolving. Present day classrooms are not limited to just four walls they are far more than that and the learners are excited about it.

Students are opting for new learning methods both online and offline. They want to learn new skills and understand them at their own pace. This is a sign of positive change happening everywhere as learning knows no boundaries now. Modern Day education system relies on technology to help students and teachers realize their full potential and be effective respectively.

How teaching reflects on creativity

A recent study on ‘how creativity impacts the lives of people having different professional backgrounds’ says 75% of participants think they are not living up to their creative potential. On the other hand, 82% of individuals think that it would’ve been better if they have explored their creativity at an early age, and they lacked the necessary guidance.

Effective teaching methods can lead to creativity in students. As the student understands things better, they can experiment with the ideas. With proper professional guidance, mere theories can be brought into practical use. Creativity can be taught and learned. And yes, creativity is everywhere and an essential part of everyone’s professional skill set.

Schools and colleges are enabling a positive change

Finding right methods to teach different things is the basis of effective teaching. The teacher teaches but the student is not able to grasp that completely. Teaching should be effective as it develops in students a sense of confidence.

Schools and colleges are finding out new and effective techniques which will be beneficial to both the teacher and student. But there continues to be a gap between the teacher and student in terms of understanding at an applicable level. This gap should not grow more as it is a sign of unhealthy learning. To bridge this gap technology comes in handy.

Educational institutions all over deeply intrigued by technology and different ways in which it can help students grow. Both at intellectual and physical level.

How free technological resources is helping educators

Something that’s helping out almost everyone who wants to learn is the internet. The kind of fast connectivity we have with people around the world is breathtaking. To make use such a vivid connectivity around the globe for educational use is a challenge. And since the birth of education for all was always the priority. Names like EdX, Udemy, Coursera and many others have surrounded the education market and have helped students develop new skills and learn effectively. They have tie-ups with many universities and colleges. Students have the liberty to learn and grow in a way they feel comfortable.

The demand for professionals having a good set of skills is always there in the market. The variety of online resources available nowadays are readily helping learners, educators and researchers to find answers to their questions and gain insights into various topics. With better management, helpful tools and the way in which online resources are helping people learn makes them a standout. Apart from being useful, many of these resources are free too. They guarantee educators to remotely create an environment in which students can understand topics in a better manner. Not only they are an inexpensive way to manage your classroom; they are fun too. An enjoyable way to engage students in content across the curriculum.

Apart from being useful, many of these resources are free too. They guarantee educators to remotely create an environment in which students can understand topics in a better manner. Not only they are an inexpensive way to manage your classroom; they are fun too. They prove to be an enjoyable way to engage students in their syllabus.

Here are some free technological tools educators must use for effective education.

Skype

We all know Skype. For those who don’t know Skype, where have you been? Skype offers free service for calls and chat and has become popular in recent years. Skype has revolutionized how people around the world communicate with each other. Friends and families living far away now have an easy, affordable way to communicate. Businesses have used it to increase the possibilities of remote work which has enhanced the collaboration. The good news is that teachers have started to explore the opportunities it brings to education as well.

Skype can be used as a tool to connect students from different places and backgrounds. It can help them learn and explore the world which is beyond their circle. Skype makes communication for students and teachers more direct and fast.

Teachers can now connect with classes around the world. Students can learn from cultures and lifestyles other than their own. Writing a song, practicing a new art or craft, learning a new language or debating on a topic, all this can be done with students in classrooms around the world. If educators use Skype, it can prove to be a helpful tool in building a global community of learners while instilling togetherness.

Google Classroom

Google has it all covered in the education space. Tools like Google Docs, Google Forms, Google hangouts and other google-ed tools are empowering communities of preachers and seekers. Google Classroom is a free web-based platform. Google offers you integration with your G Suite for Education account with all your other G Suite services like Google Docs, Gmail, and Calendar. The very reason why educators are using it is that it saves time and paper. Creating a class is made unbelievably easy with Classrooms. It also lessens other burdens for teachers like distributing assignments, communicating with students and educators and also grading them.

We all use Google and have an account on some or the other services which Google provide. Educators can create and manage classes, assignments, and grades while giving students direct, real-time feedback of their grades. With the data that accumulates in the process, it is helpful for both teachers and students to get a better insight on this data. With better insights, teachers can give them meaningful and precise feedback.

Wikispaces

A wiki is a web page built with an edit button. It is easy to use and perfect for collaborative learning. Setting up a wiki into the classroom provides a very different kind of online experience for your students. By doing this, educators are making them responsible. The control is now in students hands. Isn’t this an interesting reversal of roles?

By giving students more control over a project’s outcome teachers can encourage them to be producers, rather than just consumers, of information. This change of roles eventually helps students learn effectively.

Quora

Quora was founded in 2009. This social network gets more than 100 million monthly unique visitors. They welcomed mobile users in late May 2013. But the fully grown website site as we see now started to reach audiences in last two years. With such a massive user base, Quora can be used a great learning tool.

Quora may be new for some, but it has taken good communication to a whole new level. Quora is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users.

Like a student asks issues in the classroom Similarly, questions can be asked on Quora about anything and everything. To make it simpler for you, Quora can be thought of as a social network that helps you to find your answers. For instance, a student has a question ‘How can I learn to code efficiently?’. When a student posts this question on Quora. Quora notifies members who hold relevance to this question so they can answer it. As soon as one of the member answers it Quora notifies the student.

A teacher can create topics to organize questions by class. Students can then respond to the questions allowing teachers to give necessary feedback. If there are a lot of questions per homework assignment or project, you can also create subtopics for each. Posts on Quora can be used to make announcements. Teachers can put the course topic on the post and limit to topic followers only, and then lift the post to the topic. Besides being able to ask questions, it would probably be a good experience for students to answer questions on subjects that they just learned well.

Ted-Ed

Research shows that 94% of the teachers have effectively used videos during the academic year and they have found video learning quite impactful. Video learning and teaching methods are better reading from traditional textbooks. Videos can tell a story which is usually gripping and can avoid student distraction. Since there is no reading, involved students can grasp better by just watching. 

Concepts that are difficult to understand in any other way are learned by watching people perform or demonstrate the process. This demonstration along with the possibility to re-watch the process makes understanding a lot easier.

Stephanie Lo, Director of TED-Ed Programs, advises students and teachers to watch and share Ted Ed videos. TedED channel is full of short, animated lessons created specifically for students. When searching, teachers can filter by student age there are talks for elementary school students, middle school students, high school students and college students. And she recommends that, whether they’re using a lesson or a talk, teachers prepare discussion questions to get students thinking before they get to class.


There are various videos available on YouTube on the TedEd channel. The channel focuses on educational topics that matter. Students can learn a lot by watching these videos. Educators can take the support of this video teaching based to make sure that students understand their subjects better. Like the above video which puts light on the history of the numerical system.

Conclusion

The process of teaching is changing, and so is the process of learning. Educators must make use of these tools to enable active learning and its benefits. With the passage of time teaching methodologies will evolve in ways unimaginable. How these methods transform student lives in the future will be a beautiful thing we will witness in the near future!

About Guest Author

Amol Wagh is an Author & Technology Blogger at http://www.digitalconqurer.com, and in his efforts towards ‘Technology in Education’ he has compiled extensive technology resources for educators in his recent articles.

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I am Arjun Bhattarai from Palpa, a beautiful and lovely place of Western Region.I have completed ACCA and currently doing MA (Economics) from Tribhuwan University. Apart from writing and playing with codes, I love being Lazy and doing nothing.
Find me at www.azu.me

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