Technology is transforming every aspect of our lives, and education is no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the development of a hybrid approach to learning that combines traditional methods with digital aids. Even after the pandemic, technological tools are being used to supplement and enhance learning within and outside the classroom, and they have become an invaluable resource for educators.
There is no doubt that these technological tools are critical to facilitating the future of teaching, so if you have been wondering which learning tools and gadgets to introduce to your classroom, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we have compiled a list of the most effective technological tools that make administrative tasks such as grading, lesson planning, and meetings more efficient than ever. In turn, you’ll be able to dedicate more valuable time to your students.
Best Digital Tools for Teachers: Learning Management Systems & Software
A quality learning management system, or LMS, is essential to remaining organized. Typically, teachers are expected to manage everything from lesson planning, grading, and scheduling, as well as communicating with colleagues, students, and their parents. An LMS ensures that you can oversee all of your responsibilities within a single digital location, giving you the control and flexibility to optimize your productivity and stay on top of your tasks.
While there are countless LMS software available, it is important to choose one that will accommodate your expectations and requirements as a teacher. Some of the most widely used learning management systems include Canvas, Google Classroom, Blackboard, and Schoology.
Best Digital Tools for Teachers: Meeting & Collaboration Software
During the pandemic, schools throughout the country had to operate virtually to comply with social distancing guidelines. Teachers and students had to abruptly and quickly adapt to a completely remote teaching environment, enabled entirely by technology.
Meeting and collaboration software such as online calendars, text-based communication platforms, and video conferencing software were fundamental to allow teachers to connect and interact with their students and colleagues. Even after the pandemic, a hybrid approach to learning is increasingly becoming commonplace. This means that the aforementioned meeting and collaboration software still has an important role to play in education. For example:
- Virtual Calendars – These are a brilliant resource for teachers. A virtual calendar will ensure that you can schedule lessons, arrange meetings with students or parents, and collaborate with your colleagues and supervisors. You’ll immediately notice if there are any scheduling conflicts or timetabling issues, enabling you to resolve potential clashes and manage your deadlines seamlessly. Many virtual calendars can also send you notifications and reminders of particularly important events.
- Text-Based Communication Software – Email is time-consuming and won’t necessarily guarantee an immediate response, while phone calls are sometimes intrusive and inconvenient. Virtual messaging, on the other hand, is the perfect way for you to interact and communicate efficiently with your students and colleagues. It is quick, informal, and convenient, allowing you to keep in touch regardless of your location or what device you are using. Examples of such software include Slack, Google Chat, and Microsoft Teams.
- Video Conferencing – It’s not always possible to be physically present for every staff meeting or gather all of your students for a lesson. Alternatively, your school may have transitioned to a hybrid or remote learning model. In either case, video conferencing provides the advantages that are associated with face-to-face interaction irrespective of distance or location. Google Meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx are examples of excellent video conferencing software. With many of them, you can also connect with multiple people at a time, which makes it the perfect option for staff meetings and virtual classroom environments.
Best Tech Tools for Teachers: Hardware and Gadgets
Ultimately, the educational software that we have recommended in this article are most effective when they are accompanied by sophisticated hardware. Gadgets such as ergonomic technology and multiple screens will enhance your user experience and ensure that you can extract the maximum possible benefits from your educational software. If you have been thinking of maximizing your productivity and enhancing your efficiency as an educator, consider the following hardware upgrades:
- Ergonomic Technology – Ergonomic technology isn’t just a luxury choice, it is important for your health. Whatever technology you choose, it is expected that you will be using it for several hours a day, every day. Examples include keyboards, a mouse, and headphones that have been designed to support and maintain your posture over extended periods. It will also ensure that you are as comfortable as you can be, allowing you to concentrate and focus on your role as an educator.
- Multiple Screens – As a teacher, there’s a significant likelihood that you will be attending conferences, communicating with your students, planning lessons, and marking work simultaneously. Multiple screens are a brilliant and simple way for you to enhance and manage your multitasking abilities. For example, you could use one screen for grading papers and the other for referencing the answers, or you could use one for video conferencing while the other can display your notes and reminders for the meeting. A second or third screen can be easily connected to your laptop or desktop. This useful guide from Mobile Pixels explores the value of multiple screens for teaching in detail.
Multiple screens also are a great way to multitask more effectively in general, but portable monitors offer even more advantages. A traditional monitor has its own stand and cables, and can’t be moved around easily to save space on your desk. A portable monitor, on the other hand, doesn’t have a stand or any cables because it is magnetically attached to the side of your laptop or desktop.
Additionally, you can easily take a portable monitor wherever you go so that you can continue working on the go and away from home. The Duex portable monitors from Mobile Pixels are unparalleled when it comes to their design, specifications, and performance, and they are a cutting-edge technological solution that aligns perfectly with the future of teaching.