As technology advances, schools are becoming a playground for electronic devices. The use of tablets, smartphones, iPads, laptops, Kindles, Nooks, gaming laptops and everything in between has become a part of the educational world. Many schools provide these devices to students and many other schools are allowing students to use their personal devices for academic purposes.
Incorporating these devices into classroom learning takes a large amount of preparation. The school must do some preparation work to ensure Internet access, technical support, IT support and Internet safety. As these devices become a popular educational tool make sure your school is prepared to handle it.
Just a few years ago, wireless connection was mostly used for teachers who had laptop computers. Today, the wireless network is being used by both teachers and students alike. If you are going to allow and even encourage tech-enhanced learning at your school you really need to beef up the wireless network. If laptops, tablets, smartphones and e-readers are all trying to access your wireless network, bandwidth is going to be drained.
In order to support the increased use of the wireless network your school must make an investment. You have to beef up the wireless. There is no point in purchasing devices for tech-enhanced learning if Internet connection is slow and unreliable.
IT Support Staff
With a large amount of wireless use, an IT support staff is inevitable. Be sure your school is equipped with IT support. Whether this is designated teachers or an entirely separate staff, make sure someone knows how to fix problems when they arise. Keep these staff well versed on all devises that will be used in the classrooms.
Before you can incorporate tech-enhanced learning into the classroom you must train staff. Staff members are the ones who will run these programs. Train them in the use of all devices available. If your school has classroom sets of any device you should conduct on training on using the items. Teachers will not use the devices in their classroom if they are not confident working with them.
Once you have increased your bandwidth and created a safe online environment for kids, you need devices for students to use. There are a few ways to go about getting these into your school. Grants are a great and effective way to get more laptops, tablets or iPod touches into your classroom. If you cannot get funding for these devices, many schools are piloting ‘bring your own device’ programs. This way, students who already have devices that can enhance the classroom learning can bring them.
Brian Jensen works with Dell. In his spare time he enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with his family. He has a passion for learning and writing about all things technology. Take a look at Brian’s favorite gaming laptops here.