“Education is evolving due to the impact of the Internet. We cannot teach our students in the same manner in which we were taught. Change is necessary to engage students not in the curriculum we are responsible for teaching, but in school. Period.” – April Chamberlain
The impact of technology in the educational sector is, without overstatement, immeasurable. Technology has caused a massive turn around in the world of teaching and learning; it’s continuously making both teachers and students smarter, and the learning process more comfortable. Washington.edu asserted that “teaching with technology can deepen student learning by supporting instructional objectives.”
Against some opinions that technology will replace teachers in the nearest future, current experience has shown that rather than replacing teachers, technology is greatly facilitating teachers’ job. Bill Gates affirmed this:
“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.”
In this series, I examine some of the most prominent technology tools designed to facilitate education and their specific functions.
Panopto is a lecture-capture tool that allows teachers to record lectures directly from their computers, laptops or mobile devices. It doesn’t need elaborate or additional classroom equipment. With Panopto, teachers can record lectures as they give them and then upload them for students to re-watch.
This tool saves teachers the stress of repeating lectures and also affords the students the opportunity to listen to lectures as many times as they want.
Panopto also allows for the simultaneous capture of audio, video and applications (e.g. Microsoft PowerPoint). The video recordings can be shared in a variety of ways during or after the presentation.
Panopto is available on www.panopto.com.
ZipGrade is an optical grading app. With ZipGrade, teachers can grade as soon as students complete a quiz or test and give feedback to their students. It can scan, grade, and organize up to 20 tests a minute.
ZipGrade is free to download and scan 100 papers per month free. The answer sheets are also free to download from the website. Unlimited scanning costs $6.99 for 1 year.
ZipGrade is available for both iOS and android users.
Kaizena is a tool that enables teachers to leave feedbacks on students’ works using the Kaizena website (kaizena.com), Google Docs, or Microsoft. It also gives teachers the option to use voice feedback instead of typing out feedbacks. It is integrated with, and seamlessly adds file from, Google Drive.
With Kaizena, students, instead of waiting for teachers’ feedback, can request feedback as they need it. They can either upload Microsoft Office files or PDFs to their Google Drive account or they can create their assignments within Google Drive. The teacher will get an alert that a student has submitted and can then leave text or voice feedback.
PlagScan is plagiarism detection software. PlagScan enables teachers to identify plagiarism easily. It also gives teachers the platform to educate students on the appropriate usage of external sources in academic works as well as protecting copyrights of texts.
After scanning a submitted text for plagiarism, this tool provides the user with a detailed report. Among other things, the report will highlight potential plagiarism and list the sources of similarities.
Plagscan enables teachers to identify dishonest/lazy students who copy and paste other people’s projects online instead of writing their own unique assignments.
Edmodo is an educative social network that helps connect all learners with the people and resources needed to reach their full potential. It is a social media platform which enables educational stakeholders such as teachers, students as well as parents to connect, collaborate, share educational content, access school assignments, classroom announcements, events etc. anytime anywhere.
This tool allows teachers and students to interact well in a more relaxed but safe setting.
Edmodo is integrated with Google Apps for Education and Microsoft OneNote & Office. To use edmodo, go to edmodo.com or download the mobile app from Google Play Store.
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