By Becky Wilcox March 14, 2012 4:19 pm
More and more educators are taking advantage of the tremendous new software and web-based tools that have come out. Many of these applications have the potential to streamline their administrative duties and give students greater access to the resources they need to succeed. From learning management platforms and web conferencing software to test preparation and innovative new learning tools, teachers and students in the public education system have more options than ever.
Learning management platform—The rise of learning management systems (LMS) have been a huge boon for online educational companies and a huge resource for educators. LMS platforms have become an often used web tool among a number of different fields, including the medical education industry. Many administrators have used learning management applications to offer better medical assistant certification for instance.
Combining administrative tools with training, e-learning software, and online classroom events, a good LMS consolidates training methods on a computer-based platform that benefits teachers, students, and administrators. 2tor Inc. is one of the newest rock stars in online-learning programs, providing a virtual campus with access to learning modules and other resources. Similarly, Canvas, Sapling Learning, and Total Course Solution all offer powerful classroom management tools like online quizzes, grading, messaging, and blogs.
Web conferencing software—Web conferencing allows teachers and students to collaborate, learn, and plan remotely. The creation of virtual real-time spaces that facilitate to face to face interaction doesn’t necessarily have to replace the classroom, but it can certainly complement it. Software like Avaya web.alive allows educators to communicate and swap notes with ease, good analytics, and a robust support staff.
Lecture Capture—Teachers are often struggling to relay information from their lectures. Students who miss class or need additional help with a subject may need access to a particular lecture on an ongoing basis. Tegrity Campus is cloud-based service that captures and stores lectures for future use.
Test preparation—Acuity is an assessment software developed to helps K-12 teachers anticipate the needs of students prior to standardized testing. This includes pinpointing deficiencies in students’ educations and using this information to better train them for rigorous test-taking conditions. Similarly, Ascend Math is a web-based program that specifically targets gaps in students’ math skills. BrainPOP, which also focuses on Common Core standards in education, provides animated curriculum-based videos for K-12 classrooms.
Video game education—More and more educators are taking advantage of the popularity and ingenuity of video games in the classroom. Obviously, we’re not talking about first person shooters here. Companies like Tabula Digita, for instance, have created a platform called DimensionU, which is a video game-based learning resource that specializes in 3D multiplayer math and literacy games.
These is just a small cross-section of the kind of innovation occurring in the educational field. Administrators, teachers, and students all stand to benefit from these applications and tools, as they promise to help improve classroom settings, test scores, and student confidence.
Becky Wilcox is a freelance writer that has a passion for technology and education. In her spare time she loves to try out new dishes in the kitchen along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.