Instructional technology involves the application of theory, techniques, and tools to design and develop learning materials. It aims to facilitate educational and training systems in schools, universities, and organizational settings. Instructional technology has evolved over time into what it is today, particularly in education. But the focus of this technology remains, which is to create engaging and effective learning experiences for the learners. Meanwhile, educators and teachers are actively learning how to incorporate instructional technology in education. Here are 5 instructional technology platforms for teaching and learning, be it fully virtual, fully face-to-face, or somewhere in between.
Mixed Reality Simulations
TeachLIVE/Mursion is a mixed reality simulation tool for pre-service teachers and teachers to practice live lessons in virtual interactive settings. They will be dealing with student avatars (improvisation from live interactors) who behave and respond just like real students. These avatars represent different personality types – chatterbox, reluctant talker, inattentive learner, stubborn disobeyer, and so on. Furthermore, there are also student avatars with disabilities such as autism and intellectual disabilities. This technology provides a unique risk and judgment-free environment for teachers to practice class management and instruction delivery skills.
You can’t take back what you said. Discussing suicide and depression with students in distress is rather challenging for some teachers. They are afraid of saying wrong words that might trigger the students, making them even more emotionally unstable. It would be better if the teachers can practice these delicate communication skills with virtual students. The virtual suicide training program called Kognito makes this happen. It trains teachers to identify, approach, and help students who may be at risk of suicide or self-mutilation. With this role-play simulation, it can thus improve student mental health, academic performance, and school safety.
Classrooms Without Boundaries
Most of us learn things better and retain them longer when we are able to visualize them. Google Expeditions helps teachers to make their lessons more interesting and engaging through virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) modes. With VR mode, teachers can then take their students on virtual field trips, exploring anywhere in the world beyond classroom walls. You can take a tour to Barcelona (one of Europe’s cultural hubs) or dive into the underwater realm of the tropical Caribbean Sea. You can also travel back in time to the birth of the Industrial Revolution or the Mesozoic era (age of the dinosaurs). There are over 900 VR tours to explore. You name it, Google Expeditions has it.
On the other hand, the AR mode brings the world into the classroom. Teachers can bring volcanoes, comets, or sharks into their classrooms. Students can meet gods and goddesses of ancient Greece such as Zeus and Medusa right in their classroom. With a list of over 150 AR Expeditions available, it brings abstract concepts to life.
G Suite for Education
COVID-19 has caused everyone scrambling to adapt to remote learning or e-learning. G Suite for Education is a collection of Goggle tools and services to build a conducive remote learning environment. It is available at no cost to all educational institutions around the world that qualify. The core services include Google Classroom, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Meet, and Jamboard, just to name a few. While supporting all the learning objectives, these tools help to increase opportunities for critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Teachers can assign tasks, grade, and give feedback to students. Students can create their own websites and share them with others. Documents can be edited and collaborated in real-time. All users can join video calls and online forums for discussions.
The Bitmoji classroom
This cute and functional app seems to be a hot new trend among teachers. Teachers use the Bitmoji classroom to design and create colourful virtual classrooms featuring avatar versions of themselves. They can then share their masterpiece to students via platforms, for example, Google Slides, Microsoft PowerPoints, Canvas, or Schoology. Teachers can be creative by adding various items into their classrooms and link them to external sources. When students enter the classroom, they can click around as they explore the space. They can either click on a book to access reading assignments or on a TV to watch documentaries. With this Bitmoji classroom, teachers can make important announcements, build a virtual library, or create a resource hub. Students will never find their classrooms boring anymore with these cartoon-like images and designs.
In today’s fast-paced world, instructional technology can be both frustrating and exciting. Things are changing exponentially and it’s important to learn and adapt. As soon as we figure out how to use the current technology, it changes again with new technology coming in. The exciting part? We have more channels to reach the learners!
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