An introduction to integrating technology in the classroom

What is integrating technology in the classroom?

Integrating technology in the classroom is how a teacher incorporates some form of technology into their teaching practice to enhance learning by their students. This technology could be as simple as a data projector showing presentations or videos to something as complicated as an app-based assessment tool. Research has shown that technology increases student engagement and encourages teachers to explore new approaches to pedagogy. A virtual classroom, or virtual learning environment, could be seen as one result of integrating technology in teaching and learning. Technology becomes the frame in which education takes places. 

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How edtech can equip learners with the right skills for the 4th industrial revolution

In recent times there has been much talk of a ‘4th industrial revolution’, as the lines between physical and digital experiences blur more and more. What exactly is the 4th industrial revolution and what skills can edtech help learners develop?

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Pioneering home-language learning of mathematics in a digital environment in South Africa

Learning mathematics in a second language has been identified as a major barrier to understanding mathematical concepts and terms for South African learners. The Cambridge Mathematics Dictionary App (English and isiXhosa) is an easy to use, helpful mobile reference tool for South African learners aged between 10 and 15 years old (Grades 4 to 9). Written in a language that is easily accessible to non-­mother tongue speakers of English, the app  contains over 900 Maths terms and definitions in both English and isiXhosa. Words are explained using examples relevant to the South African context and entries are supported with compelling visual content  to further enhance the explanations and to reinforce the concepts.

Mathematics Dictionary App

Developing this app, the authors wanted to ensure that all the mathematics terminology needed in the South African Intermediate and Senior Phase classroom was covered to really support learners in their studies. More than this, they wanted the content to be interesting, creatively presented and, most of all, learner-friendly. By helping learners to acquire and understand the terminology used in the mathematics classroom, they are able to engage with the concepts in a meaningful and constructive way, rather than being hindered by possible gaps in comprehension.

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Why teaching 21st Century skills using educational technology is essential

Today’s learner needs a rounded skillset appropriate for a job market where digital savvy and the ability to work within multiple disciplines are both crucial. In a world that is hyper-connected through a diverse range of communication technologies, it’s important for learners to acquire adaptable ways of working with others. Educational technology can address these needs, helping learners acquire learning, literacy and life skills.

21st Century Skills
Using digital technology to teach 21st Century Skills

What are 21st Century Skills? The Three ‘Ls’

The Partnership for 21st Century Learning divides 21st Century skills into three categories: Life, learning and literacy skills.

Learning skills such as critical and creative thinking as well as the arts of collaboration and communication are more important than ever. Global trade and industry and the global dissemination of information means that learners are emerging into multilingual and multidisciplinary work environments.  As Thoughtful Learning says:

‘To hold information-age jobs … students also need to think deeply about issues, solve problems creatively, work in teams, communicate clearly in many media, learn ever-changing technologies, and deal with a flood of information.’

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Mobile learning in Africa: How mobile educational technology benefits learners

Cheaper mobile devices coupled with the boom in educational app development means that many learners in developing countries can now access quality educational media outside of the classroom. An increase in mobile access (especially in Nigerian and South African markets) has enabled educational technology businesses and non-profits to broaden education, taking learning to students’ daily commutes and homes.

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