Create an interactive learning experience for every classroom or office!

Posts tagged ‘Technology’

China vs. The US- Meeting Students’ Technology Needs

Today I’d like to share this cool infographic that I found showing some of the differences between China and the US, and their attempts to integrate technology in the classroom.  Pretty interesting!  Take a look!

China vs. The U.S.: Meeting Students’ Technology Needs


Awesome Tips for Integrating Technology and Education

Today I’d like to share a great article that I found that provides educators with some valuable pointers for integrating technology into their teaching.  Take a look!

5 Secrets For Smarter Education Technology Integration

With instructional strategies, data collection, curricular planning, personal communication, and classroom management to consider, where technology fits in to a teacher’s workday isn’t obvious—especially a new teacher. But if you can consider technology as a macro tool rather than a micro task, this simple paradigm shift can make all the difference.

A Means and an End

Technology is as much an end as a means.

While it can act as a powerful tool to actuate thinking, curate performance, and connect learners, technology can create its own need to know, and even obscure the reasons for learning in the first place.

On a simple level, there is the matter of function. While hardware (iPads) and software (programs and apps) are designed to be accessible, there are inevitably problems. Passwords can fail, broadband access can be problematic, and even the simplest act—such as copying a file from one drive to another—can take up more time than they save, and suggest a point of diminishing return.

On a murkier, more complex level is the idea of workflow.

Technology Workflow

Technology workflow refers to the role of technology in learning facilitation—specifically what is used when for what reason.

If a student is taking notes using an iPad, then needs to share those notes with a partner, the technology workflow is simple. The student internalizes materials, interfaces with the technology to capture thinking, then uses an app or function of an app to share the file. At this point, all is well.

But if ten lab partners need to access unique databases, return to a shared physical (or digital) space to share ideas, communicate priorities, then re-disperse, the workflow is more complicated and recursive.  This matters less with individuals (though it matters then, still), and more when large groups like classes or entire schools access similar hardware, software, and even content.

Workflow can make or break technology use.

Luckily, there are some ideas to keep in mind as you plan.

1. Think Function First

As you approach technology, think first of what it is doing. What exactly it is doing.

To do this, you’ll need to observe some barrier to learning—otherwise the technology use is, at best, gratuitous, and at worst, leading students away from what you’re wanting them to come to understand.

Rather than think “What’s a cool way to use twitter?”, you might notice that students are missing out on real-world access to content experts. Then you might notice that blogging, twitter, and RSS feeds are all three powerful ways to connect students to said experts.

Technology use here becomes strategic, intentional, and more likely to result in additional capacity for learning with technology.

2. Let Students Lead

Students may or may not know technology better than you. This is difficult to judge because their knowledge here can be so uneven.

Regardless, they likely know it differently than you do. So let them lead.

Let them choose new applications for existing technology—a new way to use Evernote, or a smarter way to use hyperlinking in Microsoft Word.

Let them corral emerging trends in social media use and work them into the learning process.

Let them figure out the logistics of turning work in, sharing feedback, and maintaining a digital portfolio. While this is necessary in a BYOD environment, it is possible anywhere.

3. Start With What You Know

While you’ll gradually need to push yourself out of your comfort zone, start where you’re comfortable—and not comfortable as a teacher, but as a technology user yourself.

If you’re an avid user of facebook or pinterest, figure out a compelling way to integrate it into the learning process. Same with your Android smartphone or the new digital multi-meter you just picked up on Amazon.

This will help you learn how technology actually works in the learning process while not having to juggle mastering a new technology while you’re at it. As a new teacher, you’ve got enough to keep you up at night.

4. Experiment Constantly

Whatever you do as you grow as a teacher, do not become complacent. Step out of your comfort zone, seek out better ways to complete the mundane tasks that sabotage your free time, and try new things with technology.

This experimentation can come as the result of collaboration with your professional learning network, business leaders in the community, or the students themselves. Make sure that in your daily use of social media, physical print, or in-person observation you have access to powerful uses of technology, or your “idea well” will be self-contained and likely unsustainable.

5. Be Mindful Of Your Own Biases

Both new and experienced teachers will need to prioritize what’s most important in their classroom. There’s only so much time and so many resources. This is understandable.

For new teachers, before you know it your first year becomes your fourth, and built-in habits that were formed during the storm of your first classroom experience can be difficult to even see, much less break.

For experienced teachers, constantly seeing education technology with fresh eyes can help you see function firstwhile also staying ahead of emerging trends. If you hold fast to this app or that operating system you risk creating your own personal learning environment rather than one for your students.

Resisting this requires a solid framework for technology integration from the beginning that is catalyzed by your own interests and passion, but is also interdependent with students, experts, and your global learning network.

Don’t be afraid to fail; everyone fails. Just be sure that failure comes in pursuit of better technology integration that is dynamic and evolving, rather than a stunted system of tried-and-true that will eventually catch up to you in your career.

This article was found at

The Benefits of Audio Visual Technology in Education

Today I’d like to share an article I found highlighting some of the benefits of Audio Visual Technology in Education.  Be sure to read all about the ways interactive whiteboards improve learning in the classroom!

This article was found at

The Importance of Audio Visual Technology in Education – Guest Post

NOVEMBER 26, 2012 BY 

This guest post is being contributed by  Oliver Carding.

The importance of audio visual (AV) technology in education should not be underestimated.  There are two reasons for this; one, learning via AV creates a stimulating and interactive environment which is more conducive to learning; two, we live in an audio-visual age which means that having the skills to use AV equipment is integral to future employment prospects.  Therefore exposure to AV technology in education is imperative.

AV Technology

The AV technology used in education currently is mainly the interactive whiteboard.  More than two million interactive whiteboards are now installed worldwide, and this product continues to show strong growth. It is predicted that one out of every five classrooms worldwide will have an interactive whiteboard by the end of 2013.

Children are exposed from a young age to a range of other AV technologies, which previous generations were not.  This includes the television, DVDs, iPods, Nintendo Wiis, computer games and the Internet. Statistics which show the link between children and AV technology include:

  • Mobile market trends report that between 2010 and 2012, over 7 million mobile subscribers are aged between 0 and 10
  • A further 2 million are aged 11 to 14 years old (BECTA, 2008).
  • A report by Mintel in 2011 found that “half of all children aged 7 to 12 visit social networking websites’
  • An estimated 0.97 million children, go on Facebook everyday.” (Mintel, 2011)

Therefore it is clear that children of primary school age have the interest and capacity to learn and navigate AV technologies.

The importance of AV technology in education for future career prospects

AV skills are essential in the world of business today.  In the current economic climate the government needs to make long term plans to ensure that the skills set of the UK match the evolution of AV.  A research report conducted by ‘Prospects’ (a United Kingdom graduate careers company) identified that:

“there are strong signs that the IT industry will continue to grow across a range of industries and IT is the essential component which ensures businesses can run effectively and efficiently.”

The report furthered:

“There will be an increasing need for employees to possess higher level IT skills to cope with the demand for producing more innovative IT products. These skills need to be continually refined if the UK is to remain a significant player in the IT sector in the future.”

This highlights the absolute necessity of the role of the national curriculum to educate children with the AV skills that are necessary to perform the jobs of the future.

AV technology in schools

AV technology has been used in schools for decades, but only in the form of a TV and video player to show short educational films. Now it is the computer that shows these educational films and homework is also being done increasingly on PCs.

Children learn differently and audio visual equipment gives teachers the chance to stimulate each child’s learning process with a combination of pictures, sounds and attention grabbing media. We are surrounded by audio visual equipment and children are keen to understand technology and keep up to date with applied science. Having this opportunity in the classroom helps to facilitate learning.

More and more schools are taking advantage of AV technology to teach their students. This equipment can be used to present information to students but also the fact that they are interacting with AV technology on a daily basis also makes them proficient in using technology.

Not exposing children to different forms of technology is depriving them of vital learning opportunities that could benefit them in later life for example through increased career opportunities.  AV lessons should not just consist of children working in pairs on a PowerPoint presentation or rewriting a piece of work using Word, ICT should be challenging, exciting and fun.

Barriers to AV technology

Schools are sometimes reticent to recognise the benefits that technology offers to children who are in contact with them every day.  Also, a child’s technological ability often outweighs that of the teacher (Burns, 2012). This creates a clear barrier to using AV in education effectively.

A report written by Becta in 2004 on ‘a review of the research literature on barriers to the uptake of AV by teachers’ evidences many factors to illustrate this gap.  For example:

“Resistance to change is a factor which prevents full integration of ICT in the classroom.”


‘A very significant determinant of teachers’ levels of engagement in ICT is their level of confidence in using the technology. Teachers who have little or no confidence in using computers in their work will try to avoid them altogether.’

(Dawes, 2000; Larner and Timberlake, 1995; Russell and Bradley, 1997, 2011 reviewed)

Therefore in order to use AV technology successfully in education, these barriers need to be overcome.

Interactive Whiteboards

According to the report ‘Interactive Whiteboards in Education,’ they help in improving learning in education in the following ways:

  • They make it easy for teachers to enhance presentation content by easily integrating a wide range of material into a lesson e.g. a picture from the internet, and teacher annotations on these objects.
  • They allow teachers to create easily and rapidly customised learning objects from a range of existing content and to adapt it to the needs of the class in real time.
  • They allow learners to absorb information more easily.
  • They allow learners to participate in group discussions by freeing them from note-taking.
  • They allow learners to work collaboratively around a shared task or work area.
  • When fully integrated into a VLE (virtual learning environment) and learning object repository there is potential for widespread sharing of resources.
  • When used for interactive testing of understanding for the entire class, they can rapidly provide learner feedback.


The British Film Institute (BFI) has been working with local authorities to provide schools with packs of seven DVDs containing 55 short films, and has trained primary and secondary teachers to think about film in terms of narrative, structure, editing and sound. They have found, he says, that film can often spark a response in children who otherwise appear uninterested in literacy.

Many teachers who have used the films have found that children who previously said very little, or had poor writing skills, demonstrate a much more sophisticated vocabulary and writing ability than they had previously shown,

A research report by Jackie Marsh of the University of Sheffield and Eve Bearne of the United Kingdom Literacy Association, entitled ‘Moving Literacy On’, says that the BFI project resulted in a measurable improvement in children’s literacy to the extent of improving SAT scores in some local authorities.

iPod Touches

Learning consultant Professor Stephen Heppell ran a project in which he gave 13 and 14 year-old students iPod Touches (MP3 players with screens that allow you to browse the internet) and asked them to complete certain tasks. To his surprise, he found that their search engine of choice was not Google, but YouTube, because it provided them with a clear, visual set of results rather than a series of short paragraphs.


YouTube and other similar sites such as TeacherTube and Teachers TV are powerful tools that are freely available to anyone and, offer vast potential for the use of audio-visual materials in education. YouTube has a wealth of educational content – from science experiments (there are 47,000 in all) through to PowerPoint presentations and simple demonstrations of how to play a musical instrument.

Mobile Phones

A recent Becta report by Elizabeth Hartnell-Young, ‘How Mobile Phones Help Learning in Secondary Schools’, showed how mobile phones could be used in a variety of imaginative ways, from taking photographs of designs or experiments in Design Technology or science lessons to making a recording of the teacher reading a poem that the student could listen to later.

Some primary schools have successfully used Create-A-Scape, a free learning resource from Futurelab that uses the GPS and camera functions of a handheld device such as a PDA, enabling learners to create learning journeys that are enhanced by audio-visual materials: collections of sounds and images are triggered when the user moves into a particular geographical area.

The Internet

The internet doesn’t just give students access to a vast range of information, it also enables them to share their work with others. For example an Essex school created podcasts by students which now have 1,000 subscribers.  Dan Sutch, a Senior Researcher at Futurelab says:

“Podcasts are a great example of where a fantastic resource, of an expert, such as a teacher, explaining something, can be accessed when the student needs it. It might be in revision, on a reflection of the lesson, or it might be a lesson the child hasn’t physically attended but as it’s been podcast they potentially have access to it.”

In other words, it puts the choice of how to learn in the hands of the learner, by enabling them to learn in their own time, at their own pace and in their chosen way.

The future of AV technology in schools

Audio-visual technologies will play a huge role in the future of schools thanks to the development of technology and the increasing body of evidence which proves its ability to improve learning and future employment prospects. The National Curriculum describes AV as something that:

“Prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to a varied and developing technology.”

A wide selection of AV tools make teaching and learning a rich and enjoyable experience, inspire learners with creative and innovative multimedia activities and will also save time in lesson preparation. The ability to share this information will eventually create a ‘global curriculum’

Two Exciting eBeam Deals!

Just when you thought Black Friday and Cyber Monday were over! We invite you to take advantage of eBeam Deals that last all the way through Valentines Day!

1.  A Buddy for
your Bluetooth Edge!

From November 1, 2012 through February 15, 2013 every eBeam Edge Bluetooth product purchased from an authorized eBeam Reseller comes with a USB Battery Pack ($59 value)!

The USB Battery Pack powers your
Bluetooth Edge for 40 continuous hours!

  • Perfect solution for tech-savvy, on-the-move business professionals and educators using Windows
  • Eliminates the need to be close to a power outlet
  • Attaches to same surface as Edge with super-strong, reusable suction tape

2.  Become an eBeam Expert with Special Offer on Webinars!

From November 1, 2012 through February 15, 2013, buy one eBeam Webinar and choose two additional webinars for free ($499 value)!

Sign up for customized eBeam Professional Development webinars and empower users in your university, school or office.

  • All webinars are open to up to 20 participants
  • The purchased webinar will include a pre-event call to identify needs and set objectives
  • Two additional webinars can be scheduled from a menu that offers a broad range of topics and can be further customized to meet your needs – See options »
  • Presentations or lessons created with new skills will be evaluated
  • Post-webinar online assessments included
To take advantage of these great offers, please visit our website at

Awesome Learning Games For Your Interactive Whiteboard

Today I’d like to share an article that I found that highlights some really cool websites that provide educational games to use with your interactive whiteboard.  Pretty cool.  Take a look!

I found this article at

Great Learning Games for the Interactive Whiteboard

by WeAreTeachers Staff | Nov 27, 2012
This is a guest post written by Kate Willson of
Interactive whiteboards are essentially giant touchscreens that allow educators to handle educational data and materials from their PC/laptops for their entire class to see. Teachers can use interactive whiteboards as an instructional tool to enhance their lesson plan in just about any subject. History lessons can be further elucidated by pulling up images from the era; math lessons can be fleshed out with graphical interpretations of numbers; science classes can make sense of a dense list of key terms by showing how they work to communicate an overarching scientific process.The examples above hint at the advantages of an interactive whiteboard as a learning supplement to traditional lessons. The device is perfect for ramping up student engagement and participation; most students relish the break from traditional textbook-based learning. There are a number of great sites that offer educational games specifically for interactive whiteboards:

  • For example, we love the educational games for grades K-12 on Scholastic’s interactive whiteboard webpage. Among Scholastic’s entries for interactive whiteboards is a game called “If You Were President,” which puts students in the position of Commander in Chief and has them make key policy decisions. Another game from Scholastic is “Poetry Idea Engine,” an interactive game where teachers can teach students about the basics of poetic form and structure—students can even create their own poems on the fly!
  • PBS Kids also offers a plethora of interactive and intellectually stimulating games for the interactive whiteboard. Among their titles include “Cyberchase: Lucky Star,” an adventure game-turned basic study in arithmetic. PBS Kids offers titles that cater to younger kids, mostly at grades K-5, but they also have a much wider selection than other venerable game sites I’ve seen.
  • Another resource for interactive whiteboard gaming is Mathsframe. This site offers comprehensive interactive math games and activities for all ages, from the basics of arithmetic to the advanced stages of algebra. One of the great thing about the games on Mathsframe is that they allow students to visualize complex math problems in such a way as to make the material easier to understand.
  • And finally we have a beautiful interactive whiteboard activity from National Geographic. Their MapMakerseries allows educators to navigate all parts of the globe with a simple tap of the whiteboard screen. Not only can students learn about world geography through this rich application, but they’ll also learn about different cultures, how people live other parts of the world, and so forth. Students will have a blast exploring the world from their classroom!

The eBeam Educational Product Family

The eBeam Education product family.

eBeam technology makes it easy to go interactive. Depending on your needs and your budget, you’ll find an eBeam system that fits your situation perfectly and brings rich interactivity to your classroom quickly and affordably.

eBeam Edge

With your existing projector and eBeam Edge, any flat surface can be a lively interactive workspace in minutes. Whatever you project—from Office documents to web pages to images—becomes dynamic content that you can mark up, manipulate, and share.

eBeam Engage

With its High Fidelity JBL speakers and microphone, one-touch recording, interactive stylus, and wireless keyboard, Engage turns any flat surface in your classroom into an interactive multimedia experience.

Choose the right eBeam product

Depending on your needs, your budget, and your existing equipment, there’s an eBeam system that’s a perfect fit for you.  Then check out our website at to find awesome prices on your chosen products.


7 Reasons to Use Technology in Lesson Plans

Today I’d like to share an awesome, informative article I found regarding the benefits of teachers using technology in the classroom.  Pretty cool.  This article was found at It’s the Concordia University website, but they have all kinds of neat resources for teachers. Take a look!

7 Reasons to Use Technology in Education Lesson Plans

Technology has revolutionized the way humans interact and connect with each other and modern classrooms, homes, and offices are drastically different from how they were just 20 or 30 years ago. Students today are preparing to enter a technology-filled workplace  and their worlds are already dominated by social media, televisions, video games, and other technological advancements. By bringing technology into the classroom, teachers are offering students the chance to connect on a deeper level while they are also help them prepare to handle the professional world of the future. Here are seven reasons teachers should consider using technology in education and their own lesson plans.

The Amount of Information Available

When using the Internet, teachers and their students have the opportunity to access limitless information and school projects no longer need to be confined to hours of research in libraries or what can be gathered from outdated textbooks. Students can use Google to learn more about topics in far less time. Teachers can use the information students have at their fingertips to challenge them and encourage them to delve deeper into subjects and master the information.

The Modern Languages Opportunities

Modern language skills are extremely valuable in the professional world. Allowing students to communicate with native speakers of that language is just one of the uses of technology in education. Students are able to hear the language, practice speaking skills, and enhance their overall understanding.

The Chance to Learn Geography, History, and Culture

With a world that is increasingly defined by global trade and intercommunication, the opportunity to meet and speak with students in other countries is a valuable experience in itself. Geography, international history, languages, and cultures take on a much greater meaning when students can interact with people from that country rather than just learn about them in a textbook. Students can interview other children about their local customs and cultures to get first hand experiences.

Access to New Norms of Education

Teachers are looking for ways to increase the attention spans  of their students and this is not an easy task when dealing with a typical ratio of 25 students to one teacher. This can make it challenging for a teacher to give one on one attention to each student who needs assistance with a particular subject. While the Internet is not a substitute for personal interaction, it does offer a wide range of resources for teachers to use to help some students gain understanding of the material. There are study guides, interactive diagrams, explanations, and videos all available on the Internet.

The Internet can be extremely helpful for students who have different learning styles. There may be some who will learn a subject the best when they can read the material, taking time to digest it. Others may learn better through videos or interactive instruction. These methods can all be taught simultaneously through the Internet.

Individualized Lessons

With the Internet, not only will students have the opportunity to study using their preferred means of learning, they will also be able to better set the pace. In every classroom there are some students who grasp material quickly and become bored with subsequent repetition. On the other hand, there are students struggling to keep up. Technology can help teachers create lessons that will allow the quickly moving students to delve deeper into the subject or explore related topics while allowing the slower students more time to understand the material.

Adding New Meaning to Student Projects

Students enjoy finding meaning to their work. While in the past they could create reports and projects that would be viewed only by their teacher and fellow students, their work can now be easily displayed online. They can create materials to be used by other students and get feedback on their ideas from students in other schools all over the world. This will help students take pride in their work and find meaning in their assignments.

Student Collaboration Opportunities

Along the same lines, students can collaborate on projects with students from around the world. They can work with students from the school across the street or across the country. There is a full range of technology, such as the recent popularity in cloud technology, which will allow the students to speak and work together with ease without ever meeting in person.

Technology presents teachers the opportunity to open doors for their students. They have access to limitless information and students are better prepared to enter the workforce because integrating technology into their educational lives better prepares them for the global world.