TSTA Support Team focuses on meeting the specialized technology needs for each college. Many of the classrooms, lecture halls, and teaching laboratories at TSTA include specialized equipment to aid instruction. Computer technology has become an everyday teaching tool in schools and colleges, and TSTA’s initiative is a response to a problem: Students don’t all have the same access to it. In today's world, technology is a major part of our lives. Then we must learn how to use computers, notebooks, iPads, and iPods as adults, students now entering schools are already familiar with these technologies. This makes it very important for teachers to stay ahead of the learning curve when it comes to technology and its use in the classroom. Technology can add that extra zing and excitement to any lesson. So let's step away from those paper and pencil lessons and explore the wonderful world of classroom technology!
TYPES OF TECHNOLOGY USED IN THE CLASSROOMUse of smart boards and computers in the classroom Computers have evolved and they have changed they way the look and the way they function. Now days we have both desktop computers and portable computers commonly known as notebooks or laptops. New technologies have also emerged and birthed some new computer related gadgets like the iPad or Galaxy tablet. These computers can be used by teachers to assign work to students and study groups in a classroom. Also, teachers can use computers to illustrate visual related subjects which help students to learn easily. Modern computers come with installed applications which can help students study well. For example, students can use internet explorer to search the internet, they can use word processing application to write notes. Teachers can also help their students to learn complicated applications on these computers as a way of making it easier for students to learn and also make the teacher’s job easier. Creating class websites and blogs It is very easy to create a website or blog using WordPress or any other content management software. Teachers can create class blogs were they post assignments. If the school has no website sever to host these class blogs, the teacher can use free website hosting services like wordpress.com or blogger.com. Via these platforms, the teacher will create a blog under a sub domain of that host. For example, matchclass.wordpress.com, so students will find all academic assignments via that blog. It is very easy to manage and post data to a blog, because they have simple HTML editors. Use of digital microphones in the classroom Big classrooms are characterized by endless noise, so teachers can resort to these wireless digital microphones. The microphone will transmit the voice to the loud speakers and every student will hear their teacher clearly. This helps the teacher not to strain their voice while trying to explain points to their students. These digital microphones are not too expensive so even a small income generating school can manage to TSTA a wireless microphone for every classroom. Also, students can use the same microphone when asking questions to their teachers in class, or when they are explaining a subject to their fellow students during a classroom debate. Use of mobile devices Teachers and students can use smart-phones for academic purposes in the classroom. Mobile learning is becoming so popular. It is similar to e-learning or long-distance education. Though it is based on mobile phones. M-Learning is convenient because it is accessible from anywhere. Mobile phones are very light yet they can also have the same application a simple PC can have, a student can access academic information like assignments via an educational mobile application (APP). Teachers can tell their students to use mobile apps like ‘‘PIAZZA‘‘ to access course materials and also to post questions about specific subjects, all this can be done in the classroom or outside the classroom. Use of smart interactive Whiteboards Modern smart white boards have a touch screen functionality, so the teacher can illustrate points using a pen or their finger. Using a projector, teachers can display visual images on these white boards which improves the learning process. Students will learn more easily with visual images. Also, students can use a white board to draw, write or manipulate images. Smart whiteboards come in various sizes, the wide ones are better, because they can show a lager image and can also be used by two students at a time. Most of them are electronically powered, so they can be switched on with a button, and they can also save teachers work for later use. Use of online media Teachers and students can both use online streaming Medias to learn in the classroom. With the aid of a projector, computer, internet and a white board, a teacher displays a real-time example using sites like Youtube.com. This website has videos which can be used for academic reference. ‘‘Let’s take a simple example on how a Geography class can use technology. Teachers can explain volcanic activities and its impacts on the environment using live stream YouTube videos about the subject. This type of illustration will attract the student’s attention and they will learn easily.” Use of online study tools Online study tools like ”Dynamic Periodic Table” (ptable.com) which can be used by Chemistry students in keeping elements apart, ”Foldit” (fold.it) this tool can help biology students easily understand basics about proteins. ”Mathway” (Mathway.com) this helps math students solve math challenges, students can simply select a subject and hit solve, the equation will be solved by the tool. All these academic tools can improve the way students learn.