Over the last few decades, personal tech devices have become fully integrated into our lives. One place in particular where this technology was readily embraced was the classroom.

Over the last few years, however, technology has taken on a new role in education.

This article goes into deeper detail about some of the newest trends in education and technology: the growing field of Educational Technology and the use of Social Media sites in the classroom.

Educational/Instructional Technology

Educational technology (also called Instructional Technology) may be the best career you’ve never heard of.

Educational technology is an academic discipline that provides a deeper understanding and mastery of technology used in educational settings, with a focus on maximizing the use of technology to facilitate learning. The discipline also attempts to understand the impacts of technology on learners and organizations.

This means that aside from the physical devices themselves, things like Facebook, Twitter, emails, instant messaging are now being studied and regarded (in the right settings) as a legitimate classroom aid.

Another consideration by those studying educational technology is the issue of equity of access. Not all schools have access to the latest technology, and some still remain unconnected to the internet. The schools that don’t have access to the web are missing out on a wealth of knowledge, leaving those students unprepared for further schooling and jobs.

For more information the U.S. Office of Educational Technology has resources and information on their initiatives.

Social Media Usage

Social media is moving away from being “something you waste time on” to a legitimate resource to connect with and discover information about the world around us.

When regarded in a classroom setting, Facebook and Twitter can keep parents in the loop about their children’s activities, allow children an outlet for creative writing—all while offering lessons in web and social media safety and best practices.

Twitter is also being utilized for breaking news updates, and the short message capacity makes it easier for news organizations to send something out without having to take the time to write an article, meaning you get updated faster.

More teachers are taking to the web to engage their students. Skype allows teachers to get guest lecturers from afar, while Pinterest is the place for classroom inspiration.

So, is your child’s school keeping up with the times?

Access to a SmartBoard, current audio-visual equipment and other technological solutions can really engage students and make a big difference in their education. For help evaluating your audio-visual needs, see what South Central A\V can do for you.