So, it’s the beginning of another school year, and you’ve been told that your school’s technology budget has once again been cut. While this might mean that your school won’t be seeing any fancy, interactive whiteboards any time soon, it doesn’t have to mean that you or your students have to suffer. In fact, there are a number of useful and affordable (or free!) technology tools you can implement in your classroom for a better overall learning experience.
Document Projection Cameras
Let’s start with a document camera; if your classroom doesn’t already have one of these hooked up to your projection system, now is a good time to consider buying and installing one. They’re surprisingly inexpensive and can actually save you a great deal of time, hassle, and cost down the road. Specifically, these cameras allow you to easily project, in real-time, the image of a document onto your classroom projection screen. This allows you to share worksheets, pages from books, and other physical documents with your students without having to make physical copies or handouts.
Virtual Field Trips
Have you been wanting to take your students to a famous landmark or location, but you know there’s no room for it in your school’s budget? If so, then you might want to consider exploring the possibility of taking virtual field trips with your students. There have been many initiatives in education that have led to the creation of virtual tours and even real-time videos that can allow students to experience the discovery of a field trip from the convenience of the classroom. From famous zoos to global landmarks, you can bring the thrill of a field trip into your classroom with no more than a reliable Internet connection.
Quality Computer Speakers
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to share a video with your class from your computer or projector, only to find that the sound is barely audible (or doesn’t want to work at all). Avoid these hassles this school year by investing in a set of quality speakers for your classroom. You can easily hook these up to your projector, laptop, or even classroom computers to share videos and other media with your students. Enjoy clear, reliable sound to accompany your lessons. It’ll be worth the small investment.
Class Communication Services
Tired of students missing deadlines or forgetting about important test dates? Consider enrolling in a classroom communication service that will allow you to send out group reminders to your classes via text message, e-mail, or in-app message. Remind is an excellent example of an app that allows you to do this easily and inexpensively. Your students will never have an excuse for forgetting about a due date or exam again!