This school year, more and more K-12 classrooms across North America and abroad are getting access to a digital buffet of educational content. Schools that had never had more than a few older desktop computers are now getting laptops and other digital tools, like tablets and smart devices. Each device has an array of uses, with content diverse enough to serve nearly every age and ability. New media features can be game-changers for the 21st century classroom, with things like connectivity to social media, texting, camera and video as well as sophisticated content creation tools that let students make their own textbooks.
Part of this push is coming from government initiatives, like ConnectED from the Obama White House in the U.S., an inspired program designed to close the digital divide between communities that are dialed into the 21st century and those that have not adopted any new media despite its ubiquitous presence in most North American homes with young children.
Along with the rollout of wifi access, comes the introduction of a lot of new media technology within schools across the country. From chromebooks to tablets, smartboards and 3D printers … this is a whole new wave of media devices and content resources that educators have no previous background for mastery. So where can we find trusted recommendations, reviews and even warnings about what to avoid in the edtech buffet of the 21st century?
My recommendation is to subscribe to Children’s Technology Review on behalf of your child’s school. The best person to use a subscription is the school librarian or IT director (whoever evaluates digital curricula). The database has resources for a 100-point scale for educational media … starting with the earliest CD-ROM offerings in the 90’s and deftly covering the new media and apps of the past decade. These independent reviews can be a great support for classroom app discovery, assuring the selection of the very best tools for young learners.
I have subscribed my child’s school librarian for two years to this database and I’m sure it will be an educational gift that keeps giving, all school year long. Follow this link to subscribe (make a note for gift subscriptions): http://childrenstech.com/subscribe
What other ways can we support our children’s schools during the digital shift?
Category: iPads in Education