Do you remember what an overhead projector is? If so, chances are your kids don’t. While exhibiting Miradore’s MDM at the Bett Show 2016, we had a chance to visit a lot of booths and talk to many educators, getting a good overview of what education technology looks like today. And we were completely caught off guard. While technology and its adoption are still very much developing, things are already miles away from how things were when we were in school.
From chalkboards to tablets
We were mainly interested in mobile devices and how they’re used in the classroom. What kind of things do the teachers want, what expectations does IT have, and overall, what does the ecosystem look like?
We were surprised to discover that while all of the teachers we spoke with had either already worked with tablets or were planning to very soon, the state of affairs is still quite experimental, depending on the individual teacher instead of being a unified curriculum. A lot of it is still evolutionary, such as going paperless, adopting new technologies for existing concepts or solving problems through technology. There’s a ton of apps for parent-teacher communications. For the practical arts, 3d design and printing and computerized sewing machines are being brought into shop classes. And if you’re sick, you can participate in class through a robot using your tablet.
Make no mistake, though – the paradigm shift is coming. Both Apple and Google are working on their ecosystems of material delivery, content and device sharing. The publishers are getting on board, pushing out their textbooks enhanced with interactive materials. There are even specialist apps for helping kids with learning disabilities. The available content is immense. Gone are the overhead projectors and chalkboards. Instead, there’s a plethora of interactive whiteboards available, and using their tablets, kids can share their solutions and materials, working together to solve open-ended problems. From the stories we heard, students of all ages are loving it!
New devices, new ways of learning
With the individual tablet being the center of attention for students, managing them is of interest to everyone. IT budgets are slim and it often falls on them to configure and set up the devices. The financial people are having a hard time tracking what devices they have and where they are. And in many places, such as Norway, it’s simply BYOD all the way. Distractions such as social media and messaging should be locked out during class time, especially when working with younger kids. Needless to say, our confidence was boosted when nearly everyone we spoke with agreed that Miradore’s solution looks like just the tool for the job.
With Miradore Online, you can manage those devices. Be it iPads, Android tablets or Windows Phone based devices, we’ll help you set up your learning apps and restrictions for class time, and give you a comprehensive overview of your device inventory. At the beginning of class, teachers can deploy the settings for the current class with one click for everyone instead of 256 per device. When it’s time for recess, simply lift the restrictions and let the kids enjoy.
Register now and check it out for yourself. We think you’re going to love the free features that we have to offer. If your classroom needs even more helpful features, simply drop us a line, describe your case a bit, and we’ll hook you up with a free trial!