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Educational resources for 21st century classrooms
The education sector is increasingly active in introducing new formulas in the classroom. Although with the caution required by a topic as crucial as training, teachers and centers are aware of the need to incorporate technologies into their day-to-day lives, to embrace new methodologies and to place the student at the center of the class.
In short, it is about preparing children and young people for professional success in an increasingly changing and uncertain world, where the required competencies range from knowledge in specific subjects (such as languages, Economics, Geography, History, Civics, Art, Mathematics …) to critical thinking skills, creativity, communication and collaborative work, technological skills and emotional and social skills, such as leadership, proactivity or adaptability.
Therefore, the efforts of teachers and centers should be directed both to incorporate new educational resources and to implement innovative uses of these tools that guarantee the use of these tools, since technology itself is only an instrument, a channel with which enhance the educational experience.
In this sense, some of the educational resources that have been introduced in the 21st century classrooms are:
The use of mobile devices and tablets contribute, if used correctly, to simplify administration and facilitate learning in a new and innovative way.
The so – called ‘m-learning’ consists of “the use of mobile technology (smartphones, tablets, game consoles, electronic readers, audio players…), alone or in combination with any other type of information and communication technology, in order to facilitate learning at any time and place, according to the work Guidelines for mobile learning policies of Unesco.
In this sense, these technologies – given their ubiquity, accessibility and versatility – make it possible to make available to teachers and students a « great variety of educational content, to talk and share information with other students, to request support from colleagues and instructors or to facilitate productive communication ».
Robots and their applications are beginning to be the new classmates of many students, following the trend started in other European countries such as Finland or the United Kingdom. In the United States, for example, there are about 600 centers that use Dash & Dot , one of the educational resources available within this range of products.
Although at the moment its use is not very widespread, the future of educational robotics is very promising and publishers have already begun to develop specialized software and hardware for the different training stages.
This new learning tool enhances creativity, computational thinking, organizational skills, decision-making, empathy, motor skills, respect, teamwork or imagination.
One of the educational resources linked to augmented reality are QR codes, which are transformed, within the educational environment, into a window to the world thanks to their connection with material and Internet content.
It is common to see them in many objects, especially in the advertising sector, but why not incorporate them into the classroom? These two-dimensional codes redirect to a specific website through scanning with a mobile device or tablet, and both its creation and its reading is very simple, there are numerous apps and platforms for it. Thus, a teacher can incorporate these augmented reality elements into their lessons, allowing the student to expand their knowledge on a certain topic through the redirection of the QR code.
Along with them, the centers can also incorporate augmented reality software that allows building a more complex learning environment by combining images of the real world with other virtual ones. Know the bones and muscles of the anatomy through the body itself, visit a museum or monument, become the protagonist of a story, etc. are some of the uses of this tool, in which it is only necessary to have an internet connection and a webcam.
According to NMC Horizon Project, an initiative to analyze emerging technologies in education, research, creation and information management, 3D printing will be one of the trends that will be adopted in Higher Education in four to five years.
Its applications, still to be explored, range from the reproduction of organs or parts of the body of any living being for study or the printing of maps in three dimensions to know the topography of a certain area, to the creation of three-dimensional artistic works or models of monuments.