learning

5 Reasons to Integrate Multi-touch Screens Into Classrooms

With the latest in mobile technology, tablets are now transforming higher education through multi-touch displays. Aside from social interaction, this technology can’t be ignored in hands-on learning, as they provide what most educators refer to as tactile and intuitive interface. In a 2012 Pearson Foundation survey, it’s revealed that tablet ownership among college students and college-bound high school seniors have tripled. Fast forward to 2014, you can now see students carrying multi-touch devices freely in campus.

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However, students tend to misuse them, exhausting it for non-scholastic endeavors. In this article, we’ll try to get rid of this idea by giving you valid reasons to integrate multi-touch screens in the classroom.

  1. Brings real-life visuals

Despite the availability of tablets from Apple, Samsung, and Google, tablet technology still hasn’t reached its pinnacle. Multi-touch  has laid out its plan of a new interactive display that allows you to interact with real-life objects through the Enriched Reality. Reportedly, Enriched Reality is a series of displays, which detect every object it interacts with, including the ones placed on the system.

Ideally, you’ll be able to use your fingers, hands, and pens to navigate the Enriched Reality, which initiates a collaborative approach with your professors to shed light on a specific topic.

It also has networking capabilities, social media integration, and third party application hosting to continuously use your productivity apps.

  1. Redefining how information is presented

“Learning is no longer just a linear process but one in which all information is connected seamlessly and visually, displayed on a high-definition screen,” Verizon Wireless wrote, stressing the importance of tablets in higher education. The article highlighted the importance of organizational applications, paving the way for a deeper way at which you can think and present information.

The company said that there are plenty of applications which you can use as a student presenter, wherein you’ll reinforce your class report with stunning film graphics, videos, documentaries, and games to engage with your classmates through play. Also, you can now communicate freely with them, as well as ask for initial assessments and evaluations.

  1. Mastering language courses

Aside from Math and Science, Mark of Edudemic discussed the importance of a multi-touch device to help you excel in language classes. For one, there are digitized pens which you can use for writing, especially in getting all requirements done on the go.

Another reason is that most manufacturers have now equipped their devices with an advanced palm rejection feature. It allows you to rest your hands in the middle of the task, without necessarily affecting productivity. While texts and diagrams clutter on your screen, this feature still allows you to access movable icons of specific applications.

  1. Affordability and flexibility

Going to college, especially abroad, is also equivalent to investment. Thus, you have to save enough money. While buying a multi-touch tablet is also a wise investment, the same Verizon article mentioned above said that they are less expensive than laptops. You’ll also get savings from e-books. For instance, you may resort to a Kindle alternative of Martin Tovee’s An Introduction to the Visual System, which costs $33.60, as opposed to the physical version costing around $130.

These devices are flexible – you can use it solely for classroom purposes or for entertainment. While reading a required e-book, students are still able to socialize through the social network integration to find encouragement.

  1. Perceptive Pixel Technology is on the rise

Just like Multi-touch, Microsoft is also poised to release its own multi-touch and pen devices, which are based solely on Perceptive Pixel Technology. In an interview with Alex Williams of TechCrunch, Microsoft General Manager Jeff Han said that these devices will use pen and paper “to create what is equivalent to the human as the user interface.”

In the education system, Han pointed out that these devices are aimed to resolve user interface issues such as the “fat finger problem” (pressing multiple buttons due to large fingers). Whether in the classroom or not, you can still touch the displays for remote collaboration with your teacher and peers. This is in line with the true essence of Perceptive Pixel Technology – broadcast and geo-intelligence.

The good thing about multi-touch technology is that it improves every second, thus the chances of using it in the classroom has become limitless. Do you have other ideas on how to use this tech solution in class? Share your thoughts below.

As an online student, Kyle Albert has the knack of strategically using mobile devices in terms of collaborating with instructors and peers. For him, a tablet is a one-stop repository device, as it can replace a standard laptop on a number of ways. Reach Kyle on Google+.

 

Top 5 Reasons to Study Abroad

During your time in college, you may have an opportunity to study at an institution in another country. Many college students partake in this opportunity, as it can be a life changing experience. Here are some of the top reasons to study abroad:

1. New Way of Learning

You may have a 4.0 GPA at your home institution, but wouldn’t it be great to step outside of your old familiar classrooms and libraries? Studying abroad can offer a fantastic opportunity to continue your studies in an environment that is completely new and fresh.

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2. Travel

Once you graduate college and have a full time job, you may not have the opportunity to spend a few weeks or months in a foreign country. Take this time to travel while you have minimal responsibilities elsewhere.

Study abroadimage source

3. Interact with other cultures

Everyone does not have the opportunity to interact and make friends with people from other countries. Studying abroad could give you the chance to see what college life is like in a country that is unfamiliar to you.

Friendships Around the WorldGlobal Friendshipsimage source

4. Expand your world perspective

It’s easy to get comfortable in your own mindset and cultures, but traveling internationally can give you a fresh perspective on the world, your life, and how it all fits together. The world will seem much smaller when you realize that we all have much more in common than we think!

Travel the Worldimage source

5. Learn a new language

Studying abroad can be especially beneficial to those studying linguistics or who wish to learn another language fluently. No amount of textbook studying can compare to one-on-one conversation with a native speaker of the language you are studying.

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Have you studied abroad? What were your reasons? Let us know in the comments below!

Education Startups

When I was first thinking about education start ups, the first thing that popped into my head were websites like Phoenix University, sites to prep for graduate school entrance exams, etc. It turns out there are a lot more resources out there for students to utilize. There are now places where students can interact with professors, learn from tools tailored to their specific learning styles,  and study confidently. Eventually, I hope no one will have to worry about what kind of parking pass they need, cry on the inside from overpriced books they are required to buy, and be able work from home. Here are some great startups that have helped students relieve some stress while studying.

Grockit
www.grockit.com

Grockit puts the fun into studying by using online social learning services.  This company has developed a series of effective prep games for the LSAT, GMAT, SAT and high school AP classes.  Recently it has started a service called Grockit Answers.  Grockit Answers is a site that creates a question and answer page for any video on YouTube, allowing students to develop a better understanding on virtually any topic.  The company name comes from the work grok, which means to understand something so well that it becomes a part of you.  Grockit believes that students learn better through peer-to-peer learning rather than teacher-to-student and they are building their company around this belief.  With almost $25 million in funding, Grockit is well on their way to helping a lot of students.

2tor
www.2tor.com

Founded in 2008, 2tor partners with colleges and universities to build, implement, and market their online degree programs.  They supply the colleges with tools, expertise, and capital needed to develop and implement state-of-the-art online learning platforms.  2tor is able to enhance offline learning curriculum by creating an innovative online environment for students to learn.  With $64.8 million dollars in funding so far, this company is going to continue to grow and we think become a great success.

To give you an idea of the impact 2tor can have on a school, USC’s Masters of Teaching program had about 80 students before partnering with 2tor, and all of them were on its California campus. Now it boasts almost 1,500 students enrolled in the program across 45 states and 28 countries. They all pay the same full tuition and get exactly the same degree. 2tor handles the website, supplying the students with webcams, creating online teaching materials in partnership with faculty, the logistics of finding local schools were the students themselves can practice teaching. The company shares in the tuition revenue. 2tor has most recently partnered with UNC’s Kenan Flagler business school to help them bring their MBA online.

Inigral
www.inigral.com

When Facebook was originally started it was only for college students.  This meant that you had the ability to see who was taking the same courses as you.  Once Facebook expanded beyond the scope of just college students this feature was discontinued.  Inigral is picking up where Facebook left off.  By developing an app called Schools, Inigral is able to show students not only which courses others are taking on but also other campus affiliations.  This means that a student is able to see which student organizations others are joining as well as other’s athletic involvement, majors chosen, and which residence halls they are living in.  What is unique about this app is that Inigral is selling it and making the colleges and universities pay for it instead of the students.  With only $7 million dollars in funding, Inigiral is certainly still in their infancy and they have a lot of room to grow.

19Pencils
www.19pencils.com

19Pencils is an education startup that is geared towards K-8 educators, but can also be helpful to college students.  This site helps teachers and students quickly and easily find specific web content based on a topic.  It also allows educators to keep track of how much time a student is spending on a given task letting them see which students may need extra attention understanding and exploring a topic.  In addition, 19Pencils has introduced Playground where students can chat online amongst themselves sharing ideas and thoughts on assigned content.  While this startup is still in the very early learning stages, we think they have a great potential to grow into the education market.

“We’re so excited to be bringing easy-to-use technology to classrooms around the world. The 19Pencils educational ecosystem is a conglomeration of social bookmarking, online assessments, internet monitoring, and social media engagement – all working together to simplify and improve the educational process for both teachers and students,” said Neill Kramer, Co-founder of 19Pencils.” – BusinessWire.com (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20111003005152/en/19Pencils-Introduces-Easiest-Share-Web-Based-Educational-Content)

Brainscape
www.brainscape.com

Brainscape is a simple and brilliant way to facilitate studying.  This site and mobile app let students use “smart studying”, where students study with interactive flash cards.  As the student completes each flash card they are asked to rank the difficulty of that question.  The more difficult the question is the more it shows up in the student’s deck of flashcards.  There are several sets of flash cards that are built into the program and students are also able to build their own set of flashcards allowing them to study anything at all.  They also offer online teachers and premium content, if you need that little extra help.  Out of all the startups written about in this post, this one is by far my favorite.  It is such a simple concept, but also such an important one.  Using flashcards is a way for students to study verbally and visually.  I think we are going to watch this company skyrocket in the coming years.

 

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