We’ve all heard the saying ‘Work a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life!’ – and for teachers, this may be especially true, as I’m sure most of us can think of more than a few teachers whose passion and patience has helped us learn and grow into who we are today. In the information era we live in today, we can see technology delivering improvements to careers in industries through AI, advanced automation, and more – but for teachers – a profession that inherently requires human kindness, patience, and understanding, has technology really made a difference?
The answer is yes – and these technological innovations can make such a difference to the everyday lives of teachers that we’ve created a handy list to get you prepared for a Christmas celebrated with the teachers of your life.
1. A Laptop or PC
You might be thinking: “A computer? I’m pretty sure all the teachers I know well and truly have their hands on one of these by now…” – and while you might be right that many teachers by now have a computer (in some sense of the word) to use for educating – these computers often lack ease of use, or even the features that teachers demand to get their jobs done and students taught efficiently. Students also lose out here – technology is a basis of our modern society, and students learning how to use new, up-to-date technology is a crucial and in-demand skill in the current era. This is all not to mention a good computer plants the seed and forms the basis of a technologically integrated classroom.
2. A Headset
Good headsets provide comfortable, easy experiences for their users. While it might seem pretty basic, they are rarely offered to teachers, who are often expected to make do with their computer’s built in microphone, for better or worse. A good headset steps up this experience, and makes distance teaching a much smoother experience with high quality audio transmitted seamlessly, and sometimes even wirelessly if you pick up a wireless pair. While this might seem like a new idea – the concept of teaching in this way has existed as a necessity across the world. For example, in Australia, where population is spread thin and many living outside in ‘geographically isolated areas’, have historically relied on distance learning for education. According to Edutopia teaching through radios in Australia dates back to at least the 1990s, where radios were used to educate across vast deserts.
3. A Premium Camera
Often best paired with a headset, a good camera can take your remote learning classroom out of the 1990s and into the future. A quality, new distance learning camera automatically track teachers and function to keep records of lessons and content for years to come. When it comes to ease of use, make sure to look for something with a good quality embedded microphone and plug-and-play functionality. Reversing the perspective from teachers to students, cameras can also be placed in a classroom for far-end students who are unable to physically make it to class. There are various reasons this could happen – from students as mentioned above in Australia who live too far away from any school to realistically make it there physically, to those who might have a long-term requirement to stay at home, or even those required to quarantine.
4. A Compact Visualizer
For your teacher friends that seem to already have it all worked out, whether that be a great teaching camera and/or headset and microphone – give them a way to save a little energy during their class. Picking up, putting down, getting cameras to focus on content (such as that in books), and more, can all be put in the past for the teachers in your life with a nice visualizer. A visualizer focuses on content such as books, models, or other physical objects a teacher needs to present to a class easily, and automatically. High quality and excellent auto-focus mean that a teacher can focus on their students, and not on weight-lifting textbooks up and down in front of a camera. For in-person classes, visualizers are also incredibly popular amongst teachers for sharing small content with a larger group due to the high-quality present in good quality visualizers and their instant real time updates. Combine these with first-party camera software certified by distance-learning service providers like Google makes offers teachers integrated service to store lessons and share materials in Google Drive, or even assign homework in Google Classroom. (In a service like Google Drive!) or even assign homework.
5. A Coffee Machine
While this technology might not count as ‘new’ necessarily, coffee machines have not been exempt from technological upgrades throughout the years. Coffee is an essential fuel for teachers, and modern coffee machines excel in being compact, easy to use, and produce coffee far superior to instant coffee, which many professionals might be used to.