21st-century students need to be prepared for an entirely different kind of workplace filled with open spaces focused on employee collaboration. Not to mention the tech skills most employees are now expected to have.

Therefore, educators and schools should adopt new learning tools that will not only improve students’ learning experience but also prepare them for the future workplace.

Here are 21st Century Tools Educators Should Adopt for Effective Learning

Cloud-Based Word Processors

With cloud-based word processors, students can collaborate on writing pieces from anywhere, save comments, and curate all steps of the writing process in digital portfolios without the need for flash drives and disks.

Examples of cloud-based word processors include Google Drive, Zoho Documents, Microsoft Word online — and their sister presentation software, spreadsheets, and concept mapping tools— indispensable for 21st-century teachers.

Interactive whiteboards

Whiteboards can be manipulated for use either in the teaching of online courses or as a blended learning medium when online content is balanced with brick and mortar class time. Whiteboards are a great option for encouraging an interactive learning experience.

An interactive whiteboard can be used like a traditional chalkboard. Still, it can also be connected to a computer which allows all class members to see lesson plans, multimedia and more directly from the computer desktop.

Personal computers with WiFi

Computers were one of the first technologies to transform the education process. The introduction of wireless Internet has made computers accessible to all students directly in classrooms. In addition, many students have laptop computers that they can use in school.

Handheld devices

One of the other benefits of wireless Internet is the ability to use computer tablets and e-readers in classrooms. Students can start a project in the classroom and then take the device home to finish it. E-books are eco-friendly and can save schools a substantial amount of money in textbook costs.

Electrical outlets

With all this technology, 21st-century classrooms must have plenty of electrical outlets. All these devices need to be charged, and many will likely need to be charged simultaneously, so it’s important to use power strips throughout the classroom.

Tiered Activity and Learning Software

Learning programs used to be especially challenging for teachers. Classrooms are filled with students that have different proficiency levels and interests. In most cases, a single program would leave advanced students bored, slow students overwhelmed and very few satisfied.

But with learning software like Whooo’s Reading, educational activities can be tailored to student levels without the teacher having to create several different curriculums.

Often, these programs also engage students with points, rewards, and incentives that encourage them to dig deeper into their learning. Results from these programs have students performing at higher levels than their peers in more traditional programs.

E-Reader Apps

E-reader apps on student devices offer them a better way to interact with books. This tech-based reading tool allows teachers to present reading in a variety of ways, including with audio and video and makes specific books more available to students.

Rather than continually adding books to your classroom library, students can access them with their e-readers; this allows you to spend less and update your physical library just a few times a year.

Learning Management Systems

Learning Management Systems (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation, and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs. The learning management system concept emerged directly from e-Learning.

have been used for some time in higher education but are making their way into K-12 classrooms.

Some examples of LMS include Google Classroom, Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Canvas, Moodle, and Pearson Learning Solutions.

Some of the features of these programs include assignment submission, online chat and resource sharing.

Adaptive Learning Software

Adaptive learning software is software that adapts to how a student learns. It’s driven by technology that understands how students progress and delivers resources and learning opportunities based on that.

Adaptive learning software gives educators more time to build creative lesson plans and engage with students, especially those who need help most help. Examples of Adaptive learning software include Scootpad, Splashmath, and Gummi.

Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCS)

MOOCs are most often associated with higher education and even hybrid programs; however, they are becoming options for high school and even upper elementary students who want to learn more.

Students can use these programs to complete dual enrollment credits, getting a start on their college education while still in high school. Thanks to rapidly advancing technology, MOOCs are steadily improving and gaining traction with students who need more advanced learning or to complete courses at their own pace.

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