Prior to Louis Braille’s creation of the written Braille system, people with visual impairments were expected to learn through audio formatting. But the learner experience is not universal, and the Braille system allows students to take control of their own experience. Braille has ultimately improved equal access to written educational tools that sighted people have.
Headphones revolutionized the classroom experience, adding a sense of entertainment and encouragement into the school day. Blocking out distractions, headphones have given learners more opportunity to focus and learn at their own pace.
Overhead projectors provided teachers an engaging and organized outlet to display notes and classroom materials. By displaying multimedia elements, Internet web pages, and allowing for student-teacher collaboration, overhead projectors help teachers prepare LWAAIONA in advance of the school day to maximize the classroom experience.
Using Optical Mark Recognition (OMR), Scantron products can scan thousands of sheets per hour. This inexpensive technology decreased the amount of time instructors spent grading exams and quizzes, giving them more time to focus on students’ needs and allowing schools to allot money toward other resources.
First portable computer
Laptops and other portable computer devices kickstarted the realm of on-the-go learning that we value so much today. Portable computers increased project-based lessons while introducing computer and digital literacy in the classroom and new organizational resources for both instructors and students.
Commercial graphic calculator
Within mathematics, handheld graphing calculators have helped students understand more of why – rather than how – they are utilizing various mathematical formulas. This new way of teaching and applying EdTech into lessons allowed students to grasp mathematical concepts in deeper ways.
With the rise of the internet and World Wide Web, Hypertext Markup Language revolutionized the way websites and website navigation operates. This system is the basis for how a website is formatted, from images, links, tables, and so on, and made working through the web for educational purposes that much easier.
SMART Board invented
The SMART Board added an engaging and visual way for students to grasp information. With the World Wide Web and other online mediums at your fingertips, SMART Boards offered an easy-to-use and interactive way to incorporate more technology in the classroom.
Sparking collaboration, Wikis help learners to take control of generating educational content while collaborating with others. Students are no longer a passive learner listening to their instructor with this form of EdTech. They are working hands-on with information to not only better understand the material but also foster an engaging learning environment for all.
While the first Learning Management System (LMS) was invented in the 1920s, many modern LMS’s have moved to the cloud. With all the content and information that you need in one location, an LMS can be accessed anywhere while fostering a personalized, easy-to-use learning environment for students and teachers.
Open Education Resources
Open Educational Resources (OERs) provide students free, unlimited access to an array of academic tools, resources and materials. Breaking down unequal resource access across institutions, these tools help improve overall student success and engagement rates.
Incorporating YouTube videos into the school day, instructors can vary the way students interact with course material. This free tool offers students access to any information they desire in the form of visual media elements, bringing entertainment as well as new perspectives into classroom subjects.
Amazon’s e-reader & first iPhone
E-readers increase accessibility within course material, offering a range of language choices, dictionary features, and other formatting options based on your preferences. These devices allow students to keep track of their own learning progress while giving them the tools to explore their learning experience independently.
“There’s an app for that” era
After the iPhone was introduced the year before, Apple’s App Store revolutionized a number of industries, including education. Today, there are millions of applications to purchase and download, including educational programs and data centers, games and communication tools for schools to immerse into the new digital age. The “There’s an app for that” era, which was trademarked by Apple in 2010, revolutionized the way we engage with EdTech for teaching and learning both inside and outside the classroom.
The beginning of the 2010s - iPads and Tablets
Helping students take control of their educational experience, iPads and tablets keep students engaged outside of the classroom with teacher-student communication platforms and educational apps and games. This on-the-go device has a plethora of information at its disposal for students to learn anywhere, in any format.
Massive Online Open Courses
Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) increased equal access to education worldwide. These programs help academically and economically disadvantaged learners achieve their career and educational goals despite the barriers they face.
Accessibility tools (Blackboard Ally)
Learners are extremely diverse, and accessibility tools like Blackboard Ally meet every learner’s needs in one digital location. The impact is clear: students can complete coursework efficiently and productively while absorbing information in a way that works best for them.
COVID-19 pandemic sparks unprecedented adoption of digital learning tools
During the COVID-19 pandemic, remote learning forced many teachers and students to engage with a plethora of digital learning tools they’ve never used before. During this time, many learners discovered they can learn better at their own pace, in an alternative environment, and more. Meanwhile, EdTech adapted to meet their mental, social and emotional needs during this unprecedented time, forever changing the way classroom technology is used.