Technology is a vital part of modern culture and children must be taught to utilise it properly. Schools use a mix of technological equipment to facilitate learning, and students are using technology to make studying and homework quicker and easier. Many students own some of the technology found in schools, such as laptops and digital cameras.
Students typically learn the basic computer skills such as typing, document formatting and Internet usage at school. A school will often have a computer lab with a minimum of two computers for the students' use. Most schools have much larger labs and instructors to teach and assist students with the computers. Some students even bring their own laptops to school and use them to take notes and complete assignments instead of using traditional pen and paper. In a growing number of schools, laptops are furnished by the schools for the students' use in class.
Video and Digital Equipment
Teachers use videos and DVDs to provide supplemental information for many of their lessons. Students may also use digital cameras and digital recording devices to work on projects for various classes. Students sometimes record presentations, documentaries, fake commercials or oral reports. Often students can edit videos using computer editing software, and they may upload these projects and post them to their school's website or to sites such as YouTube.
Information Presentation Technologies
The ways teachers are presenting their material is evolving to include interactive technologies. Students can take tests and teachers can grade them on specific computers. Teachers can use sophisticated projectors that are hooked up to different media such as the teacher's or students' laptops for presentations. Teachers also are making use of interactive whiteboards. These boards, which take the place of traditional blackboards or white boards, hook up to the teacher's computer and allow for presentations of material, the preserving of instructional materials and direct access to the Internet and online resources.
Educational software is released on a frequent basis and includes programs that teach everything from arts to mathematics. Students can learn algebra by being shown examples, then going through sample problems step by step until they master all the components. The software evaluates the student's strong and weak areas and can tailor practice lessons to these areas. Similar software exists for language arts, sciences and social studies. Software also plays a large role in the learning of second languages.
Students with special needs can benefit from adaptive technologies that are designed to assist them and facilitate greater learning. For example, voice recognition software allows students who are blind or otherwise unable to use a traditional computer and software system to utilise computers and other devices. Captioning can be used on video devices, and assistive listening devices help those with auditory difficulties follow along in classrooms.