The Five Coolest Technological Innovations Being Used in Education

Modern technology has revolutionized education and made achieving a degree easier and more accessible than ever before. If you're looking to go back to school, you might be interested in the ways online programs are using technology to educate students outside of the traditional classroom environment.


Mobile Computing
The mobile market continues to expand with each passing year, and experts expect smartphone shipments to hit 1.7 billion by 2017. Mobile learning, or m-learning, capitalizes on this development in the form of educational apps and eLearning, an educational approach that relies on computer software, the Internet, satellite television and other modern media to instruct students. Most importantly, nursing students who familiarize themselves with m-learning will prepare themselves for work in the medical field, where mobile computing is increasingly used to access and manage medical records and document patient care.

Online Learning

Online learning, or distance learning, enables students to study a subject from home or work instead of inside a classroom. In the past, distance education relied on radio and television to deliver training to students, but the majority of institutions now utilize the Web instead. Most online courses such as online Master of Science in nursing programs feature a computer-based training system to create a virtual classroom where you can review educational materials, take tests or quizzes, and communicate with students or faculty.

Virtual Laboratories
Schools aren't just using virtual classrooms to educate students -- they're also using virtual labs. Computer and Web applications can now simulate the laboratory environment, enabling students to remotely control lab instruments and equipment, perform experiments and analyze data. Virtual labs also benefit schools as well: the cost of operating a virtual lab is much less than maintaining a real laboratory.

Electronic Books
It's not just paperback and hardcover books that are finding their way onto tablets and E-readers -- so are textbooks, as well. Unfortunately, unlike with a traditional book, you don't own an electronic book; rather, you own a license to a digital copy of the book. eBooks, however, do offer several benefits: you can search for keywords, create temporary annotations, and increase or decrease font size to improve readability. Additionally, E-readers are much more portable than traditional textbooks.

Massively Open Online Courses are freely available to anyone with internet-access. MOOCs typically make use of all of the technologies described above and rely on cloud computing to host courses and course materials. MOOCs offer students all of the same resources one can find in a traditional classroom.

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