Technology in the Classroom: The Complete Guide – ViewSonic Library

There has ever been engineering inwards the classroom, even if it hasn’t ever been welcome. Take a brief facial expression at the history of applied science’s uneasy relationship with education. Then see some common modern additions to the classroom ranging from computers to smartphones. Then you won’t want to young lady the advantages (as well as disadvantages) to modern EdTech. However, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, so nosotros also furnish a simplified implementation guide. Continuereading to learn everything yous e’er wanted to know most applied science in the classroom. 

There has ever been applied science in the classroom. From books to tablets or slates to interactive whiteboards, humans have used learning tools for equally long every bit nosotros hold had formal instruction.

And spell the engineering science itself changes, some things rest the same. Teachers learn, learners learn, together with everyone is uncertain well-nigh the latest tech’s role inward instruction.Luckily, we have put together this guide for you lot to run into a more than complete flick of how technology fits into the 21st-century classroom.

A Brief History of Technology inward the Classroom

Technology has always had an uneasy relationship with education.

There was a fourth dimension when the simply available method of storing information was in people’s memories.Learners would memorize what their elders said. Scholars would hold long dialogs, which learners would also have got to memorize. Information was passed downward through oral traditions of songs, stories, or memorized lectures. This was education without any technology.

Then books showed upwards on the scene. Books allowed people to store cognition externally without having to retrieve every fact. They were a permanent record of known information that could be passed downward intact. Itwas a breakthrough inwards the storage as well as transmission of information, thus naturally, people hated it.

Socrates famously criticized books (in addition to writing inwards full general) every bit a weakness proverb to Plato, “This uncovering of yours will create forgetfulness inwards the learners’ souls because they volition not utilisation their memories.” Of course, we know this because Plato wroteit downwards.

And thence began a long history of the erstwhile guard resisting the latest engineering inward teaching. Each fourth dimension new applied science is introduced to schools as well as students, it’s the same storey. Those educators who are laid in their ways resist. Then they are overtaken by the younger generation trying out novel things, finding the ones that piece of work, and so implementing their novel methods until something newer comes along. Rinse too repeat throughout the history of instruction.

  • belatedly 1700s – The slate provides students with a portable, personal writing surface.
  • 1890s – The chalkboard appeared inward classrooms, allowing larger form sizes.
  • 1900s – Mass-produced pencils as well as newspaper allowed students to hold permanent written records of their piece of work.
  • 1920s – Radio’s popularity leads to on-air classes.
  • 1930s – Overhead projectors adopted.
  • 1951 – Videotapes allow for sound and visual content.
  • 1959 – Photocopiers allowedschools to mass-create printed materials on site.
  • 1980s – Personal computers are available to the average consumer.
  • 1990 – The Internet brings well-nigh unprecedented access to info.
  • 1991 – Interactive whiteboards become available.
  • 2005 – Learning Management System (LMS) takes off equally a viable teaching tool.
  • 2012 – The iPad brings tablets into public perception.

Click here for a more than complete timeline on the history of EdTech.

While interesting, the history of EdTech in all probability doesn’t aid your students very much in the here and at present. What engineering science is available inward the modern classroom? And what is it doing for didactics?


Both desktops and laptops go along to have got places inwards modern classrooms. At many schools, laptops are issued to students to employment throughout the schoolhouse twelvemonth. In full general lessons, laptops are used primarily for banker’s bill-taking, writing, in addition to independent enquiry. Depending on the cloth beingness presented, computers also nowadays an chance for adding more media to lessons, gamification, in addition to connectivity with either classmates or instructors.

Technology in the Classroom - Computers

More powerful desktops are normally saved for figurer-specific courses and estimator labs, butthey also hold their place inwards the classroom. (A desktop is oft component part of a resources centre for younger grades where it’s non yet appropriate for each student to have their own laptop.)

But patch computers have value inwards the classroom, it’s important to banker’s bill that they have limitations. For illustration, inquiry suggests that taking notes past mitt may live more effective than typing (though thisis non yet definitive). And so at that place’s the potential for distraction in Internet-enabled laptops, but this could likely live said near windows on sunny days as good.

The bottom describe is that computers are commonly found in classrooms, as well as they are likely to rest inward one form or another.


Projectors have been used in classrooms in 1 form or another for good over 100 years. The modern classroom projector has come up a long way from its single-slide ancestor, still.

Technology in the Classroom - Projectors

In the classroom, a projector acts primarily every bit a display. (There are sure interactiveprojectors, but those are covered more in the side by side department on interactive whiteboards.) And display information needs to come from somewhere, hence most projectors volition live paired with a computer or other device. Even smart projectors won’t live able to do much more than than playing a video or slideshow without streaming from another device.

As anestablished classroom engineering science, projectors are popular for their relative simplicity, low cost to purchase, as well as their power to project to very large screens. With the advent of light-gratis projectors, at that place is less maintenance and fewer calibration issues than older models. However, at that place are silent issues with shadows and glare, together with projectors don’t piece of work every bit well inwards brightly-lit classrooms.

Does a projector sound similar a practiced fit for your classroom? You may desire to checkthis out: What to Look for When Purchasing an Education Projector

Interactive Whiteboards

Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are also sometimes called interactive displays or fifty-fifty digital whiteboards. As a grab-all term, an IWB is whatsoever display that also respondsexistent-fourth dimension to actions on its surface, allowing it to act every bit a whiteboard. This includes both projector-based interactive displays (like these) or interactive flat-panel displays (likeViewBoard).

Technology in the Classroom - Interactive Whiteboards

Due to their versatility, there is a global shift towards IWBs that is picking upward momentum, peculiarly interactive touch concealment displays. The applied scienceblends the best of multimedia as well as touching technologies with the familiar functions of a regular whiteboard. Therefore a teacher can demo a video or search the Internet alive, annotate the content, and then fifty-fifty portion with students via their devices.

But despite the ever-growing listing of features available for IWBs, at that place are soundless a few challenges ahead. They are sure enough more than expensive than an analog whiteboard, and it still requires extra effort to create content forthem. These tend to be the challenges for any new engineering, yet, too every bit interactive whiteboards go more accessible they volition continue to grow in popularity.


More portable than fifty-fifty laptops but with large viewing screens, tablets seem to live custom-made for instruction. They are rattling powerful research tools and may serve every bit a replacement for heavy, expensive textbooks. Their touching screens also allow students tointeract with digital content more intuitively than with a keyboard too mouse or trackpad.

Technology in the Classroom - Tablets

While not equally versatile equally a PC, this may actually be to a tablet’s advantage equally its more limited functions tin trim distraction. However, students do acknowledge to multitasking more than on tablets than in ebooks. And paper books still have a role to play, especially inward young readers’ development. (See this article onhow ebooks stack upwards to newspaper books.)


Smartphones are frequently overlooked equally EdTech because they are thence oftentimes the induce of distractions, but they are a valuable learning tool.

Technology in the Classroom - Smartphones

At its most basic, a smartphone is a student’s portal to their community of peers forback up and the Internet for inquiry. There are educational apps similar Duolingo for self-report together with Kahoot! for group learning activities. Plus a huge number of media-creation apps that make everything from documents to polished videos. And inwards fact,a significant number of students already usage their smartphones to do their homework.

So patch telephone distraction is a really existent problemamongst students, educators should be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Even the evil smartphone tin can live a valuable flake of applied science in the classroom when used correctly.

Technology in the Classroom - 5 Advantages of Technology in the ClassroomvAdvantages of Technology inward the Classroom

Though in that location are many benefits to engineering inwards the classroom, hither is a short list of reasons why yous might desire to add more digital tech to your classes.

  • Improves engagement in addition to retentiveness. Digital engineering science inwards the classroom opens upwardlynovel media types non available on its analog versions. And there is potential for far more interactivity being built into digital teaching content.
  • Accommodates multiple learning styles. EdTech is a peachy way to accommodate various learning styles as well as pace content for private students. What’s more, effective classroom tech doubles every bitassistive applied science for students with a reach of special needs.
  • Promotes collaboration. Technology has a unique ability to collaborate alive on a chore or project as well as to share information with peers faster than ever earlier. From huddle spaces to remotepiece of work, engineering is able to pause downward barriers.
  • Instant feedback for teachers. The same tools that allow students to portion with their peers also allow students to portion feedback with their teachers. This feedback could come up inwards the cast of answers, questions, or even suggestions for teaching improvements.
  • Prepares students for the future. Technology – especially digital engineering and its connectivity – is becoming increasingly entwined inwarddaily life. Being able to deal with not simply familiar tech but strange and new devices volition be an important component of students’ hereafter success.

Technology in the Classroom - 5 Challenges of Technology in the ClassroomvChallenges of Technology in the Classroom

It would live dishonest to state that tech in the classroom is without its challenges – in addition to fifty-fifty its dangers. However, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. Since there’s no such thing as a perfect system, it’s far more than effective to live aware of somepotential problems in addition to work to trim down whatsoever negative touch on.

  • Distracts students. Smartphones have a bad reputation inward classrooms too at that place have got been strongcases for banning them inwards schools. However, this does students a disservice inward many ways, including missing the chance to teach proper tech utilization.
  • Requires management. New tech inward the classroom means needing IT professionals to aid set it upwardly, maintain it, together with back up teachers in addition to students inward its usage. But institutions tin help maximize their technical back up staff past finding a less resources-intensive solution. (Read10 Reasons Education information technology Administrators Love Interactive Touch Screen Displays.)
  • Leads to tech disparity. Tech disparity refers to how much access students hold to the necessary devices. In schools that wait students to utilisation their personal devices, tech disparity is closely tied to income inequality. However, thejob tin live reduced by schools providing the necessary devices, especially every bit constituent of a reckoner lab.
  • Cost coin. Nothing in this Earth is complimentary. And buying cutting-edge electronics for a classroom is downright expensive. While at that place’s no way to avoid spending coin modernizing a classroom, it is at leastpossible to maximize the full cost of ownership (TCO) by installing devices with longer lifespans too reduced maintenance.
  • Less face up time. Despite modern connectivity, it seems people are more than disconnected than ever. Instead of communicating straight, many are instead choosing to filter all communications throughtheir mobile devices. But in that location are lots of ways to inspire direct mortal-to-individual communication, such every bit through tech-centric ways to promote engagement. Or acquire dorsum to basics together with having learners get out the tech behind and work together on grouping tasks the onetime-fashioned way.

Technology in the Classroom - students using tech

Implementing Technology inwards the Classroom

So you lot’ve decided to add some engineering to your classroom(or upgrade what’s already there). But that’s but the first measure. What’s adjacent? You’ll demand to implement the changes or observe someone to implement the changes for you.

Here are a few things to maintain inward mind every bit yous are upgrading your classroom’s tech capabilities.


We live in a connected globe. As yous are shopping around for new devices, live real aware of connectivity with your existing data network. Without connectedness, you young lady out on the saving, sharing, together with collaborating that define modern EdTech (in addition to brand upwardly a huge portion of its usefulness).

  • How does the device connect with your network? Wireless? Cable?
  • What kind of wireless connectedness doesit utilization? Bluetooth? Wifi? Infrared?
  • What variety of cable connection tin can it make? DisplayPort? HDMI? USB-C? Thunderbolt?


Beyond connecting your tech to the network, you have got to brand sure devices connect to each other. In a classroom setting, y’all want to be sure that students can also participate no thing what device they might be using.

The same applies tosoftware solutions every bit well. Make sure all your tech gets along. There’s something to live said well-nigh working within a larger ecosystem of devices as well as software from the same solution provider: if it’s built together it’ll piece of work together.

  • What operating organisation does the solution require? Windows? Android? iOS? Device agnostic?
  • How are you lot going to transmit data to learners? Email? Direct link? Direct file transfer?
  • Does the deviceconnect to cloud storage services? Does it store files locally?

Technology in the Classroom - support staff


Though users should absolutely live familiar with their tech’s best employment practices, it’s unreasonable to await everyone to know how to prepareit. Maintenance is a specialized chore for specialized staff. But unless you’re planning to hire novel IT direction for the new tech, it’s of import to piece of work within your squad’s capabilities.

Make sure that whatever solutions you lot implement inwards your classroom are supported past your existing back up structure. This includes setting upwards the necessary systems together with maintaining them over fourth dimension.

  • Does your information technology squad already render back up for thissolution?
  • Does the solution furnish adequate preparation for new information technology staff?
  • Is the solution user-friendly for finish-users (reducing the need for frequent support)?

You may also want to cheque this out: 10 Reasons Education IT Administrators Love Interactive Touch Screen Displays

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is how much a device, software, etc. costs over its entire lifetime. This also includes all the hidden costs similar maintenance, replacement parts, subscriptions, even electricity.

Even products that are cheap tobuy initially may have pregnant long-term expenses. For representative, an inkjet printer is often very inexpensive to purchase. However, replacement ink cartridges can so be almost as expensive as a novel printer.

It’s possible that a more expensive solution could salve your school fourth dimension, coin, and frustration over the long run. Consider the following inwards add-on to the listed price of your chosen solution – either hardware or software.

  • What doesback up cost? Is at that place a gratis helpline? Can you lot do repairs in-home? Or do y’all demand to hire the solutions licensed staff to do repairs or make changes?
  • What is the lifespan of the product? What are the lifespans of replaceable parts?
  • What other resources could this solution swallow too coin (e.g. fourth dimension, labor, etc.)?
  • Is there a subscription in place for parts or services? What is the most cost-effective way to pay it (e.g.monthly, annually, lifetime, etc.)?

Classroom Design

Classroom pattern is a major factor when deciding on technological solutions. For example, most classrooms brand inward the concluding century or thence assume a display of some sort at the forepart of the room. Until late, it’s been a chalkboard orwhiteboard, which also makes the room a skillful candidate for an interactive whiteboard of some kind.

In the instance of large lecture halls, withal, flat-panel interactive whiteboards like the ViewBoard are likely not the best option to attain the entire form. A projector mightiness non be as efficient – or furnish equally many features – but it does characteristic a more scalable display size.

Here are some things to consider most your classroom when deciding on thebest tech solution.

  • How large is the room? What display volition piece of work best to accomplish the entire class?
  • Who will live delivering the learning materials? Is it a teacher at the front end of the room with a unmarried large display? Students inwards huddle spaces with smaller grouping displays?
  • Should the tech live focused on a resources station inward the classroom? Should it be spread evenly throughout?
  • Does the hardware demand to befixed inward the classroom at all times? Or is a portable setup that tin can be shared amongst classrooms more than practical?

And you can observe some other overnice summary of implementing the latest tech inward your classroom hither: Your Educational Digital deoxyribonucleic acid – Get Ready for Edtech Innovation

Final Thoughts on Technology inward the Classroom

Though engineering inward the classroom will never supercede teachers, it is a valuable tool for improving learning outcomes together with preparing students for a digital future. Like every advance inward learning technology, there are violent critics of adding more advanced EdTech into our schools. And their concerns are not alone out of place, as at that place are still major challengesahead as nosotros effort to amend integrate modern connectivity to places of learning.

But the benefits of updating our classrooms with modern resources definitely outweigh the disadvantages. Technological solutions solve far more than problems than they create. Between improved engagement, broader appeal to more than students, and preparing learners for a digital time to come, it’s clear that more classrooms demand to take reward of EdTech solutions.

Want to readmore than nigh solutions for your classroom? Here’s a proficient primer: How to Build a Modern School – six Key Elements to Embed inward Your Groundwork. Or move straight to ViewSonic’s education solutions to detect out what nosotros dofor teachers in addition to learners.