18 Jun 2015
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Technology in the classroom: Priming students for the workforce

By Catherine Knowles

Educators that utilise available technologies and encourage their students to use the tools in different ways are preparing them for workplaces of today, according to Elaine Shuck, Polycom director education solutions and market development, US public sector/USDLA president.

“The way teachers are teaching and the way students are engaging with teachers is lending itself to the way the workforce is changing and the different roles we’re having because of technology,” Shuck says.

Technologies such as video conferencing solutions, DropBox, Microsoft Office, Google Hangouts, smart boards, tablets, and apps are becoming more commonplace in the classroom, according to Shuck.

She says these technologies are benefiting students in a variety of ways, aiding with collaboration and remote learning, providing access to experts or specialists, and encouraging attendance as well as self-driven learning.

Using these tools, students learn how to save time and work effectively, collaborate with their peers, integrate different technologies into their projects, and use different technologies side by side - all things that will serve them well in workplaces of today, Shuck says.

“Technology in education is enabling students and giving them different sets of skills that they will need down the track in the workplace.

“What students are doing now is what we’re doing here at Polycom – their classroom is operating how I operate at Polycom, at a High School level.

“The classroom of the future is the workplace of the future,” she says.

In the New Zealand market, employees are often required to interact with people in other countries as part of their day to day activities.

Students who are remote learning, engaging with experts outside of their school, or taking part in virtual classrooms, will be able to understand how to manage and embrace the mobile workforce, Shuck says.

Schools that are providing technology tools to their students and are allowing them to come up with new ways to use these tools are essentially providing on the job training, setting them up to be able to migrate to a work environment in a number of industries, she says.

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