How Classroom Technology Needs to Evolve for Distance Learning
Remote Collaboration Tools are Essential for Inclusive Education
Everyone is aware of the effect of COVID-19 on education. In many states, including Arizona, school districts are delaying the start of in-person classes due to concerns from parents, teachers, and school administrators. Right here in Tempe, Arizona State University has launched its fall semester with a hybrid approach, aiming to offer distance learning options to minimize classroom density and enforce social distancing.
What does that mean for the classroom? Whether in elementary classrooms or higher education, schools need to embrace easy-to-use collaboration technology to enable flexible learning models. Keep reading to learn about essential classroom technology to cope with current education challenges.
Educators have been grappling with remote learning challenges. In lower-income areas, the lack of equipment like laptops and tablets or availability of affordable internet limits student access to essential distance learning technologies. Some school districts are offering students the choice to attend class in person, while others attend remotely. At the college level, this is a model already being implemented.
The good news is that similar collaboration technology used in the business world can be used in the classroom for multiple forms of learning. Electronic, internet-connected whiteboards can be used in class by teachers while being simultaneously viewed by remote students. Copies of whiteboard notes can be instantly saved in digital file form and used for studying, issuing assignments, and annotation by students.
In the business world, it’s common for meetings to take place with in-person participants at the office along with remote groups or individuals connecting via conferencing. The challenge has always been capturing audio and video well for the entire room. This ensures that remote attendees can see and hear all the participants in the room, not just the presenter.
In the classroom, collaboration is equally important. It's essential that students are not disconnected from each other. In a hybrid approach where some students are in the classroom and others are remote, the same audio and video tools can include everyone in interactive discussions. Multiple video cameras can be used for various views that can be switched by all attendees, and PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras can also be employed to change the view in the room. Several different microphone solutions can be deployed to capture the room, including microphone arrays that can be dynamically or statically “aimed” to cover all parts of the room.
Integration with popular software platforms is essential for simplified collaboration and communication. Whether it’s general-purpose solutions like Zoom and Microsoft Teams or education software like Google Classroom or Canvas, consider how tools like videoconferencing and whiteboards will work with your chosen distance learning platforms. Many of these platforms include recording capabilities, allowing for teachers and professors to make classes and events available for those who couldn’t attend an in-person class. It’s an easy solution to generate content for on-demand learning management systems to supplement streaming classes live.
Level 3 Audiovisual offers advanced audio and video solutions for education, collaboration, medical simulation, digital signage, and more. To learn more about updating your classroom technology for today’s needs, reach out to us here or click the chatbox below to connect instantly. We look forward to working with you.