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Jan Willem-Brands


VP, Collaboration

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How technology can boost classroom collaboration


Classroom or online? Maybe you want your training to be both. Here's Jan Willem-Brands.

The classroom is no longer an environment with a one-way flow of information; instead collaboration has become the norm and today’s classrooms are embracing technology like never before. The education sector has evolved with the influence of technology, which has brought convenience to the classroom and a move away from overhead projectors to the interactive whiteboard. Today’s students represent the next wave of digital natives who will be taking those skills and their appetite for technology to the workplace. Therefore, the potential benefits of creating a more engaging environment within classrooms are far greater than they were just a few years ago.

report from the BBC shows that 70% of UK schools now use tablet computers as part of lessons, and studies in the US have demonstrated that interactive, touchscreen technology can have many benefits to a child’s education, including higher exam results and more efficient studying.

A wealth of digital educational services including mobile apps, teaching material, lessons, podcasts, vodcasts, and interactive multimedia are all at hand to provide students with the opportunity to learn at their own pace and the freedom to go back and revisit content whenever they choose. A report from Ofcom reveals that a third of children aged between five and 15 years old have their own tablet computers, meaning that more children than ever before are becoming familiar with this technology from a young age.

"By allowing trainees to use devices such as these to wirelessly beam the display from their tablet or smartphone on to a shared monitor, it’s easy for them to work together to achieve a shared learning objective."

Students and teachers will, no doubt, be making use of their smartphones, tablets and laptops in the classroom as well as at home and therefore a technology solution that is able to support these devices which are likely to use different operating systems, for example iOS, Android or Windows is needed in order to foster a more co-operative and engagement-focused environment. With this in mind, schools could also benefit from introducing a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) policy, if they are allowing students to use their own technology to take part in lessons.

It’s cost-effective, students are more likely to continue learning outside of schools hours, and it helps them to stay organised with their notes and assignments all in one place, on a device they are more likely to keep safe.

BYOD also encourages students to collaborate on group projects and presentations. Each student can use AV solutions such as networked room compositors. By allowing trainees to use devices such as these to wirelessly beam the display from their tablet or smartphone on to a shared monitor, it’s easy for them to work together to achieve a shared learning objective.

By using technology as a primary learning resource, teachers can use tablets projected on to a wall monitor to give their lesson, and allow students to take control of the monitor using their tablets, thus increasing engagement and learning during class discussions and work. Technology in the classroom encourages the use of interactive educational tools, allowing for a dynamic learning experience that directly benefits students, not only when sharing ideas and information, but also when receiving feedback.

With classroom technology being used for different types of communications, students are now required to be readers, writers, editors, and publishers, and must be able to closely collaborate with others, skills that are critical for young people as they grow and enter the workplace.

Jan Willem-Brands is VP Collaboration at Barco. Reach them on Twitter here  @BarcoClickShare or LinkedIn here Barco Collaboration

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Jan Willem-Brands

VP, Collaboration

Read more from Jan Willem-Brands

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