Technology is playing a leading role in the classroom today, with schools, colleges and universities embracing multimedia and interactive technologies as a means of improving academic achievement. Sadly, too many educational institutions rely on outdated audiovisual (AV) equipment because of a lack of budget; others are using equipment that is poorly configured or that is not a good fit for their needs.
Provided an educational institution chooses a solution that is rugged, easy to install, and simple to maintain, it can drive great academic results from AV products.
Here are five ways that an AV installation, paired with interactive technologies such as electronic whiteboards, can pay for itself in a school or university.
Reach students with rich, interactive content
Today's learners and students are growing up with technology - something that is increasingly true even of those from poorer backgrounds. Rich, interactive content is an important way of engaging children and students who use smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles at home. They expect content in the classroom to be visual and interactive, just like the content they explore when they're not at school.
Make use of video and distance learning resources
There are many schools that lack teachers in key subjects such as maths and science. A good AV system, paired with video conferencing, can help bring a remote teacher into the classroom to teach children and take their questions. There is no substitute for a flesh-and-blood teacher, but the technology can help plug the gap where teachers are unavailable.
It's also great for students and schoolchildren to be able to interact with peers and teachers from other parts of the world. The technology can expose them to new possibilities by bringing the world into the classroom. Videos and electronic materials, meanwhile, can help supplement the teacher's efforts by reinforcing and complementing what children learn in formal class sessions.
Accommodate different teaching and learning styles
A good AV setup and interactive electronic whiteboards provide flexibility in the classroom. They're excellent for demonstrations and adaptable to a range of teaching methods and materials. They're also able to accommodate different types of learning - from the child that likes to learn in a tactile, practical way by scribbling on a board to those that are good at absorbing auditory or visual information.
A cleaner classroom environment
When using electronic whiteboards or screens, teachers and lecturers no longer need to clean up messy chalk dust or distribute paper handouts. This helps to keep classrooms and lecture halls tidy, and can also help to save money on stationery and sundries.
More harmonious and integrated use of classroom technology
Technology has started to creep into classrooms, but it's often not used in a coordinated manner that promotes collaboration and sharing. Many classrooms have students using a range of devices, many of them old. An AV solution or a corporate whiteboard has the advantage that everyone is looking at the same screen and the same materials at the same time. This promotes group interaction and group learning. A whiteboard can also be handy for schools with a limited budget. With just one computer, teachers can still use IT as a teaching aid that serves multiple children.
About the author
Stefan Mayer is the managing director of Corporate AV Integration.
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