As technology proliferates and learners utilize these advancements, educators must use novel innovations to create a conducive learning environment. Especially with the alarming number of distractions in a learning environment, it is essential to keep your learners engaged to ensure they are hyper-focused on the material. The best way to go around technological distractions is to employ them in the teaching methodology.
- Digital Projectors And Televisions
- Virtual Reality For An Immersive Environment
- Interactive Whiteboards
- Cameras And Recorded Discussions
- Hybrid Learning And Video Conferencing Systems
Digital Projectors And Televisions In The Classroom
Digital projectors are one of the most basic yet incredibly impactful AV installation choices for an educational environment. Not only are they cost-effective, but they also offer a lot of utility for a compact form factor. It allows the educator to tap into educational content from different sources, allowing the learners to experience a diverse and comprehensive catalog of academic content while engaging them holistically with booming audio and vivid visuals.
With the internet, digital projectors allow learners to explore interactive solutions such as educational games, scratch coding, and graphical function representation. We can utilize digital projectors in the following manner:
- Videos – educational video content from the internet is a lifesaver for teachers, as many are free, informational, well-researched, high-quality videos to watch. YouTube channels such as the Amoeba Sisters and TedED allow the learners to view cartoon-like imagery combined with robust delivery. Moreover, instructors can utilize digital projectors for film reviews and video showing for art and history classes.
- Presentations – Educators can utilize digital projectors to save time writing on the whiteboard and instead focus on using time-saving, reusable, vibrant, and well-designed displays. Moreover, because presentations are easy to distribute, they can allow students to focus on the discussion instead of jotting down notes for future use.
- Distance learning – Instructors can utilize digital projectors in classes for better distance learning and distance-blended experience. Typically, these projectors display meeting attendees, specifically those who cannot attend on-site and work from home.
- Collaboration – Digital projectors allow students to display and share their work with their peers. It promotes healthy competition while allowing learners to share insights about topics and material. Moreover, these projectors are excellent for art-related classes with many sketching and design activities, enabling the students to present their output to the class.
Virtual Reality For An Immersive Class Environment
One of the recent technological innovations, AV (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality), has redefined the borders of how technology impacts education. Employing these novel technologies towards your AV setup in your classroom allows for a more engaging educational experience. Moreover, it has completely revolutionized how educators teach practical concepts to their learners.
For high-level classes such as med, VR can help explore the human body and practice critical concepts such as sutures and surgery without the considerable cost of maintaining a human body.
For primary education, learners can experience virtual field trips or explore vast ecosystems without being on-site. Moreover, we can explore the graphical side of math by viewing the solutions to systems of equations (for higher math) and exploring shapes and their properties (primary math).
With VR, we can even utilize these technologies to simulate a virtual classroom during remote sessions. These can create an environment conducive to learning, making virtual classrooms feel as collaborative as traditional ones.
Another way VR is good for education is that it allows for a personalized experience that caters to learners that need extra care and attention. Immersing said learners in the virtual environment could help them practice and improve their social, cognitive, and motor skills in a safe and controlled setting.
Many educational institutions have started implementing IWBs or Interactive Whiteboards as a part of their audio-visual stack. Not only do interactive whiteboards help teachers prepare for material faster, but it also allows for a more engaging learner experience.
For example, IWBs allow for multiple sensory learning. Teachers can present audio, video, and images to simulate numerous senses at the same time. Moreover, what’s great about digital whiteboards is that it allows for a more intuitive way of thinking and remembering concepts– specifically through writing.
Moreover, interactive whiteboards allow learners to share and contribute their ideas quickly. Interactive keyboards ensure that the learners can visually express their views while also ensuring that other students can learn to understand the visual abstractions imposed by one thinker and identify the logic behind them.
Moreover, IWBs allow instructors more flexibility, as they can quickly adapt to different teaching with the IWB. Teachers can use the interactive keyboard to create activities and tasks extending from the usual pen-paper-board routine.
One of the biggest positives of an interactive whiteboard is that it allows the instructor to reuse the material given. Moreover, it also saves annotations, reducing the time students need to take down notes and replacing them with ample time to focus on the logic of their lesson.
Cameras And Recorded Discussions
As technology continues to evolve, classrooms are becoming more non-static and interactive. One of the best audio-visual installations for classrooms is cameras. Cameras provide another level of documentation useful in more ways than one. Let us look at the following:
- Cameras can record sessions for virtual learning: one significant benefit of a camera installed inside the classroom is the ability to create crisp, vibrant imagery that makes online learning so much more engaging for students. Especially for math-related courses, having a camera that can transmit equations and notations on the board is incredibly important. In a more general sense, a high-quality camera can capture a learner’s attention span more efficiently, allowing for a clearer view of
- the instructor. Let’s look at the following research study; for example, in a dissertation conducted at Northcentral University based on an experiment with 128 participants, the ability to legibly see the instructor’s face and facial features significantly improved the information retention rate of students. (Pierson, A., 2017)Discussion Review: For advanced educational establishments, especially for higher-level education, reviewing discussions is essential for students to revisit tough topics. For example, in classes that rely less on memorization, such as in higher level math (Real Analysis, etc.), return demos (nursing courses). In Tech-Voc curriculums, the learners need to revisit the lesson to ensure that there are no missed steps and that even nuances are appropriately analyzed.
- Instructor Feedback: For many educational institutions, an instructor’s pedagogy needs revisiting and assessment occasionally, particularly to manage and understand the points for improvement and to employ new teaching methods. Moreover, not only is it suitable for personnel training, but it is also handy for instructors to further understand their students’ reactions to particular mediums of teaching.
Hybrid Learning And Conferencing Systems
While the pandemic scare is settling down and on-site classes are generally back, hybrid learning is still a standard modality for many learning institutions. This mode of instruction will stay. The recurrence of an online and offline mixed learning setup, also referred to as ‘hybrid’ learning, is due to the added flexibility and benefits that comes with it, such as the following:
- Flexibility: hybrid learning offers flexibility, allowing us to employ it whenever offline courses are impossible. For example, transport strikes may make it impossible for public transportation-reliant communities to attend on-site learning. We can use online learning to help affected students attend classes in such cases. Also, students who are quarantined or sick can attend classes remotely.
- Cost-effective: online classes are cost-effective due to the absence of in-person facilities. Classrooms with built-in audio-visual installations for hybrid setups, especially general education classes, are crucial to help reduce tuition costs. On the side of students, it is also time-saving as there is no need to commute, which means lower prices for transportation. At the same time, it is environmentally friendly.
- Increased access: For students with insufficient resources, online learning is a good option for them to attend classes despite the limitations on financial ability. On the other hand, learning institutions can also employ hybrid courses to help alleviate the growing demand for classrooms and limited space.
However, for hybrid education to remain effective, institutions need a lot of technology overhead, which educational institutions must satisfy. We will go over the essentials of audio-visual installation for hybrid learning:
- High-quality microphone setup: A high-quality microphone is one of the essentials for hybrid learning to ensure that students learning remotely can hear the instructor legibly. A dedicated microphone setup, such as a lavalier or shotgun microphone, can help eliminate background noise, provide clear audio, and help increase student engagement and cooperation. (2)
- Network connection: A reliable and fast network connection is integral and critical for hybrid learning, as it enables seamless communication between remote and in-person students. One of the most prevalent problems concerning remote education is the need for more quality network connections. Educational institutions must ensure that their network infrastructure can handle the increased traffic and bandwidth requirements of hybrid learning, including robust upload and download speeds. While most network providers neglect a reliable upload bandwidth, institutions must consider that their upload speed is the same as their download, as online education demands real-time videoconferencing, uploading of class materials, and other upload-speed-reliant activities. (3)
- Reliable cameras: To provide a practical hybrid learning experience, educational institutions must install dedicated cameras that can capture high-quality video. The av professional should install multiple cameras to enable remote students to see different views of the classroom and the instructor. This setup allows the learners to experience an immersive online learning experience, allowing more interactive and engaging pedagogy mediums to manifest. The cameras should need a strategic position to provide an optimal view of the classroom and the instructor. (4)
Incorporating innovative audio-visual solutions in educational settings is crucial for creating an environment conducive to learning. Digital projectors and televisions offer a diverse and comprehensive catalog of academic content that the instructor can use to display videos and presentations and facilitate distance learning.
Augmented and virtual reality allows for an immersive learning experience, creating a personalized and retrofitted learner solution while allowing for practical teaching of complex concepts. On the other hand, interactive whiteboards provide multiple sensory learning, flexibility, and the ability to reuse material. Cameras offer another level of documentation and are helpful for virtual learning and recorded discussions. All these audio-visual solutions can improve engagement, retention, and collaboration, making the learning experience more interactive, effective, and enjoyable.
For questions regarding audio-visual setups for educational settings, you should get a quote from CenturyAV. We offer high-quality installations, and premium equipment, at a great price. Take the hassle away from the planning and setup by contacting us today.
- Pierson, “The Effect of Seeing an Instructor’s Face within an Instructional Video on Connectedness, Attention, and Satisfaction,” ERIC, https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED577621, Retrieved March 5, 2023.
- Rena M. Palloff, Keith Pratt, “Collaborating Online: Learning Together in Community”, 2005, Retrieved March 5, 2023.
- Song, Liyan, et al. “Improving online learning: Student perceptions of useful and challenging characteristics.” The internet and higher education 7.1 (2004): 59-70. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
- Dhawan, Shivangi. “Online learning: A panacea in the time of COVID-19 crisis.” Journal of educational technology systems 49.1 (2020): 5-22. Retrieved March 7, 2022.