When it comes to student learning, merely listening to a teacher talk isn’t enough. Studies show that humans have trouble remembering what they hear, especially after a delay. If you want students to have a better chance at putting new information into their long-term memory banks, classroom collaboration and education technology are a must.
What does this mean for collaborative classroom design? It’s crucial to provide clear, engaging visuals whenever possible — whether they’re still images, animated clips, or videos.
It’s even better to get students up and moving, working to get their hands on those visuals to manipulate and share information with each other to provide multiple avenues for information to be burned into their brains.
What to Look for in Engaging Classroom Technology
The best classroom collaboration strategies revolve around products that help teachers bring crystal-clear, detailed images into classrooms to engage students and enhance lessons by triggering the formation of lasting memories.
Likewise, education tech should encourage a hands-on interactive learning approach by making it easy for students to collaborate with each other by seamlessly sharing images, both during class and at home.
This ideally allows all students access to interactive learning no matter where they are and bridges the gap between the home and school environment.
Not sure where to begin? Here are some of the best buys for schools looking to invest in education technology that improves connectivity and collaboration while still providing great in-class display of those all-important visuals:
Today’s students are used to looking at ultra-sharp images on smartphone and tablet screens, so classroom projectors need to provide images that are just as bright and crisp.
Laser projectors deliver bright, saturated colors and excellent clarity, and they can be used even in large spaces like auditoriums for maximum utility.
Laser technology is also a cost-effective choice because it eliminates the need for expensive light bulb changes. Look for ones with quick start-up software for ease of use and 3D capabilities for the ultimate in student engagement.
Interactive Whiteboards and Touchscreens
The twenty-first century version of the schoolhouse blackboard allow teachers to present information — including notes written in real-time — in a much more engaging way than chalk ever could.
These screens can display images and allow participants to mark up what they see, taking notes and moving pieces around to make learning a more tactile experience.
Whether you opt for a whiteboard or a touchscreen for your central display, look for a system that is compatible with both Mac and Windows software for the most seamless experience.
Great displays and hardware require thoughtful software to run properly. When choosing your display technology, look for products that come pre-loaded with robust classroom collaboration software that allows both teachers and students to easily share information to the display.
The best solutions will offer teachers an easy way to monitor student progress and encourage communication across a range of devices.
Expand your students’ engagement by expanding their view: Wide-screen monitors are the best choice for providing sharp images to enhance learning.
Desktop monitors should be ergonomically designed and come with a headphone jack to allow for individualized learning sessions. It’s also a good idea to choose a monitor that is built to accept touch integration to keep more interactive learning options open.
Digital displays are useful in both classrooms and throughout public areas of the building. These should be easily connected to other devices to promote easy sharing of photos and text.
Digital signage promotes strong communities when schools use them to share important announcements and highlight the best of students’ work. Look for modular displays that provide flexibility when it comes to wireless data and signal distribution for a solution that will grow with an evolving education technology program.
The 3 Most Important Education Technology Takeaways
When it comes to choosing technology for the modern K-12 classroom, the best ed tech solutions have the following three features:
- They allow teachers to provide students with a wealth of visual and tactile experiences to promote better interactive learning and long-term memory. Images should be crystal-clear, with rich color and detail.
- They come fully loaded with intuitive, easy-to- use software so teachers can get up and running without wasting time learning a new system.
- They allow for classroom collaboration between multiple devices so that students and teachers can seamlessly share their work with each other.
With these three items on your digital shopping list, you should be able to equip K-12 students with the most effective tools for interactive learning in a connected, collaborative environment.