The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way schools educate their students.
In the pandemic’s earliest phases, most school districts around the country switched to virtual learning. Today, if not fully online, many schools are using a hybrid model. The implications of these changes are far-reaching, necessitating that higher education and K-12 schools adopt the most up-to-date technology, including video conferencing hardware and effective audiovisual equipment, to ensure connectedness for students in virtual classrooms.
According to results from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, from May 28 to June 2, 2020, when most school districts around the country are usually in session, 80% of parents reported that their children were using online resources for distance learning.
Even before the pandemic, higher education and K-12 teaching methods were evolving to incorporate more audiovisual technology to enhance student learning. Digital field trips, shared online calendars, and digital content creation (by teachers and students) are all ways teachers are using technology to provide a collaborative classroom experience and expand learning to beyond the physical walls.
There are many ways to upgrade your school’s technology to ensure you are well equipped for successful virtual learning and able to incorporate the latest digital tools when school returns to the classroom.
Here are some things to consider when upgrading your classroom technology for 2021 and beyond:
To effectively use video conferencing, your school’s classrooms must be equipped with an appropriate live-streaming camera. An experienced audiovisual installation company should be able to assess your school’s needs and create an audiovisual setup that will allow you to accomplish your goals.
A dedicated webcam allows teachers to move around the classroom and still be seen. Pan-tilt-zoom cameras can cover larger classroom spaces and are plugged into a power source, meaning educators do not have to worry about running out of battery power in the middle of a lesson.
While many schools are still engaged in at least some virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, live-streaming will have applications for your school beyond the pandemic era. For example, students who are out of school for extended periods for an illness or other reasons can still participate in classes, and students and teachers can collaborate with other schools around the corner or across the world, opening up new learning possibilities.
Adding a digital whiteboard is an excellent way to create a more interactive live-stream experience for your students. Digital whiteboards are a shared electronic, visual space where teachers and students can share ideas, videos, photos, graphs, and drawings. Pre-pandemic, many teachers used write-able surfaces, such as physical whiteboards, as a place where students could contribute their thoughts in a shared space. With students out of the physical classroom, digital whiteboards are a useful alternative.
With an online platform such as Zoom, teachers and students can use digital whiteboards in a variety of ways. For example, younger students can share drawings to communicate concepts. Older students can debate or participate in group problem-solving. For teachers, digital whiteboards create a space to highlight important information from lessons or answer questions.
Quality audio equipment is a necessity to allow your school to live-stream impactful virtual lessons. If a student is unable to hear dialogue during a class, their entire learning experience will be negatively impacted.
When choosing audio technology upgrades for your classroom, consider whether the system allows your teachers to move around the classroom as they teach. If using a wireless headset, is it comfortable and practical to wear for long periods?
A knowledgeable company that specializes in the design and integration of audiovisual technology systems can suggest simple, inexpensive ways to guarantee teachers are heard so that they can focus on teaching rather than worrying about whether they’ve been heard.
Haverford Systems, an innovative audiovisual installation company serving the Philadelphia region, has over 30 years of experience in the business. Haverford Systems can help you design a customized, affordable audiovisual system for your school’s classrooms. Start by scheduling your free site survey today!