How to educate when hybrid learning is set to become the norm.
A visit to ISE 2022 will provide plenty of opportunities to explore the latest technologies available for educational institutions to ensure that students are able to learn and engage from different locations. Key for universities will be the implementation of technological solutions to enable a hybrid approach to learning with a focus on remote teaching
The education technology sector continues to perform strongly for the pro-AV industry. Established tools such as interactive displays, document cameras and PTZ/web cameras remain in high demand, while technologies that enable hybrid learning, such as collaborative tools, UC solutions and in-room audio, are also driving investment.
Bringing all of these together in an intuitive solution that provides the same experience for learners no matter their location is the aim for many institutions as hybrid learning looks to become the norm
As Alexandra Parlour, Education Marketing Manager, Sony Professional Displays and Solutions, Sony Europe, explains: “A hybrid approach to learning with a focus on remote teaching will be key for universities, and technologies that capture clear high-quality audio, crisp video, and allow teachers/lecturers to provide interactive seminars and activities will be essential to offer the best possible immersion for students whether they are remote or onsite. Our recent research conducted around hybrid learning revealed that 79% of students across Europe feel their university experience would improve if money was invested in online and hybrid learning technologies.”
“Educational institutions need to ensure that students are able to learn and engage from different locations,” according to Madhav Jain, Insights Manager – Education, Sennheiser. “Adopting hybrid learning and new technologies for the effective delivery and consumption of courses has been vital, as has flexibility in adapting courses to ever-changing requirements. The hybrid model also opens up new perspectives for attracting remote students.”
As universities move deeper into this way of teaching, projectors and displays will be relied on more than ever to deliver in-class creative content and engaging courses. As students begin to collaborate again, quality imagery and content become even more crucial to make sure all students can see the detail and engage in the same way.
The instant, collaborative learning environment many became used to with remote learning will need to be replicated on premise
“Interactive displays are particularly useful because they provide touch-screen capabilities and integration with popular video conferencing software such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams,” says Till Gotterbarm, Product Management and Strategic Partnerships EMEA, Avocor. “This allows educators and students to easily connect and share ideas from wherever they are. These displays also allow students and instructors to share real-time, cloud-based annotations with everyone in a class or study group.”
Jain adds: “Platforms such as Canvas and Blackboard are being mixed together with real-time conference platforms such as Zoom, bringing in-classroom students and teaching staff together with remote participants. Technologies that can help deliver a seamless hybrid learning experience are paramount. Ceiling microphones also encourage a very natural interaction between physical and virtual participants, making lectures and seminars feel lifelike for all involved.”
While students have been keen to embrace hybrid learning, the pandemic has also had an impact on how teachers respond to technology and its place in the classroom.
Parlour adds: “The way teachers view technology in the classroom has changed: before, the majority were reluctant to be captured on video; now, they’re using it to their advantage. Their needs have changed significantly”
Gotterbarm expands: “More than anything, the pandemic has sped up higher education’s digital transformation. Colleges and universities are finding new ways to enable faculty and students to teach and learn from afar, implementing technologies that support collaboration and updating policies to support a more flexible learning experience.”
He cites the example of the Adult College of Barking and Dagenham in east London, which was in the process of implementing a technology refresh when the pandemic hit. The aim was to install solutions that offered an open platform to work with legacy applications, in-classroom and remotely to deliver blended learning options. This need for effective remote learning was enhanced in April 2020 when all learning was moved online.
“When Covid restrictions were enforced, the college was able to switch on remote learning overnight, utilising our Teams platform to continue to deliver teaching. We ensured that no learner was left out, providing those students who might not have access to the internet with wireless dongles and web cameras so teaching staff could still engage visually with students,” explains Aujla Jagdeep, IT Manager at the college.
The facility maintained 90% of all its lessons through the first wave of restrictions, while some other local authorities in London had to switch off adult learning programmes completely. This then adapted to a blended learning situation as restrictions changed, with AV technology creating an adaptable solution that can deliver high-impact, engaging lessons virtually and in person.
“Decision-makers understand that faculty must be able to move fluidly between remote and in-person teaching to stay productive,” Gotterbarm believes. “And it is precisely collaboration technologies that can sustain this transition – by replicating the in-person experience through video display technology, and vice versa.”
Looking to the future, Parlour says: “As the traditional education setting was forcibly rewritten during the pandemic, we will continue to see a true evolution of how we cater to students both on and off campus from here on out. Technology has supported us the whole way, and it will continue to be a huge component of students’ enjoyment and learning experience at their chosen university. By combining the latest in projector and large-format display technology and considering carefully how and where each product will work best both for impact and cost effectiveness, IT teams can ensure maximum collaboration and efficiency for students.”
Jaid concludes: “We believe that a hybrid model is here to stay. Online learning is a potential source of additional revenue and a key component of strategic plans for academic continuity and the resilience of educational institutions. The classroom of the future will make education accessible to everyone, everywhere, be it in providing support for students with impairments or in integrating remote students in courses and lectures. Hybrid events will continue to play a strong role, while the on-site experience for students will not be neglected either.”