AVT Question: Please share insight and best practices for designing the higher ed classroom for today and the future.
Thought Leader: Frank Trossen, Global Business Development Director, Education at PPDS
Without question, the forced lockdowns in 2020 exposed the vulnerabilities in traditional education. And while our world has, on the whole, returned to normal, we have learned how to bring some efficiency into the way education providers connect with their cohorts and communities.
There are other benefits, too. As well as providing AV and IT managers in education with a new crisis plan blueprint, the technology adopted for online lessons also allows schools the opportunity to address historic challenges around absence. Prior to the pandemic, eight million students were chronically absent—missing at least 15 days of school in a year. Post-pandemic, that number has more than doubled, putting students at serious risk of falling behind, according to the Department of Education.
Statistically, 86 percent of classrooms and teaching spaces in North America already feature an interactive display for more inspired teaching and learning, and investment into interactive has increased post-pandemic. The display is only part of the story and a much bigger picture. With advancements in technologies, coupled with evolving dedicated remote/distant learning software, the boundaries around absence can now easily be overcome.
Whether in class or isolating at home, students have the ability to join classes (including visually via two-way webcams) and collaborate directly with their teachers and fellow students, and even take control of the screen, in real-time. This can be achieved as part of the growing trend and adoption of BYOD for smarter experiences in and out of the classroom, with students using their own connected device, such as a PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Meaning that, no matter where they are, falling behind can be avoided. Having flexible, connected solutions in place will not only enhance teaching and learning for today, they will provide a safety net to ensure things can continue efficiently, should the circumstances suddenly change again in the future.