AV Technology sat down with Dr. Micah Shippee, director of Education Technology Consulting and Solutions at Samsung Electronics America to discuss challenges in higher ed today.
AV Technology: What are the greatest classroom challenges facing higher ed educators today and how can these challenges be remedied?
Shippee: While K-12 schools have largely resumed in-person instruction, hybrid learning is here to stay for higher education institutions. For professors teaching hybrid classes, the challenge lies in keeping both in-person and online learners engaged and enabling them to collaborate just like if they were physically in the same classroom. Interactive classroom technologies are highly effective in this regard.
For instance, interactive displays can bridge in-person and online learners by enabling bi-directional casting and real-time collaboration from the professor and students’ devices. At Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, the professors actually use two interactive displays for its hybrid classes—one in the back of the room with a gallery view of all the online students and another display at the front for course content. During lectures, professors will write and draw on the display at the front, with the content mirrored directly on each student’s laptop or tablet in real time. The students will then take notes and interact with the content live on their own screens. Using the interactive displays, Stevens’ professors enjoy a more seamless and intuitive hybrid teaching experience while students have reported feeling more productive and engaged than ever.
As hybrid learning becomes a fixture in higher education, schools like Stevens that can scale up a high-quality hybrid program will set themselves apart from other universities.
When the IT team started looking for options to improve online and hybrid learning, they realized that Samsung’s interactive technology could connect professors and remote learners and enable them to collaborate just as if they were in the same classroom.
AVT: Ongoing professional development is critical to an educator’s effectiveness at all levels of education. What industry-wide changes do you think need to happen to support educators in their professional growth?
Shippee: As we saw during the pandemic, education changes as the world changes. Even today, teachers at all levels are still addressing the impacts of pandemic-era learning, from declining student test scores to rising rates of occupational stress and burnout. We expect technological advancements like ChatGPT and other forms of generative AI will also critically impact the future of work. For educators to adapt and meet the evolving needs of their students, they simply cannot do it on their own.
We must all come together as a community and provide mutual support for our professional growth. Together, educators can share bold, new ideas for instructional design, lessons learned from inside the classroom and uncover solutions to pressing challenges. Building this greater sense of community is precisely why Samsung is launching the new Samsung Education Community Platform this year.
"Together, educators can share bold, new ideas for instructional design, lessons learned from inside the classroom and uncover solutions to pressing challenges."
AVT: Tell us more about the Samsung Education Community Platform
Shippee: The Samsung Education Community Platform is designed to be a collaborative, online hub to meet the professional needs of today’s educators. Educators who join the platform can access a community of educators seeking to grow and share together as well as courses led by Samsung Education Coaches, all of whom are experts in curriculum development and instructional design. These courses will teach participants how to create interactive, immersive learning environments using best-in-class technology. Platform members will gain access to continuing education certificates and monthly professional webinars where they can learn more tips and teaching practices from their Samsung Education Coach.
All monthly webinars will be recorded and made available in a rich resource library, including blog posts, tutorials, lesson plan templates and self-paced learning content. As educators complete their coursework and engage in thoughtful discussion through the platform’s online forum, they can collect digital badges to demonstrate their progress and knowledge of EdTech strategies. Samsung will identify the most active power users to become Ambassadors to create their own content, serve as conference presenters and host Samsung-sponsored webinars to inspire their fellow educators. Interested educators can register now to be part of our beta launch.
For early access to our bi-monthly virtual professional development series please register here.
AVT: How can higher ed institutions transform the campus experience through display technologies?
Shippee: Display technologies can create a connected campus that reimagines the student experience and bring universities together like never before. We have seen schools embrace kiosk technology to introduce the same self-service experience transforming the quick-service restaurant space into campus dining services. Smart signage in high-traffic areas like residence halls, common areas and outside department buildings are helping to promote college sports, events and organizations to raise school spirit and student participation. Additionally, smart signage is being leveraged to amplify narratives of student achievement and alumni successes to help new students conceptualize their future careers.
A critical piece to the connected campus vision is content management software that enables school leaders to remotely control what is shared across each screen and weave all installed displays together in a dynamic ecosystem. Content management software can also facilitate campus-wide alerts to help direct students, faculty and staff to safety in the event of an emergency. At Samsung, we believe that the connected campus is the future of education and how schools should be designed—as a place where students and educators feel safe, empowered and inspired to pursue their academic passions.
AVT: What new developments can we expect to see from Samsung this year?
Shippee: We are excited to launch our new Interactive Display that is built on the Android operating system to provide greater intuitive usability for educators. Available in June 2023, the new display is all about ease of use and eliminating the learning curve of classroom technologies. Educators can quickly start using the device right out of the box with their existing lesson plans and favorite instructional tools. It’s also designed to enhance interactivity. We cannot wait to see what a difference it will make in classrooms worldwide.
In addition to building an online community on the Samsung Education Community Platform, we are planning more in-person events to connect one-on-one with school leaders, IT directors and educators. We will be hosting professional development sessions at our Executive Briefing Centers and other key locations nationwide, allowing educators to directly experience Samsung’s classroom technologies, meet with their peers and get advice from the Samsung Education Coaches. We’ve already held several successful professional development events, including in Irvine, California, New York City, Chicago, and Honolulu. We’re looking forward to more of these opportunities to engage in conversations about the current and future state of education.