AV can drive CTE learningCareer technical education, or CTE, provides students with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace, and AV technology can make it more effective. CTE, in some form, has been around for more than a century, but only recently has research demonstrated some of its benefits. For example, several studies have shown that a high quality CTE program can improve graduation rates by at least seven percent, and potentially much higher. The effect is even greater with lower income students. AV technology is ideal for CTE learning, as it can introduce skills-based lessons in compelling, immersive ways. From interactive displays to virtual and augmented reality, AV solutions can make lessons more engaging.
What is CTE?CTE courses focus on teaching students career skills, and is typically associated with vocational education and similar initiatives. There are many reasons why students take these classes, and there are many benefits associated with the concept. For example:
- Provides a faster alternative to college – CTE learning is not confined to students who don’t plan on pursuing college. However, for those that wish to enter the workforce quickly, the classes let students determine when to start working, like right after high school or after earning a two-year degree. CTE ensures that these students are able to best leverage their skillset following school.
- May improve earnings – Several studies, including a 2006 Economics of Education review and a 2008 randomized study in MDRC, have found that students earn more when they have a history of CTE coursework.
- Makes students more confident – A 2009 study in Social Science Research showed that CTE education boosts students’ feeling of self-worth. Self-worth and efficacy are powerful indicators of future graduation chances and future job search success.
- Helps students attain credit – Approximately 75 percent of all CTE programs enable students to gather postsecondary credits, reducing their class load should they attend college.
How AV and CTE go togetherThere are several AV solutions that can drive better CTE education, by thoroughly engaging students and introducing a world of compelling educational experiences. Some of those AV solutions include:
• Interactive flat panels – CTE education is often hands-on, and interactive flat panels allow students to get their hands involved in the lesson. Interactive flat panels like the ActivPanel and Clevertouch have achieved impressive success in school districts and universities, and they work particularly well for CTE lesson delivery. With interactive flat panels, students can explore interactive lessons and express a greater range of skills than is possible with lecture and homework alone. By integrating visual, audio and tactile into a single lesson, students are more likely to retain what they learn.
• Video streaming and VODs – As CTE lessons typically focus on skill attainment, it makes sense that students would respond well to seeing those skills demonstrated. One of the most efficient ways for educators to do this is with online and mobile learning, using video capture and delivery methods. If students can access the lessons on their own time, and in a setting where they are most comfortable, they will be able to invest their attention in the lesson. This is especially effective for CTE, because with video, instructors can demonstrate critical skills with visual reinforcement.
• Collaborative solutions – Many CTE students enter the workforce at an early age, and some will transition to a profession as soon as they graduate high school. These students must be prepared for a world of collaboration, especially for career paths like sales, marketing, STEM and health services.
AV solutions are often designed to enhance collaboration between workers and teams, and they may take the form of unified communications, collaborative spaces or conferencing technologies. Huddle spaces, for example, can be adapted for educational use, as they bring students together to accomplish a singular goal. A team of CTE students, for instance, could use this opportunity to pitch or develop a product, or work toward solving an engineering or technological challenge.
• VR and AR – Virtual and augmented reality are two of the most promising educational technologies emerging now, and they hold a lot of potential for CTE learning. VR and AR products like zSpace and ClassVR offer a completely novel and immersive experience for CTE students, bringing them into the laboratory, workshop or garage. Students can study various objects and workspaces in close detail, and manipulate those items as if they were really there. Some of the best learning is done when students can exercise multiple senses during the lesson, and this is best accomplished with AR and VR technology.