Can modern technology improve relationships between coworkers or students?Technology is often seen as this unwieldy, esoteric thing that just complicates relationships, but when properly implemented, modern technology is a great communication facilitator. It’s this quality that AV integrators strive to bring out in every technology they work with, to make every A/V solution a bridge between people. That’s true whether those people are coworkers, students, partners or just about any two people that could use improved communication. With every technology there is a learning curve and an adjustment period. It’s during this period that people may be frustrated by the new technology and changes in place. Fortunately, A/V integrators work diligently to minimize this feeling and ensure that everyone who will use the new technology knows how to use it.
How can technology enhance communications between people?Relationships, including professional relationships, are founded on strong communication. Without it, it’s difficult to get people to work together, or even respect each other. If educators and business owners want to improve relationships between their pupils or employees, then the key is making communication easier. That is what A/V integrators focus on, and the solutions they provide can enhance communication in several ways, including:
1. Enabling face to face communication over long distances – It’s difficult for remote professionals to get comfortable with their teams, and it’s even worse when those remote team members are spread across the country, or the globe. Face to face communication adds important conversational subtleties, like facial expressions and body language. Bringing these back into the conversation allows team members to communicate naturally and without talking over each other. Once team members can put a face on their colleagues, they will think of them less as disembodied voices over the phone, and more as actual people.
Video conferencing technology, a staple of A/V solutions, is what enables this setup. It’s also effective in improving relationships between corporate partners and between companies and their clients.
2. Allowing for more dynamic meetings – Meetings are a drag for most people, and this isn’t lost on the managers responsible for putting them together. For decades, business leaders have worked tirelessly to make their meetings more engaging and more efficient, but nothing has furthered this goal faster than technology. Staring down at a printout during a meeting is boring and keeps eyes away from the speaker. Not only is this a poor way to engage people, it’s a surefire way to build resentment and dread regarding team meetings.
Poorly delivered meetings miss a major opportunity to build connections between people involved in the discussion. A meeting that includes compelling media and a brisk cadence means everyone is involved from the get go. And with interactive display technology, meeting members can get up and annotate or do so from their own devices, speeding up brainstorming. Meetings are faster, more meaningful and involve more contributors. That is a recipe for team cohesion.
It’s also a recipe for better classroom engagement, which is why a major technology for teachers is the interactive display. Modern interactive displays give teachers a bottomless bag of tools in building lessons and offering novel experiences to their students. The result is better communication between teachers and their students, which translates to better relationships between them.
3. Making the most out of collaboration efforts – In the end, business leaders and teachers want their employees or students to build better relationships because they eventually have to work together. Group projects are a fact of life for professionals and students alike, and better communication begets better results.
Effective collaboration is elusive in most organizations, be they professional or educational. It’s difficult to get people to band together on a project, get everyone involved and keep things moving along. Again, modern technology has, perhaps more than any other solution, made efficient collaboration a realistic goal.
Consider the classic meeting room. It’s not a picture of easy collaboration, given its larger size. Instead, companies are migrating to huddle rooms, and several huddle rooms can fit into a single standard meeting room. Huddle rooms are ideal for collaboration, and are outfitted with digital displays, or interactive displays, conferencing technology, comfortable, closed in seating and plenty of connection points for devices. This layout is perfect for small teams that need to collaborate immediately, which is what happens when professionals are working together with natural ease. Huddle rooms make collaboration more effective and more interesting for small teams, and in a tighter setting, everyone is encouraged to be part of the effort.
Collaboration is just as important in the classroom, where group work has been a learning staple as long as there have been schools. Collaboration technology allows students to connect with each other on common ground – technology. It seems like every student is naturally tech savvy now, and this can be leveraged by educators to bring students together and keep them engaged.
This approach is best demonstrated with interactive display technology. Interactive displays, such as the Clevertouch, come with excellent connectivity options or with software that is designed for group work. With the Clevertouch, students can add content to a shared project, make notes and communicate with each other using technology. Students, due to their natural handle on technology, express a comfort level with this form of collaboration, allowing their personality to come through in their work with others. It’s a more inclusive approach to group work.
And it’s something that can be adapted for students as young as kindergartners. The Clevertouch, for example, comes with a piece of software called Snowflake. Using Snowflake, the display can be split into multiple zones, so young students can work independently and with each other intermittently. Instead of forcing high energy students to work together in a rigid way, technology encourages those students to collaborate as they see fit.If there’s one thing modern technology has improved more than anything else, it’s communication. A century ago, telephones were still a novelty to most people in the developed world. Now, there are so many ways to communicate with others that it’s difficult to keep track of them all. That is a boon to educators and business leaders as they have plenty of tools in building better relationships between their students and employees.