The modern classroom is changing rapidly, and A/V technology is pushing that change forward, allowing teachers and students to connect in new, more effective ways. It’s something that administrators at universities and K-12 schools are taking note of, which is why sales of A/V technology to educators is increasing year after year. These aren’t gimmicks, either, as audio and video equipment makes the learning process much more engaging for students who are used to interfacing with technology.
A New Way of Learning
Teachers and professors are always stretched thin, and they need every advantage they can get to reach their students and ensure their lessons make an impact. A/V solutions can go a long way to making that happen, transforming the way educators approach their goals. And they can help with everything from lesson planning to evaluating students’ work. Some of the standout classroom technologies include:
- Interactive projectors and displays – Interactivity is becoming a larger component of the learning process, as it keeps students engaged during a lesson. In recent years, interactive projectors and displays have been made with improved touch technology, allowing multipoint gestures and applications. A practical use for multipoint improvements, for example, could be allowing multiple students to solve a single equation simultaneously, and then allowing other students to compare and evaluate their approach to the problem. Interactive displays tend to be favored over projectors, as displays aren’t affected by shadows and don’t contain lamps that need to be replaced on a regular basis.
- Content management systems – Content management systems, or CMS, are usually associated with backend web applications or databases. They can also provide an easy way for educators to track grades, assignments, calendars and notes about students as the school year progresses. There are a number of CMS options, many of them designed specifically for educators, and they are a total replacement for the old, unwieldy gradebooks.
- Applications and devices that allow for collaboration – Collaboration is something that the corporate world already prioritizes, but educators are beginning to take advantage of its benefits as well. Schools are increasingly becoming friendly to students bringing their own devices to the classroom, and some classes, like art classes, rely heavily on these devices. Linking these devices to a shared network allows teachers to display student work on larger screens. Some applications are designed to track multiple students at a time. With collaboration and content sharing technology, teachers can show off student work for instruction and comparison, and students can work together in groups to accomplish lesson goals.
- Document cameras – It’s still a chore to display texts in a format that’s legible for an entire classroom, but document cameras make it possible. Document cameras are a major upgrade compared to the overhead projectors of old, and not only enlarge text for easier reading, they can also display images, movies and audio with excellent fidelity.
- Audio and video conferencing – Although conferencing technology has been available to educators for years, it hasn’t been a practical option for schools until recently. Conferencing allows students to connect with classrooms, no matter where they are located, and enrich their cultural education with just a few button presses. Conferencing also allows teachers to bring experts into the classroom for special lessons.
- Lecture capture and streaming applications – The rise of A/V technology has coincided with the rise of distance education, and distance education is no longer just the purview of universities and community colleges. Now, K-12 schools also take advantage of distance education, and with lecture capture and streaming capabilities, teachers can deliver lessons complete with video and audio anytime, anywhere. It’s an extremely convenient option for students.
A/V solutions are found everywhere, from the corporate boardroom to the home. More than ever, though, they are an essential component in the classroom, and a major help to educators.