Enhancing Education through Technology: New Opportunities for State and Local Institutions

The role that technicalities play in today’s institutions of learning is nothing short of incredible, and a bit of poetic justice for this author.  I remember the days of passive learning and being labeled as a “slacker” in high school. I was often distracted in my advanced mathematics class with the glow of a green Apple II display, and the “gifted” students were free to do work they like…i.e. play Castle Wolfenstein until blue in the face (for those in the audience too young to remember Castle Wolfenstein, please Google it.)

Fortunately times have changed and the students of today are no longer confined only to “traditional” passive methods of learning. In today’s classroom, technologies to enhance the learning process is not only welcomed and embraced, but it is consistently evolving.

Let’s look at emerging trends resellers can propose to institutions:

Smart Classroom: Making Mobile convergence come to life
No one can deny that with the advent of tables and mobile devices, the landscape of learning has changed forever.  The “Digital Generation” prefers a faster paced, interactive way of learning, and when you integrate mobile technologies in a classroom, it benefits all.  

For example, when using products from Samsung, such as the Galaxy Note 10.1 and Samsung displays, it allows students to participate in real time collaborative activities such as screen sharing & monitoring, take interactive quizzes and quick polls, and proactive content sharing.

Please see this URL for a great example of how it all fits together: http://www.samsung.com/global/business/business-images/resource/RR-BC/2012/10/SamsungSmartSchoolLeaflet-0.pdf 

Smart Classroom

 Also, don’t forget the need for institutions to secure and manage these new mobile devices!  Ergotron and Bretford offers an entire series of tablet, laptop and netbook management carts that can provide an easy way to secure, and in some models sync, charge, and manage these devices.

Lastly, in a recent report, IDC Government Insights, projects growth in new devices, such as tablets or e-readers, to make up a bigger chunk of the spending as these devices are used to improve student performance and the cost per device comes down. In the end, not only are the technologies effective, the prices are more affordable for adopters!

Interactive Chalkboards / Whiteboards: When tradition meets technology
The chalkboard has been hallmark in education for as long as I remember. It’s been a tool used by teachers to outline ideas, architect game plans for coaches and used as an unwilling pawn to dish out in punishment (if you ever had to write a sentence 100 times on the chalkboard, you know what I’m talking about.)  

Today’s modern chalkboard (and kissing cousin of the whiteboard) has a new look and all modern functionality.   The incarnation today offers the ability to not only display written information with the use of a stylus (or finger) it can show full screen movies, PowerPoint’s or be used as a projector replacement or supplements.

Interactive Chalkboards The Sharp Aquos Board line is available in a variety of sizes (from 60in-80in) and provides the teaching staff the ability to help a curriculum come alive in HD clarity.  It also allows student to participate in the action by using the included pen tool software.  This adds a whole new demotion in interactive control to learning as you can easily open or close documents, shrink images or make hard copies of the work on your board. Also, when paired with Peerless carts (60in and 70in), it provides the ideal mobile solutions that can be transported from room to room.

21st Century Lunch Rooms:  

The lunch room often an unthought-of area of opportunity to exploring from Digital Signage.

Most intuitions still leverage static signage menu options in this space and that often leads to incorrect information being display and general congestion points in the cafeteria.  Digital menu boards are an excellent option for adding a modem spin to any lunchroom.  LG’s EZ Sign TV is a plug-and-play Digital Signage solution that doubles as a television. You can author and manage your own messages while showing advertisements, information and video or TV.  The display can be used with or without using the TV feature and offers templates to get you started right away!

21st Century Lunch Rooms

It’s safe to say we have come a long way from the days of passive learning methods in schools, and it’s great to know these technologies are leading the way!  As seen the diagram below, it’s widely believed that the average student retains 10% -20% of material they just read or hear, retain 50% of material they see and hear, and retain up to 90% of what they do. Here’s the opportunity to introduce Smart Classrooms, Interactive Chalkboards / Whiteboards and 21st century lunch rooms to your schools today.  

Edgar Dales Cone of Experience

For more information on these more ProAV or digital signage solutions from Ingram Micro, visit www.ingrammicro.com/proavinfo.

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