February 6, 2018 | Rob Ogulnick
It is rare to find a Millennial that isn’t glued to his or her smartphone, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that note taking by hand isn’t exactly this generation’s preferred learning method. Because the way students engage is changing, AV for higher education is changing as well. Institutions and educators now have to approach student engagement differently. Audio visual technology plays a key role in connecting students and professors in creative and collaborative ways.
When the most modern AV for higher education is properly incorporated, student learning isn’t limited to one-sided lectures in confined lecture halls. Rather, learning experiences can feature collaboration and flipped classroom activities. In this blog, we explore the ways AV integration has already impacted students and classes in higher education environments.
Advancements in AV for Higher Education
As AV technology progresses, educators are discovering new ways to change the learning environment to optimize student workflows. Some of the most exciting advancements in AV technology for the classroom include:
Better collaboration. Most students bring some sort of mobile device into the classroom. With new ways of collaborating with peers like Google Classroom or “Discussion” features on Canvas or Blackboard, students can share their screens and ideas while they engage in interactive activities. This is popular among students, because it allows them to be outspoken and creative without coming up to the front of the classroom or turning in a physical document.
Smart audio. During a video conference, classroom collaborations, recorded lectures from professors or guest speakers, sound quality is a key feature necessary in online higher education integration. The less time students struggle with connectivity problems, or trying to hear what’s being said, the more time they are able to spend learning.
Displays. Instead of relying on traditional monitors or projector screens, some universities are adopting digital panels that blend interactive capabilities, such as touch-screen functionality and electronic drawing, with a digital viewing experience.
Changing Nature of Classroom Interactions
Remote learning is a growing trend in higher education, helping both universities and students to reduce costs while still engaging in important learning opportunities. Web based education means communication must be seamless. It also raises the need for video conferencing and student collaboration.
The changing nature of the higher education classroom means students are learning class content from behind a screen more often than ever before. Whether this means students learn from written instructions from an online professor or from a prerecorded video explaining activities, use of quality AV equipment is crucial in a smooth and easy learning experience. These remote ways of learning mean instructors rely heavily on the archived electronic content to carry students through the course. To create great content, educational institutions need to provide the right softwares and technologies.
Platforms like Edmodo and Schoology extend the experience by giving students resources to connect with other students in their area looking for help on specific subjects. These platforms use a videoconferencing feature to connect students and professors for extra help.
Augmented and Virtual Reality in Higher Education
Looking ahead, higher education facilities are exploring the benefits of using augmented and virtual reality platforms to truly engage students in an educational experience. This will enhance a student’s classroom experience when opting for web-based education. The future of VR classrooms aims to submerge an online student in a virtual classroom experience in order to improve learning outcomes.
Remote learning, virtual reality and web based education are having important impacts on the layouts and technological capabilities of traditional classrooms as well. Institutions and the AV integrators with whom they work must think about the changing nature of face-to-face classrooms as relates to the changing nature of higher education in general.
The growing popularity of remote learning means a decreasing number of students filling seats in the physical classroom, making an instructor’s work two-fold. There is a need for physical classroom technology as well as an alternative learning method for remote learners. In many cases instructors must simultaneously manage classroom technology like projectors and personal devices as well as convergent learning styles by recording a lesson, video conferencing with students and providing resources for independent learning.
Mobile Technology in the Higher Education Classroom
Not only do college students use mobile technology to engage socially, now they’re getting to use that technology in the higher education classroom. This may come as a surprise, because many of us think of mobile devices as strictly distracting in an educational setting, but it is a natural progression for this generation to integrate the two.
Higher education professors are integrating mobile devices into their lectures in some of these these interesting ways:
Tests and Quizzes: Distributing materials digitally not only preserves resources, it all values the limited time alloted in the classroom. Instructors may ask their students to pull out a mobile device to fill out a survey or quiz. Often times, this is a check for student competence and effectiveness of the lesson, and provides the concurrent benefit of real-time grading.
Research and Gathering Information: Education is all about learning, retaining and using the most updated knowledge on a subject. To promote research-based learning strategies, instructors are incorporating students’ mobile devices. Instructors are able to quickly reference a tough question, and students can individually collect information from digital platforms using their own devices.
Classroom Engagement: It is not irrational to assume moden higher education students love their phones. When students are able to engage what they love in a learning environment they are excited to learn. This excitement is motivating and and leads to student achievement - just what faculty and parents want from their students!
Interactive Projects in AV for Higher Education
Promoting collaboration means providing spaces for students to share ideas, whether online or in a physical space. When considering physical spaces on higher education campuses, this means installing fully-equipped conference rooms, work spaces, or classrooms that incorporate the ideas discussed throughout this post.
Collaboration and communication place the emphasis on good audio and clear visuals as well as opportunities to work together via technology. This means high definition displays and speakers contribute to the success of students, and being able to participate and share across mobile or permanent devices is key. Simple user interfaces mean less time fiddling with your connection, and more time advancing student knowledge.