Over the past two years we’ve seen a rapid digital acceleration in the workplace, in order to support the growing number of hybrid workers. However, it’s not only the workplace where this acceleration has happened. The education sector is greatly benefiting from the digital shift, with a vast number of EdTech products now helping bring a more comprehensive and personalized learning space to students, whether they be remote or in-person.
Matt Waring is Education Channel Manager at Logitech.
Remote and hybrid learning platforms have become the norm for education around the world, and technology has been essential in supporting this. However, schools can no longer afford to rely on bare bones technology that acts as a temporary solution. To reap the benefits of hybrid learning, schools and universities now need to be investing in advanced technology that helps to both replicate in-person teaching and enhance the learning experience.
Many are already investing in such technology, with the demand for EdTech being stronger than ever, with educators looking to equip classrooms with solutions that will benefit future learners. Technology is no longer being used as a ‘quick-fix’ – it is now an essential tool for creating engaging experiences for students, no matter where they’re learning from.
Keeping connected, keeping collaborative
Not being able to collaborate as effectively is one of the main criticisms of hybrid learning, and it is especially important that remote students are equipped to be able to share resources, take part in discussions and develop peer relationships. This can’t be achieved without quality audio and video-conferencing solutions.
In the classroom, advanced video-conferencing solutions can help promote interaction, boost engagement, and enhance digital learning. For example, the use of an AI-powered whiteboard camera gives teachers a new means of sharing content with remote students while also making the information accessible to in-person students. By connecting both parties with technology, teachers can deliver a learning experience that mirrors in-person learning as closely as possible and captures the imagination of their students.
At home, schools should be looking to equip their remote students with quality headsets that block out background noise and distractions, and webcams that facilitate face-face interaction as if students were working together side by side. Using external webcams rather than relying on integrated laptop cameras lets students be seen clearly in any lighting conditions. Using high quality audio and video solutions means teachers don’t need to be worrying about blurry pictures or loud background noise when collaborating with remote students during the day.
Comfort is key
With hybrid working, the home has been transformed into the workplace, and for students, it’s now also their classroom. Parents working from home means students are often setting up wherever is free, using their own equipment to connect with teachers and peers. However, working long hours in spaces not designed to support them can take a serious toll on their bodies – risking health issues such as back pain and repetitive strain injury.
Feeling uncomfortable in class makes it difficult for students to focus on their tasks, and the distraction of awkward tools leads students to disengage from their learning. Therefore, it’s important to consider the ergonomics of the remote technology that schools are equipping their students with. By swapping out normal mice and keyboards for ergonomic models that let hands rest naturally and reduce stress on neck and shoulder muscles, schools can help students learn more productively while putting less strain on their bodies.
Working alongside students’ unique needs
Using technology in the classroom helps to advance personalized learning, assisting students with their individual needs on a greater level. No two students are the same and utilizing the wide variety of education tools on offer can counteract the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to education. Letting students get creative with tools that match their learning style not only supports their learning but makes the overall experience more enjoyable.
A personalized approach to teaching and learning is an effective way to make sure students stay engaged and get the most out of their lessons. Using technology such as interactive tablets and pens helps give students more control over their learning, from primary school all the way up to university. Being able to organize their thoughts in whatever manner helps them best; whether that be with diagrams, mind-maps, bullet points or more; helps students be more intuitive in how they learn. With the power to learn and grow in a way that suits them, students take pride in their learning and process information better than before.
Looking to the hybrid learning future
There are clear benefits to the hybrid model, with flexibility allowing students and teachers to teach and learn in new and exciting ways. To maximize these benefits, it’s important that schools and universities are provided with the right technology. With the proper solutions, hybrid learning shifts from being a barrier to being an opportunity for creative experimentation in the classroom – wherever that may be.
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Matt Waring is Education Channel Manager at Logitech.