This article first appeared in the
Winter 2017 issue of The Record.
Teaching has changed dramatically over the past 15 years, with big investments in both teaching and empowering students.
It’s important to remember teachers are the most important technology in any classroom. They are the facilitators and will determine how effective these technological solutions are.
The proliferation of one-to-one student devices in the classroom is something school systems around the world have been trying to achieve for many years. We’re seeing more and more schools getting close to achieving that goal. And, as millennials who are very comfortable with computers start to enter the teaching ranks, it makes sense to invest in technology as a means to enhancing education. Both teachers and students are very comfortable interacting with technology, so to not embrace it would be a backwards step.
The cloud is also allowing more to be achieved in the modern classroom. Cloud services and applications are coming together, with powerful tools enabling collaboration – both during and after class.
Microsoft’s cloud based tools are a great example. If you look at how OneNote and SharePoint integrate with Office 365, it really changes how groups get together. In the past, they may have been limited in their ability to get together from a logistical perspective. But by harnessing Microsoft Teams, students can create online work spaces.
These tools are letting students work together on projects in real time, and letting them contribute to projects as their time permits. These services enable a higher level of communication and collaboration, and is proving a gamechanger for students, as all the required information for a project is in one space.
But as there’s a shift in technology, there’s always a trade-off. Over the past few years as teachers get more technology, they have been increasingly tethered to their battlestations.
We at Actiontec are aiming to make teachers more mobile and able to move around, and provide them with critical tools needed to orchestrate one-to-one classrooms thus enhancing the learning dynamic. Teachers can interact with students in a more engaging way, with students having to use active tracking, hearing, and other active skills that drive better retention. Untethering these teachers, and providing them with critical tools is a significant step in making sure the modern classroom achieves everything we want it to.
Actiontec is completing the Microsoft modern classroom by changing classroom dynamics and fully enabling Microsoft educational experiences. Our mission is to drive better learning outcomes by optimising engagement and collaboration, and eliminating wasted time.
Mike Ehlenberger is general manager and vice president of ScreenBeam at Actiontec
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