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Digital technology has long been making inroads in the classroom, but COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of using effective software and display hardware solutions for blended learning — when students alternate between learning in a classroom and at home.
Everyone’s routines have changed during the global health crisis, and these routines are still changing due to updated restrictions and protocols. It’s vital that educators find ways to meet students’ needs steadily and flexibly, whether they’re learning in person or at home.
Putting learning materials online and enabling video calls between educators and students is a start. But progressive hybrid learning models allow for more inclusive, interactive learning — which is central to effective education.
Teaming up to teach
Samsung and the learning technology firm Boxlight Corporation have teamed up on a series of holistic classroom solutions that bridge in-person and online learning with interactive displays and educational software specifically designed to help students meet their educational goals.
It’s a best-of-both-worlds approach that gives teachers engaging, multifunction display tools for their classroom, plus software and internet connections that fully involve students learning remotely.
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For example, the instruction, idea generation and notes logged on an 85-inch Samsung Interactive Display in a classroom can easily be shared to remote laptops, PC desktops, smartphones or tablets. Remote students can also actively collaborate, no matter where they are.
Boxlight’s suite of classroom learning technologies is called MimioConnect, which works seamlessly with Samsung’s range of school-focused displays.
In blended learning environments, MimioConnect enables:
- Real-time collaboration between teachers and students on the same document, regardless of location
- Assignments that can be pushed to students in the classroom or at home with a single click
- Videoconferencing for face-to-face discussions, building stronger relationships in hybrid classes
- Engaging learning using tools like polling and interactive questions
- Analytics on student understanding, using assignment data including overall scores and time spent on tasks
When lessons are presented live, MimioConnect allows students to follow along on their devices while in the classroom and while they’re at home. Educators can foster connected, collaborative experiences by giving students opportunities to share their work with the class.
The software platform comes with thousands of premade curated activities. Teachers can also create collaboration opportunities using stored lessons and material, or tap into third-party lessons geared to a particular subject and grade level.
Big teaching tool
Samsung’s new 85-inch Interactive Display visually commands the learning space with its wall-filling canvas and 4K UHD resolution.
Built for engaging and collaborative learning, the enormous display offers easy annotation and screen mirroring built in. And it can manage as many as 20 simultaneous touch points when a group of students is hard at work. Content creation and sharing are also quick and easy.
The display features an onboard, embedded computer for handling most teaching and interactive tasks. And in demanding circumstances that require more computing power than what’s already onboard, you can use the screen’s Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) slot (in the rear of the display) that can connect to a compatible external PC.
The 85-inch screen can also function as a multimedia canvas, which can digitally display vivid watercolor paintings and bold oil-style artworks, which can then be saved, revisited and shared.
The display also supports image editing, web browsing and document review — all from a seamless user interface with little to no learning curve. Notes and other class materials are readily stored and shared — and they can be emailed to individuals or groups directly from the display.
When the screen isn’t in use, it can be set to screensaver mode so that it functions as classroom digital signage, displaying anything from assignment and test reminders to birthday wishes.
With Boxlight’s MimioMobile app, students can work on MimioStudio activities on their mobile devices and see their ideas shared by their teacher on the display at the front of the class. Students gain more collaborative and cooperative learning, and their teachers gain a better understanding of their learning comprehension and team learning dynamics.
The MimioMobile app is compatible with almost any mobile device, from Apple and Android devices to Chromebooks.
COVID-19 has made learning a bit chaotic for educators and students almost everywhere, but it has also raised awareness for how digital technology can bridge both physical and virtual divides — ensuring all classroom time is valuable.