COVID-19 caused a seismic shift in the digital transformation of schools.
In the largest online movement in education - ever - remote and blended classrooms became the new norm. Change, particularly when thrust upon us, brings challenges for those involved; in this case not only students, but teachers and IT support staff in schools.
So, what are that arose from the mass move to distance and blended classrooms, and what upgrades did schools need to support teachers and IT staff?
Recent reports, including a study by the Education Week Research Center, a US based organisation which conducts research in the education sector, and a survey by Absolute, a security solutions company, provide some valuable insights:
The shift to distance and hybrid models of learning meant demand for devices soared as teachers and students suddenly had a far greater reliance on mobiles and digital tools.
Managing and maintaining equipment was tougher
Not only were there more devices, but these devices were also on the move. With hybrid learning they could be located in the classroom or computer labs, or in students’ homes. This made managing IT inventory, maintaining equipment, and troubleshooting a tougher task.
Demand for IT assistance soared
IT teams went from supporting teaching staff to helping just about every student and parent with a remote learning issue.
Learning outcomes may have been compromised due to device limitations
Teachers were doing IT instead of teaching
Nearly 90% of teachers reported spending more time troubleshooting IT issues, consuming valuable education time, and causing teacher frustration.
In summary, schools, large and small, find themselves in uncharted waters. To support teachers and the success of students, it’s more critical than ever that schools are equipped with the right tech tools.
In summary, schools, large and small, found themselves in uncharted waters. To support teachers and the success of students, it became more critical than ever that schools are equipped with the right tech tools.
According to survey findings from CDW Corporation, a provider of technology products, IT leaders in the education sector, have identified the top three technology tools key to engaging students in online learning whilst simultaneously simplifying workflow for teachers. These are:
Collaborative tools and apps (53%)
Collaborative tools allow people to work together as a group and share ideas and content instantly. An important aspect of in-person teaching is group work and brainstorming. Collaborative tools mean that valuable soft skills which are derived from these activities, such as teamwork, can still be achieved with online learning.
Storage tools (41%)
These can range from USB flash drives and solid-state drives to cloud storage.
File-sharing tools (39%)
File sharing tools allow several people to use the same file or files with various levels of access allowing the selected people to read it, modify it, copy it, or print it.
In addition, with equipment spread between schools and homes, a centralised device management system is another essential to be considered for hybrid learning. In short, when purchasing new technology, schools need to consider precisely how the device will allow class interaction, collaboration, file sharing and IT management.
Whilst the challenges are many, with the BenQ smart projector, the solution is simple. This innovative classroom projector is:
Designed for collaboration
The wireless mirroring makes casting teaching content to students’ devices a breeze, and everyone can share comments. Students can give presentations straight from their own mobile or laptop. The built-in Firefox Web browser gives easy access to any digital learning platform and teaching material. WPS Office allows for the creation of documents collaboratively between teacher and students in the class.
Equipped with a Device Management Solution (DMS)
This allows IT staff easy remote access and control over the settings of the smart projector or a group of projectors. And the Over-The-Air (OTA) firmware updates make maintenance effortless, helping reduce the workload of IT support staff.
Suitable for file sharing both offline and online
Offline sharing is easy. The smart projector has USB reading capabilities to allow direct casting of all file formats – no laptop needed. As for online sharing the smart projector is equipped with an Account Management System (AMS) which enables easy access and management of teaching files directly over the cloud.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on education and the use of technology for learning. The switch between face-to-face, distance and online learning was managed and it has been shown that schools have the ability to do so if required. The right tools to do this task have never been so essential, but not beyond the pandemic, the opportunity remains to use the technology further.
This is a tool that makes it easier to engage students and allows teachers to deliver more with less effort. The BenQ classroom projector - meeting the challenges posed by digital transformation head on.