In less than one year’s time, students and educators were forced to go remote, return to in-person learning with added safety measures, and then find a blended balance in hybrid learning, with no warning or preparation.
Even universities that had been using a blended learning, hybrid approach before the pandemic didn’t experience the most seamless of transitions. Without losing sight of the ultimate goal – improving students’ outcomes and preparing them for the “real world”, higher education institutions have to pivot and adapt to new technologies to meet students’ and educators’ changing needs.
People want and need to feel safe, while also feeling free to explore and uncover new ideas and skills throughout the learning process. Higher educational institutions need to consider a variety of elements to support students and educators holistically. We can’t stop at ensuring people have some basic tools to keep them connected and assume that’s all they need. Well-being has suffered, and if their well-being isn’t prioritized, students and faculty can’t perform at optical levels and do their best learning and educating.
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION CONSIDERATIONS
Technology plays a pivotal role in keeping students and instructors connected with each other and their peers. Thoughtfully integrated technology that considers peoples’ needs is even better.
- Multiple displays ensure professors can see remote students, while simultaneously displaying content for all students to see. Screens should allow remote participants to the see the professor, and vice versa. It’s crucial to take sightlines into account so displays are not obscured by objects in the room.
- Audio options are endless, from ceiling mounted microphones, podiums, to lapel microphones and more. The key is to ensure audio is always captured and transmitted clearly. Remote participants are more likely to stay engaged if they can clearly understand and hear what is being communicated.
- Capturing whiteboard content with tools such as Kaptivo ensures notes can be shared with all students after class, improving both the in-person and virtual experience.
Large scale mobile collaboration tools can be used by students and instructors in classrooms and open settings, by coaches and student athletes in athletic departments to watch film, and more. Being able to move freely around a space while working with others to find solutions for complex problems enables peers to engage not only with each other, but with the content being displayed.
In large, open spaces such as student hubs and learning commons, noise levels and speech privacy are often concerns. Pods support acoustical privacy for virtual classes, individuals looking for a quieter place to study, or students to complete group projects. Sound masking can also be installed in open collaboration areas, student hubs, active learning classrooms, and learning commons to cover noise while reducing noise transmission.
Active learning classrooms and spaces increase student outcomes when they support concept learning. Lecture materials can be reviewed by students online before and after classes, so they can focus on collaboration, problem solving and communication during class sessions with professors and instructors.
But what is technology without power? Distributing power throughout a space and providing all users with equal access to keep their devices connected is crucial in helping keep students engaged. When they don’t have to search for a power source when they see the dreaded dying, red battery symbol on their devices, they’re better able to stay focused on the lessons at hand. Whether it’s integrated Thread power solutions or Flex mobile power units that students can take with them around a space, providing users with access to power encourages students to study and learn for longer periods of time.
DANCKER LOGISTICS TO GET THE JOB DONE
The need to spread out so students and instructors can safely physical distance themselves isn’t going away. Instead of using valuable real estate, such as “empty” classrooms as storage spaces, contact our Logistics + Operations Team to inventory and store existing assets that aren’t needed now, but will be in the future. When you’re ready, view and request assets for deployment via our secure portal.
Our team of experts spans education, integrated technology and logistics, minimizing the effort needed on your part to manage multiple vendors. Reach out today to discuss solutions that can better support your students and educators for in-person, hybrid, or fully remote learning experiences.