Making learning interactive

Katharina Strassburger-Groppweis, Product Manager at Panasonic, tells us how digital signage and interactive screens are enhancing learning


✥Digital signage has proven popular in higher education but is there a place for it in primary and secondary schools?

There is actually a wide variety of application areas for digital signage products, they can replace notice boards and digital information boards used by schools to welcome visitors and inform pupils of school notices. They obviously also have a role within the classroom where digital screens bring interactivity and the ability to share content written on the display after lessons by email. They also enable teachers to share images and videos wirelessly from any mobile device on the ‘blackboard’. In the future, we may also see these types of screens being used in playgrounds or school canteens or even within a security control function.

✥Is outdoor digital signage proving more popular than indoor?

Outdoor signage isn’t proving as popular as indoor signage in education environments. We tend to see most demand for outdoor signage in retail environments.

✥Some people are sceptical about the educational value of digital signage in schools and universities; how can it improve learning?

Engaging and captivating the minds of your young learners is key to giving them the best possible early education. We believe that communication and learning using large-scale images heightens the students’ level of understanding and satisfaction, and helps to add value to learning programmes. Interactivity is equally important, today’s children have been brought up on a diet of touch sensitive technology and are used to having the ability to draft, delete and redraft immediately. We all learn more successfully when we are comfortable and children are very comfortable with touchscreen technology.

✥Will digital displays ultimately replace traditional-style projectors?

This is undoubtedly a big trend, the growing number of displays shows us that many teachers see displays as an alternative for projectors. However, I don’t think that it is the biggest trend in education. We are seeing wide spread sharing of education content, such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) as a true phenomenon in higher education.

MOOCs are not only videos about lectures, in fact they stand for a complete course concept including digital workshops, homework and also the ability to gain qualifications by taking exams. Panasonic’s current line-up of interactive displays enables the lecturer to use the latest state of the art technology during their MOOC courses to create the lesson, making any annotations directly onto the display and allowing in-depth interaction with students. Wireless connection via MiracastTM or Panasonic’s apps integrate the most recent external content into the course, while Panasonic remote cameras capture the courses in perfect clarity and make them share-able all over the world via the web.

✥Why have interactive displays proven so popular?

The ability to work collaboratively and share content is a skill that schools promote and one that undoubtedly helps students in the world of work. What we have tried to do is facilitate that in the most efficient way for teachers and lecturers. At this year’s ISE in Amsterdam we launched an interactive screen that can save content internally and distribute it to up to 64 email addresses without having to connect to a laptop or PC. That makes life much easier for educators.

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