Are interactive displays still relevant in the classroom?

Dr. David Whyley shares his views on the potential of interactive displays and whether they still have a role to play in the classroom

Since the introduction of interactive technology in the classroom there have been many changes and advances in the industry. Whilst a small minority in the education sector are still not completely convinced of the efficacy of using technology to assist teachers, there are those that embrace the benefits it delivers. As this technology evolves and devices become smarter and offer more functionality, is there still a place for pioneering classroom technology such as the interactive touch screen?

We spoke to education consultant Dr. David Whyley about his views on the potential of interactive displays and whether they still have a role to play in the classroom. 

Steljes: To set the background, how have attitudes towards technology in the classroom changed from the days of the very first interactive whiteboard to now?

Dr. Whyley: As with the introduction of anything new, when technology was first introduced into the classroom attitudes ranged from overly positive to quite negative. Today both teachers and students are benefiting from the use of technology from everything from lesson planning and delivery, to completing tasks and finding out about homework. I still remember when interactive whiteboards were introduced in my school, many years ago. The impact on teaching staff and learners was tangible — in fact after his first use of the technology, one year three student, wondered if the ink in the end of his finger would ever run out! But on a serious note, the interactive whiteboards really helped in getting technophobic teachers to embrace the use of technology in their classrooms. Now we’re seeing a host of technology solutions being used in teaching, from apps and software, to interactive tables, touch screens, smartphones and laptops.

S: With technology advancing so quickly, and new devices introduced all the time, does the interactive display or interactive whiteboard still have a role to play in the class room?

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DW: The large interactive display most definitely still has a role to play in the classroom. Consider that the education environment itself has changed — students no longer learn in a linear fashion nor are they passive receivers of information. Instead, the modern classroom is one that focuses on engagement, collaboration and interactivity. And the interactive whiteboard has been instrumental driving this approach. In fact, large classroom displays are generally seen as a ‘must-have’ technology in the classroom to facilitate the core teaching and learning function of demonstration and modelling. 

S: How will the interactive whiteboard develop? Or has it reached the pinnacle of advancement? Will we be looking at a replacement in the near future?

DW: It’s impossible to say with certainty that the interactive whiteboard will be around forever — it may very well evolve to such a degree that we start calling it something else! However, in the near future I believe there is definite scope for development of the interactive whiteboard and interactive panels. While many in the education sector consider this type of display technology ‘old hat’, I think 2016 will be the year where interactive displays are turbo-charged, especially with the integration of features like Office 365, Microsoft Ink for the new Edge browser and Microsoft Office applications.

The new generation of VIVIDtouch displays is the perfect example. VIVIDtouch screens include a 4K display with crystal clear graphics and colours, and smooth inking in all light levels. More than that, this latest generation touch screen includes an inbuilt Windows 10 computer, so no additional desktop or laptop is required — merely switch it on and access what you need from online apps and documents to storage and Office 365 programs.

The next generation of VIVIDtouch screens have been unveiled at BETT 2016. To be one of the first to view the latest in touch technology, head over to VIVIDtouch Stand C410. You could also be in with a chance to win the entire stand’s contents!

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