Today, 22 February, marks Digital Learning Day, which celebrates how educators are creating robust, authentic and personalised learning opportunities for students – and highlights the growing importance of edtech in supporting this.
The education sector has witnessed a drastic transformation over the past two years as blended learning has become the norm. Classrooms have needed the right technology to support this, providing remote learners with an experience that replicates in person teaching as closely as possible.
Needs from teachers and students have evolved, and expectations of what can be achieved with technology are higher than ever. Now, educators are looking to invest in technology that not only allows teaching and learning to continue, but technology that helps to keep students engaged in new and creative ways, regardless of where they’re working.
Collaboration is key
Whether students are at home or in the classroom, they need to be able to easily collaborate, develop relationships, share resources and take part in discussions with teachers and peers. This can’t be achieved without quality audio and video.
For personal workspaces, quality headsets help to block out background noise and distractions, and webcams facilitate face-to-face interaction as if students were working together in the classroom. External webcams are especially useful when learning in dim lighting conditions, as they help to keep the image light and clear, unlike integrated laptop cameras. This means students can work throughout the day flexibly and easily collaborate with their teachers and peers.
Advanced video-conferencing solutions in classrooms are also helping to promote interaction, boost engagement and enhance digital learning. AI-powered whiteboard cameras, for example, are giving teachers a new means of sharing content with their remote students, helping to deliver a learning experience that captures the imagination and mirrors in-person learning as closely as possible.
Supporting comfort and wellbeing
When remote learning, workspaces can be varied, with students often setting up wherever is free in the home and using their own equipment. However, long hours using a set up that isn’t designed to support them can take a toll on the body – with injuries such as repetitive strain a potential risk.
It’s important that students are comfortable so they can maintain attention throughout the school day without distraction. Technology with ergonomic influences is helping to do just this. For example, ergonomic mice mould to the hand, supporting the thumb and wrist. There are also options for keyboards to be split, which allow arms and wrists to rest naturally and reduce stress on neck and shoulder muscles too. A more natural posture leads to a quantifiable reduction in muscle activity – meaning students can work just as productively while putting less stress on their bodies.
Giving students control over how they learn
No student is the same, and each one has a learning style that’s specific to them. Offering students alternate tools to get creative can counteract a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to education, and encourages active learning by making the overall experience more enjoyable.
Taking a more personalised approach to learning ensures that students stay engaged, wherever they are learning. Technology, such as interactive tablets and pens, is helping to empower students and give them control over their learning. Through this, students are given the ability to visually organise their knowledge and thoughts in a way suited to them, whether that be through notes, drawings or diagrams. By giving students the means to be more intuitive with how they learn, this helps to unlock the joy in learning, helping them to really take in and process information.
The classroom of the future is digital
While hybrid learning provides many opportunities to students and teachers alike, this can’t be done effectively without the right technology. Educators know this, and demands will continue to sway towards the solutions that best nurture high standards of teaching and learning. By being provided with the right tools, students can be given the means to reach their full potential.
Matt Waring is Education Channel Manager at Logitech.
You might also like: How digital resources can assist SEN and international university students