How to Tackle the AV Challenge in Higher Education
Written by Davy De Rijbel on Jun 11, 2019 10:00:00 AM Theme Education, Technology
It is no secret that technology, and how quickly it is constantly evolving, has affected every possible fact of life for human beings all around the world.
While education used to look like textbooks and chalkboards - these days, the modern classroom is equipped with more advanced tools to ensure that the individual can learn as much as possible.
In these modern “active learning” spaces, will the ever-growing expectations always be met? What are some of the main obstacles facing students as they participate more than ever in their own education?
Ever since the arrival of powerful emerging technologies, from the Internet to cloud computing, and more - there is more pressure than ever on ensuring that AV professionals provide the most seamless and clear educational experience possible.
It goes without saying how important education is to civilization as a whole, and AV professionals can help ensure that technology helps students learn in more innovative ways than ever.
Learning used to be a much more passive experience, where a student was expected to absorb and retain as much information as possible. In modern times, the student is actually engaged and hands-on with respect to their learning.
Domenic Screnci, Senior Advisor of Academic and Learning Technology at Boston University, explains how active learning was once only limited to science labs.
He states: “Historically, active-learning spaces were labs – biology labs and physics labs. That’s now changing and expanding to many more disciplines and fields. It’s creating an environment where students can get a hands-on education, solve problems, have opportunities to ask questions and create and build in some cases.”
There is no doubt that lectures can be effective, and that students do require foundational knowledge in many different subjects. However, the idea is that more children and young adults than ever want to solve the problems for themselves, and discuss their thought process more openly.
We now can collaborate more than ever, thanks to emerging trends such as cloud computing technology and more communication tools. While information used to be displayed on a whiteboard, now students are using their own devices - laptops, tablets, etc. - to learn in a more collaborative manner.
We are all used to the chalkboard or whiteboard, as a “low-technology option”. There was the idea that a teacher is at the center of a classroom, disseminating information out to many passive students.
These days, students are expected to be involved in conversations, provide suggestions, question methods, and more - and this simply is not compatible with a low-tech option. There is a new school of thought that believes that “informal learning” can often be more productive than a rigid “lecture and test” model.
Technology has made leaps and bounds in terms of overall collaboration, with respect to both education, business, and many other sectors. Collaborative learning also allows for AV technology to be utilized to hear about different perspectives and opinions that can enlighten students more than ever before.
The teacher could, for example, urge students to collaborate through their own devices to ask their own questions or solve problems for themselves.
In addition, students can display their own work on a collaborative screen, as well. There is also a main screen that can be used for learning to still be centered in one place, while students simultaneously work and collaborate on their own devices.
One of the great things about technology is that it is constantly evolving, but this does pose its own challenges for educational institutions everywhere. How often should systems be upgraded?
Of course, every institution has to take their own budget into account. They also will want to ensure that they are up to date with respect to technology so their students can learn in as many ways as possible.
We all understand that waiting for a particular upgrade might be a luxury that an individual can entertain, but that educational institutions pride themselves on consistently ensuring that all of their students can actively learn as productively as possible.
While there used to be an idea of a “10-year cycle” with respect to technology - that simply doesn’t apply these days, when there are significant upgrades constantly churned out for some of the most prevalent programs and platforms in the world.
Another challenge that AV professionals have to acknowledge is the idea of a learning curve, and overall user experience with respect to these technologies. In short, the issue of which new technologies and upgrades to utilize will be a challenge in the coming decades.
With the advent of technology, and more students learning online than ever - it begs the question: what about standardization?
With so many unique educational experiences, including teachers being able to teach through social media - there arises the concern of real accreditation, and ensuring that the same content and material is covered through different channels and platforms.
Every subject has its own obstacles as to what exactly the curriculum should cover, and what kind of leeway is given to the educator. In addition, the idea of flexibility - in terms of both technology and material - has to be accounted for, while still ensuring that students learn the material that they need in order to be the professionals that they intend to be.
Let students speak
In summary, students need to be open and vocal about the kind of technologies that help them learn the best, and educational institutions should listen to them. There are many schools and companies that should then capitalize on what the students do require.
The truth is that there is more information that is accessible than ever before, and both educators and AV professionals face a challenge in making sure that the active learning of tomorrow is conducted in a way that is efficient, comprehensive, and all-immersing.
i3-Technologies offers a wide range of hardware, software, and accessories to help you set up your school with the right technology.