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Back to School: Is Your Classroom Tech Ready for the School Year?
When was the last time you upgraded classroom technology for your school? Is your printer on its last leg? Are your students not engaged enough by your traditional learning techniques? Are you prepared to accommodate in-person and/or remote students?
Many schools put off updating their classroom technology because of budget constraints, management issues, or simply not having enough time to research the market and find the right equipment. This bad habit can lead to costly consequences down the road. If you wait to upgrade or replace your technology until the last minute, you may be faced with a classroom that has failing technology or doesn’t have a the right technology in place to support students and teachers. This situation can interrupt the flow of learning, and is an unfortunate setback that can be avoided if you modernize your classroom technology now.
Modernizing Your Classroom Technology for the School Year
You can easily transform your classroom and promote student engagement, for in-person and remote students, with the right technology and equipment.
Upgrading your classroom with interactive panels is a great way to engage your students from the get go. Interactive displays like the ViewSonic Interactive Panels for education are perfect for any learning environment. These large touch screens are capable of handling multiple interactivities at once, so the whole classroom can work together on projects and basic problem solving. Teachers can create stunning presentations that will leave a lasting impression on students, which can greatly help with information retention and student productivity.
Interactive displays can not only be utilized in the physical classrooms, but they are a fantastic tool for hybrid and remote learning environments as well. Most interactive displays come equipped with their own digital whiteboarding collaboration software, which are an incredible tool whether you are teaching in-person, remotely, or a combination of both. ViewSonic’s myViewBoard interactive whiteboard software enables teachers to build dynamic lesson plans, import engaging content, and share lessons with students – all with one easy click. Whether yours is a Windows, Android, or Chrome environment, myViewBoard works well with existing technology and seamlessly integrates into nearly any classroom.
Additionally, the myViewBoard platform includes myViewBoard Classroom, a hybrid teaching software tool packed with a variety of features to help create a classroom environment in the digital space. Developed for both remote and in-class learning environments, it’s essentially a web based “digital twin” of the real-classroom designed for distance to allow teachers to switch between physical and virtual classrooms seamlessly in a fully controlled environment. myViewBoard Classroom was also recently awarded “Overall e-Learning Solution of the Year” the EdTech Breakthrough Awards 2021.
Laser Projectors have been steadily gaining popularity in the education industry. These devices are perfect for large lecture halls and theater-sized spaces in colleges, as they can provide much more real estate than a typical interactive panel. Professors can connect with every student when they have a solid laser projector that can display clear, quality imagery to every corner of the room. This equipment is also cost-effective, as a laser projector can run for 16,000 – 20,000 hours before any repairs or replacement parts are needed.
The increasing popularity of distance learning highlights the demand for high-quality audio conferencing systems in educational settings. There are plenty of platforms out there that have stepped up with new technologies since the events of 2020 took place, and these technologies have allowed teachers to remain connected to their students, no matter the distance between them. For example, with thousands of virtual microphones and precision speakers, the Nureva HDL Virtual Microphone Systems provide true full-room coverage and handles all your audio needs for classrooms and more up to 30′ x 50′. This is a great option for remote and hybrid learning classroom set ups.
Additionally, when teachers, administrators, and parents need to meet and discuss student progress and general education changes and policies, audio conferencing is a great option for areas that are still practicing social distancing. Audio conferencing software is a great asset to have for educational industries that require meetings between staff and parents on a regular basis. The community can stay on track and on the same page with adequate audio conferencing.
Webcams / Tracking Cameras
For teachers who are teaching in remote or hybrid learning classrooms, having a state-of-the-art webcam or tracking camera can help bridge the gap that is created by a screen. When your students are able to get a clear picture of you—instead of a grainy one that jumps and lags—this can help preserve the personal feel of the classroom, despite its transition to an online platform. Plus, subpar webcam equipment can be buggy and distracting. Your students won’t have these issues if you have good webcam or tracking camera technology.
A great example is the ClearOne UNITE 180 4K Panoramic Tracking Camera. Designed for professional-quality visual collaboration, the UNITE 180 camera provides six viewing modes for room and participant close-ups. Ideal for hybrid learning environments, this ePTZ professional camera provides a full 180-degree panoramic field-of-view with “real-time stitching” to achieve a variety of useful viewing modes for any application and environment.
As many schools have transitioned to education styles that support home-learning environments, it’s important to equip teachers with the equipment they need to be heard and understood through the screen. If you don’t have a good microphone, your voice may come through as grainy, or your volume may be barely noticeable. This can greatly impact how well your lessons go, and what your students are able to retain. A quality microphone is a solid investment when it comes to ensuring continued educational opportunities through remote learning.
One solution that actually combines audio and video is the Poly Studio Premium USB Video Bar. Delivering the best audio quality in its class and group framing and automatic speaker tracking, this premium all-in-one video conference camera & sound bar system helps connect your hybrid classroom. With an integrated camera, stereo speakers, and a six-microphone array, teachers can simultaneously interact with students who are in class and those who are remote, even when moving about the classroom.
Run Tests Before Going Live
It’s a good idea to get all of the upgrades and new technologies that you need implemented as soon as possible. You want to have time to run tests on everything and make sure that your technology is working as it should. Whether you’ve purchased new tools for in-person learning, hybrid learning, or remote learning, it’s important that you are familiar with the software and can operate everything smoothly. You want to be ready when it’s time to teach!
Do Other Areas Need a Tech Upgrade?
While you are getting new technologies and software for your classroom and teachers, don’t forget the other aspects of education that could do with an upgrade. Admin buildings and print centers also contain devices and equipment that are essential to the continued success of your facility. If your current multifunction devices are on their last leg, now may be a good time to consider replacing them. You should also consider signing on for managed print services to reduce and control costs, increase productivity and security, and help free up time on your end that would otherwise be spent managing and maintaining these devices.
Parmetech Can Help Turn Your School into a Tech-Savvy Establishment
Parmetech has the technology you need to modernize your classrooms and stay connected with your students. Our equipment and customized services can help you upgrade your learning environment and be ready for the school year. Let the Parmetech team help you transform your education environment with our top-of-the-line solutions.