We are going through very uncertain times lately and we do not know what is going to happen in the short, mid, or long term. What we can be sure about is that our lives, and subsequently, education, have changed forever.
Every day we see information in the news that makes us reconsider the situation and look for new solutions to cope with the present situation in the best way possible, widely speaking. Regarding education, the majority of the most evolved societies, have been forced to adapt the way they deliver lessons, either because of the introduction of new ways of working that we did not need to consider up to this date, but also because of the need to create suitable content whilst delivering student communication in new ways.
The situation in each country differs, but also within each country different realities coexist, which is why we cannot generalize about what is going to be the “new norm” in education. At the moment, there are countries/educational institutions that are trying to come back to classrooms almost the same way they did before the pandemic, others that aspire to be able to combine distance with face-to-face learning, and others that will opt for just distance learning in the short to midterm.
So, the three scenarios that most frequently will be found appear to be:
Face-to-face education: either the number of students per classroom is the same or it is reduced by an increase of the number of classrooms, teacher shifts, and/or teachers, it is necessary to ensure the necessary distance between them, and with the teacher. The capability to interact from each desk with the rest of the attendees is key, to guarantee a secure distance and minimize the risk of contamination. An interactive display can help to ease interactivity between teacher and students, with the content sharing from the main device (interactive display) to the students and vice versa. Frequent cleaning of the displays and stylus is a must. Newline interactive displays work with a regular passive stylus, so… why not provide each of the students with one of them?
Blended learning: or face-to-face education for some of the students, and distance learning for the others, alternating groups to attend school, so the number of students simultaneously in the same space decreases but they still attend the lessons “together”. It will be necessary to share the content with the students’ devices regardless of whether they are physically present (as we mentioned in the previous scenario) or remotely present and to connect the home working students by videoconference, with the tools of each school´s choice. An external camera to record the teacher interacting with the interactive display during the lesson is key to catch the student’s attention. The engagement of sharing content remotely with the students increases when the teacher is being seen interacting, writing, drawing, etc. as they do in face-to-face lessons. In the case of an additional webcam embedded in the display, it can face the classroom-based students if necessary.
Distance learning: many organizations are opting for these kinds of lectures like the prestigious Cambridge University just announced. But as some researchers reveal, the lack of face-to-face lessons may cause the students to lose interest. In order to make online lectures similar to face-to-face lectures, the recommendation is to share the content and to make the videoconference using an external camera pointing to and capturing the teacher interacting with the display during the lesson, as mentioned in the previous scenario. The engagement of the attendees will be significantly increased. Why not record the lessons performed in a natural way, to provide the additional advantage of reviewing them afterward?
The future is difficult to predict, but what seems to be clear is that the change to interactive lessons is a must, the digital content is needed now, more than ever. Having the necessary tools to interact with the students will make a difference. The technological leap is here, and at Newline we can help any organization make it safely and easily. The Newline interactive displays are compatible with any educational software tool and any videoconference application, and they interact in a very intuitive way with any other device. Our society has completely changed. We have to make the most of it now. Newline can help you deliver online lessons!