Before the Internet revolution, the number of students a great teacher could reach was severely limited by the constraints of time and space. However, those days are long gone.
Advancements in EduTech have made it possible for an educator’s influence to extend to every corner of the globe, 24/7 and indefinitely into the future via archived content.
Despite the thrilling possibilities presented by remote classroom solutions, many institutions are still relegating their brightest minds to brick-and-mortar confines. If your organization is in such a position, now may be the time to think about constructing a space that is more conducive to e-learning strategies. Here are some tips to get you started on assembling your hybrid classroom today.
Optimize Your Classroom for Video & Audio
Simply tossing a camera and microphone into your classroom isn’t enough to start broadcasting your classes to a worldwide audience. Content quality matters.
Blurry images or distorted sound will undermine your awesome teaching materials. Many distance learners work in full-time positions, and they’re too busy to wait while a video buffers or to rewind and decipher muffled audio. Furthermore, effective learning is all about engaging students, and studies show that a piece of audiovisual content’s quality directly determines its impact in terms of connecting with the user.
To make sure you’re delivering the type of content that facilitates learning and grows your profits, take the time to do some simple work on your classroom’s acoustics and lighting. A little padding over hard surfaces will cut down on ringing and echoes, which is ideal for both physically present and telecommuting participants. Depending on your space, all you need to accomplish this is simple rugs and drapes. Also, make sure your classroom is well lit, but avoid backlighting the lecturer. These measures will help your camera maintain focus.
Tech Out Your Space
Now that you’ve got your acoustics and lighting taken care of, it’s time to inject the tech. While a webcam and Skype™ work for long-distance tutoring, you’ll need to up your game for a full-class interaction.
Transforming a traditional lecture into a video production can be difficult, but technology creates effective methods for overcoming most challenges. Providing wireless microphones for teachers and tablets for all your students fulfills basic needs; however, if you want to aim for optimal quality, you need to think a bit bigger. The following innovations can help you present blended and remote lesson plans.
1. Auto Tracking Cameras
Auto-tracking cameras enable lecturers to move freely around the classroom, rather than keeping them trapped in a single frame. Some cameras still require the presenter to wear cumbersome accessories to enable tracking, but if you choose the AVer PTC500S, no such equipment is necessary.
2. Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Cameras
Pair your tracking camera with a PTZ camera to record or stream the student side of the classroom. This enables you to capture the full interactive educational experience. Options like the AVer PTZ330 even allow you to switch between preset zones with the push of a button.
A visualizer gives educators the ability to display hard copies of documents or closeups of books and objects. The top versions feature one-touch recording and software that lets the user connect with another visualizer or webcam, use picture-in-picture mode, and annotate on-screen.
4. Interactive Flat Panels
An interactive flat panel (IFP) is perfect for connecting online students to the traditional classroom. Students around the globe can dial in with Skype™ or other platforms to give presentations and interact with their on-campus classmates through a large screen.
5. Charging Solutions
Whether you have an entire building full of devices or just one classroom, you’ll need charging carts or towers. These cabinets safely store and charge large amounts of tablets or notebooks so you can make sure everyone is ready to go when class starts.
With solutions like these, the education industry can offer distance learners an in-class experience that nearly rivals that of any residential student. Start planning your remote learning classroom, and keep an eye out for even more EdTech advances to come.