Intriguing Thoughts: Things You Probably Don’t Know About Collaborative Learning Technology

EpsonFebruary 14, 2018

Students just aren’t engaging the same way they once did. As an educator, you face this challenge every day. The more your students interact with the information they’re trying to learn, the more deeply they’ll remember it. So you’re constantly on the lookout for ways to get your college students thinking about the material, working with it actively, and applying it to real-world problems.

What you might not know, though, is that classroom technology has made some major leaps in the past few years. Using a white board in class is only the beginning. Today’s interactive education takes student-centered learning to a whole new level, with entire classrooms designed to facilitate collaborative presentations, in which educators and students work together in real-time.

Here are three surprising facts about this revolution in education:

1. The purpose of classroom technology is changing

It wasn’t so long ago that the point of classroom technology was to enhance traditional teaching methods. A teacher might use a chalkboard, or colorful markers on a whiteboard, to illustrate key points, but these tools were only supplements to the oral lecture, which was the main focus.

Over the past few years, though, many educators have realized this approach doesn’t work as well as it used to. In today’s world, students are bombarded with an unprecedented onslaught of information. What they need, more than ever, are tools and techniques for finding, filtering, evaluating and managing the information they need.

That means the most important role of a classroom instructor is now to give students problems to research and evaluate each student’s ability to collaborate on those problems in real time.

2. New tech has a measurable impact on student performance

As every student of systems theory knows, the environment in which people work has a direct impact on the quality of the results. A traditional lecture hall with one screen will result in a linear lecture — and a classroom full of students who are less likely to think critically about the material.

In a classroom with group tables, marker boards, and multiple laptop inputs, by contrast, it’s easier to split students up into groups and empower each group to work independently. Schools that have tried this approach are already noticing that classes who use these collaborative learning rooms are more engaged and more likely to perform well on exams. In other words, activity equals engagement equals retention.

3. Collaborative classrooms don’t have to be expensive

The latest generation of collaborative learning rooms includes digital projectors with wireless connectivity, so students can then present their findings to the class, straight from their smart devices or even laptops. These projectors also allow students to manipulate images from the projectors right on the whiteboards, using a digital pen or mouse. Meanwhile, a centralized control panel makes it easy for instructors to select inputs on the fly, maintaining overall control over the flow of the class.

And all this can be achieved with capital budgets. So when you’re looking for your next display solution or upgrade, consider the features in display technology that support participation from students and their devices. It’s a thoughtful consideration for future-proofing your display investment and making your learning spaces more impactful for the future.

To find out more about how collaborative tools have made learning more engaging for students, check out these case studies on how Epson projectors and displays have  transformed instruction at several education facilities.