Teaching is never easy. Educators are under constant pressure to make lessons as exciting and engaging as possible. At the same time, they have to meet benchmarks and help students get excellent marks in tests and assessments. Computers – and tech in general – have made all that a little easier. New software means teachers can now share lessons online, create quick assignments, and even use smartphones to run tests with apps like Plickers.
If you’ve read some of our other articles, then you already know… we love digital screens around here. And – when used intentionally – digital displays can help you improve the classroom in some pretty remarkable ways. Let’s take a look at seven of them.
1. Use digital screens to support (and encourage) teamwork
The problem with personal tech like laptops and tablets is that while they are perfect for individual work, it’s pretty difficult to gather a class around a 13″ screen. Unlike personal devices, digital screens are perfect for working together. You can use them to set up learning areas that encourage cooperative learning and creative problem solving. This makes it easy for groups of students to tackle problems together. Plus, because everyone is collaborating on the same screen, you can share that data with remote students so they feel involved too.
2. Livestream events
Information moves fast. To help students keep up, technology needs to move faster. Digital screens can help you accelerate students’ learning by inviting thought leaders from around the world – people at the top of their field – to share their knowledge directly (and virtually) in your classroom. Thanks to digital screens, you can reach potential role models and share their message in classrooms around the world.
But you don’t need to bridge continents for live streaming in schools to make sense. You can also use digital screens to stream live sports or educational events your school teams are involved in so that the entire classroom can support them.
3. Share educational stories related to what you’re learning
Stories are a powerful way to support learning and help it stick. Digital screens are perfect for putting the material you’re covering into a visual context. So how do you do it? There are tons of ways to add an optical spin to learning.
You can stream “how to” videos from colleagues (or YouTube) to show a different angle of what you’re teaching. You can stream Ted Talks to get students familiar with what some of the brightest minds have to say on the topics you’ve been studying. You can even record experts in the local area and ask them questions on how what you taught relates to the real world.
4. Promote school (or after school) initiatives
Digital screens are perfect for advertising. You can use them to highlight after school activities or bring attention to upcoming initiatives. Instead of sending emails or mailing letters, you can share all the relevant, up-to-date information on the screen. You can even answer frequently asked questions, so parents and students know exactly what to expect.
For major events – like the next school competition or the next big test – you can even have a countdown. Or – when it comes to the test – you can list some additional recommended prep materials. You can even turn your digital screen into a searchable calendar, so students are always up to date on the latest events on your campus. You can also find support for volunteer programs or advertise events that students can participate in for extra credit or fun.
5. Support interactive learning
Tests are an important – if sometimes frustrating – part of learning. Tests help educators make sure students understand the lessons. So how much more effective can they be, if tests we a little more fun?
With the right software and digital screens, you can create interactive quizzes that use media to support learning. You can then use these quizzes alongside regular tests to promote students’ skills. You can even recruit students to help design some of the questions.
6. Publicly share and update relevant information
There’s nothing worse for educators than posting office hours or support hours, then sitting in that office alone because no one knew when or where to show up. And there’s nothing worse for students than seeking help from an instructor and finding out they’re giving lectures all day. Both of these things usually happen, thanks to miscommunication. Digital screens can help you put an end to that particular frustration.
Digital screens are the perfect way to share office hours or the times when you’re available for questions and help and keep that information up to date. You can even program your digital screen so that students can request appointments directly from the screen, saving you time consuming back and forth.
7. Make everyday learning more exciting
Learning is always more exciting when students can internalize what they’re learning and put it into practical use. Digital screens are more engaging – you can easily run videos, gamify lessons, or run tests with just a few clicks. This makes anything you teach far more memorable come test time. And it helps you cater to students with different learning techniques, creating a better experience (and better results) all around.
Create the classrooms of the future
Digital signage doesn’t just cut down on your paper bills. It’s an efficient way to keep everyone on the same page. To distribute information in a way that’s easy to consume. It helps you engage students where they are and share some of the best experiences technology has to offer, transforming the classroom into a place students genuinely want to be in.