How classroom screen mirroring is the new norm

24 July 2021 | By Vivi

Classroom Screen Mirroring: The Newest Teaching Tool

Whether a subject matter is interesting or not, the learning environment and the tools employed in teaching are profoundly responsible for driving positive outcomes. Teachers are constantly exploring new ways of teaching to better engage students. 

Thankfully, classroom technology has come a long way in the last decade, and classroom screen mirroring is an accessible way of infusing education with entertainment.

The Center for Teaching and Learning from Washington University explains that: “Research has demonstrated that engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus, motivates them to practice higher-level critical thinking skills, and promotes meaningful learning experiences. Instructors who adopt a student-centered approach to instruction increase opportunities for student engagement, which then helps everyone more successfully achieve the course’s learning objectives.” 

Classroom screen mirroring allows teachers to instruct on a medium students are most familiar with, making screen time learning-time. It’s engaging, interactive and anything but boring.

We’ve Come a Long Way

Audiovisual material has always been a way of engaging students beyond the oral lectures. In the past, giving a presentation with slides or any kind of media meant hooking up a laptop to a stationary projector. Classrooms were filled with VGA cords and, more recently, HDMI cables. 

To make things more complicated, laptops often have different types of ports. A seamless transition and sharing of the teacher’s material was laborious and students sharing their content was impossible. 

Furthermore, while pre-pandemic personal devices like laptops weren’t as prevalent in the classroom, post-pandemic students are encouraged to bring their devices (BYOD) into school. Seamless wireless content sharing is here to stay not only for teachers but students as well.

Active learning requires students to participate in class, as opposed to sitting and listening quietly, and technology can be of significant assistance in this task. The integrated hardware and software solutions that enable classroom screen mirroring are inherent to creating immersive, next-generation digital classrooms. It allows teachers to engage students with content they already have, and students can engage with a digital platform.

Classroom screen mirroring is bringing the power of technology to the forefront of classroom learning. It supports remote and hybrid environments with new, affordable interactive displays. Modern solutions don’t require HDMI cables or much IT support. They are also more reliable and fast, and IT has central control.

Into the Digital Classroom with Screen Mirroring

Wireless screen mirroring makes the connection between the teachers’ and the students’ devices a simple and reliable process. The lessons can begin on time, no cord switching or testing, and all the teacher’s time is put to good use. But it also brings an added advantage. 

Because there is no physical connection between the device and display, the teacher is no longer handcuffed to their desk. They can move around and teach the class from wherever they choose. They can engage with those who previously would sit at the back of the class or would choose not to participate at all. 

Teachers can use three different types of wireless classroom screen mirroring to interact with students digitally. According to EdTech Magazine, these are:

1.     Screen mirroring allows you to share everything you do on your device to a television screen, projector, or display.

2.     Screencasting is used to share online media from a device to a screen. The difference is that it allows you to perform other tasks on your device while casting the media.

3.     Screensharing involves giving another user access to your screen from theirs. Screensharing is usually beneficial for functions like IT support.

Benefits of Classroom Screen Mirroring Post-Covid

As students have returned to the classroom post-Covid, teachers are increasingly needing to rely on collaborative, engaging technology to support them while minimizing group contact. Schools are discouraging shared devices, cables, and interactive flat panels that multiple people touch, to keep people safe. Schools also require wireless screen sharing for both teacher and students to enable smooth content sharing without the presenter moving from their seat.

With students back in school again, teachers can increase student participation with a wireless collaboration and presentation system. The wireless screen-mirroring software available on the market even allows several students to share the screen simultaneously, even assigning groups their smaller displays to work collaboratively on an assignment. With more students sharing the screen, they can stay focused and show their friends their ideas.

Related: Navigating the New Normal for Education

Benefits of Classroom Screen Monitoring for IT

Digital Signage

A digital message and alert system can keep teachers and students informed. It is a wireless broadcast system that can push alerts, messages and announcements over the cloud. It can also be used centrally for digital signage around each campus, such as a welcome screen and announcements at the entrance.

Unlike traditional classroom messaging systems, it ensures immediate message delivery as well as group notifications. Serving as a next-generation information center, this broadcast solution lets schools easily and efficiently manage content and broadcast enriching material from any device across the entire school or campus.

Centralized Control

Some software also includes other features that give IT central control over the entire platform or individual devices. IT can often troubleshoot remotely, avoiding a trip to individual campuses and classrooms. They have full control to manage and operate any panels deployed at any location, as well as broadcast multimedia messages from anywhere to those display panels. 

Central control offers rare but significant features. It grants secure device management platforms to IT no matter where they are. The software integrates with Windows Active Directory, for example, and with central management software, so that IT managers can sync user accounts with their Active Directory infrastructure.

Agnostic Product Integration

Being agnostic means that the software works with existing technology for seamless integration and real-time wireless collaboration. For example, it works with Windows, Android, and anything you want to display from your tablet/laptop can be seen on a screen/projector. It can also connect to any device or display and feature any media type.This versatility speeds up the process that traditionally has required hours of manual setup and programming.

Wireless Functionality

Let’s not forget the end of dealing with adaptors, cables, AV equipment and glitchy touchscreens. These hassles can lead to 10 minutes or more of lost class time, but the cost of replacing several HDMI cables per week is usually overlooked and might become a high yearly expense.

How Teachers Use Screen Mirroring in the Classroom

Software is a powerful tool that empowers teachers to build lesson plans, create engaging content and share lessons with students. It empowers them to work side-by-side with a student, wherever that student may be, getting behind their desk and leaving that desktop computer behind.

Tools like screen mirroring are now freeing teachers to spend more time among their students. Regardless of where students are learning from, if the displays used are modern or not, screen mirroring in the classroom makes instruction immersive, active, and fun. The software displays come equipped with easy-to-use tools that allow users to share notes, ideas, and lessons, from anywhere in the classroom.

According to teachers, the most common ways they use classroom screen mirroring is:

Playing media 

Digital media is becoming a staple in the classroom and with good reason. Using it alongside non-digital lessons can help promote a longer attention span, increase the motivation to learn, increase classroom participation and engagement, and lead to greater academic achievement and stronger digital literacy. Teachers say they use screen mirroring to play videos and music to illustrate points, aid with understanding and sometimes, just for fun.

Showing and editing students’ work 

Collaboration between teacher and student is a crucial part of building a trusting relationship. The more effective the relationship between student and teacher, the more engaged the student is likely to be. 

A collateral effect is students collaborating among themselves. They can work together as a class or in smaller groups who share smaller displays. They become more skilled building peer relationships, fostering peer interactions, enabling them to understand different perspectives, and giving and receiving feedback. 

It is common for a teacher to display a student’s work on the screen for the rest of the class to comment on, developing teamwork. The Grattan Institute’s findings endorse this approach: peer-to-peer collaboration and the opportunity to work as part of a group lead to increased academic engagement and reading achievement.

Allowing students to share their work 

Having students share their work is an essential component of collaboration. Students of all ages tend to be innately social and creative and are motivated to exchange ideas, thoughts, questions, and feelings. Even for teenagers and adults, sharing work in this way is a powerful confidence builder and leads to a greater sense of accountability and ownership.

Related: Student engagement and academic performance

Tips for Getting Started with Classroom Screen Mirroring

Software success relies on its implementation. Once you implement a classroom screen mirroring solution, endorse teachers who are confident with technology to support their peers. 

Studies show collaboration between teachers improves job satisfaction and provides emotional and psychological benefits and competence improvement. By watching others use technology in the classroom, teachers can also gain confidence and valuable tips to incorporate into their own lessons. This generates a positive learning ecosystem.

With any new technology, there will be those who embrace it from day one and those who are a little daunted by it. Any product adoption curve demonstrates this. Your technology-loving teachers will be the innovators, followed by the early adopters. 

You want as many teachers engaged as possible to make the most of your investment. Any investment in technology is a big step but can pay off in dividends. When exploring solutions, check your school’s wish list but keep budget and IT resource demand in mind.

Shelf-Life

Good questions to ask are about durability and shelf-life. No one wants to commit significant funds to something that will be obsolete within a few years and a subscription model ensures both hardware and software get updates and tool optimization. It’s also important to know the expected return on investment and how long it will take to achieve.

IT Demand

The impact on the school’s resources is also an important adjacent consideration. Most IT teams are significantly smaller than their business equivalents, so a system requiring relatively little support is probably a more attractive solution than one that needs constant intervention. IT needs something that they know will work for teachers every time.

Teacher Support

Finally, it’s a good idea to involve a small group of influential teachers in the selection process. It helps ensure teacher buy-in. No matter how great a solution might look on paper, it’s an expensive failure if it’s not adopted and put to use by teachers.Want to know more about how to help teachers easily create a classroom environment in the digital space? Request a demo from Vivi and facilitate educators and IT admins with all the tools they need right at their fingertips to make learning a positive, engaging experience