When AV Technology dug into Clare Communications’ work with Wade Osborne, ICT Project Manager, Audio Visual Lead at Sydney Catholic Schools, on “designing and creating a smart, collaborative set of classrooms”, they discovered the definition of a ‘digital learning environment’.
“Not only do each of the three adjoining classrooms have a hefty 84-inch Promethean board but a second, Vivi-connected panel along with a centralized audio routing system that allows for the flexible configuration of the classrooms along with voice lift for teachers,” AV Technology reports.
Wade Osborne explains: “Our ease of use motto is ‘Lights. AV. Go.’ It’s got to be that easy. We’ve chosen Vivi for all of our schools as our primary wireless presenter. It means we can teach Vivi to all the Catholic School educators and they can confidently walk into any classroom and make it work. Really it’s a matter of knowing what room you’re in, punch in the room code, and that gets the main display functioning — away they go.
“In this case, Vivi also works well for us in mirroring content to the second display and in other cases it’s the way for students to cast content from their devices — not so important for the younger students but important in high school.”
Sydney Catholic Schools use Promethean iNTERACTIVE to enable teachers the ability to stand at the front of the room and present, allowing students to join them at the front of the room to interact with the lesson. The 84-inch boards are a “big investment, but the benefits outweigh the costs, and the advantages over a more traditional interactive whiteboard are many.”
Wade enhances the use of Promethean interactive flat panels by “mirroring content to a ‘dumb’ display elsewhere in the classroom, which allows the students to break out and collaborate in smaller groups.”
“Interestingly, Vivi gives us good analytics across 150-plus of our schools,” explains Wade Osborne. “We can see the uptime and, conversely, the downtime, on each device. From there, we can report back to the principal. For example, 80 percent of the Vivi rooms are being used but 20 percent of them aren’t. From there we can work with those educators to get an understanding of why those teachers are slow to adopt the technology. Nine times out of ten, it’s about education, ironically — we need to teach them and encourage them to adopt this new form of technology and run with it.”
Not only are educators expected to adopt a more modern way of teaching, but their physical environment up the front of the room has evolved.
“Historically the teacher’s desk was their castle, but it represented an authoritarian mode of communication. In these spaces, given it’s more collaborative, there’s no teacher’s desk. There is a spot for a teacher to put their laptop. The laptop can then join the wireless infrastructure, meaning they can be more inclusive in the education of the students in the space. When parents do come in, there is the technology in the space for content to be shared throughout the entire space without the imposing desk. So it’s not so chalk ’n’ talk anymore, it’s all about collaboration, inclusivity, sharing content and breaking down barriers.”
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As well as the functionality Vivi brought to the classroom, the teachers quickly learned to rely on it. “That’s one of the great things about Vivi,” says Burgess. “Before Vivi, we were forever replacing lost or broken HDMI cables. When people went to project, they couldn’t. Now, there’s no reason why our teachers can’t project—every room has Vivi and everyone knows how it works.”
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