When it comes to careers, there is no question our children are heading into the unknown.
A World Economic Forum report estimates that 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately enter occupations that do not currently exist.
Ultimately, our schools and teachers will be the ones who provide the support and skills our children will need on this uncharted voyage. And to do that, more and more are pushing towards education technology (EdTech), the benefits of which are already widely accepted. Not only does its use in the classroom provide interactive, student-centered activities that help to engage and retain students,technology helps teachers to become more organized and efficient. More importantly, it allows them to connect with students in a way that their predecessors—who spent most of their careers scratching phrases and equations across a dusty chalkboard—simply could not.
Not all technology is instantly embraced
For any technology to be successful in the classroom, there needs to be clear benefit to those using it. One way to achieve this is to involve teachers in buying decisions. Partly, that’s because not all teachers find it easy to adapt to the changing education landscape, particularly if the right professional development isn’t available to give them the confidence to embrace it. Indeed, one third of educators confess to having hardly ever—sometimes never—used a technology product provided to them by their school or district.
Be certain about ROI
When considering an investment in technology, it’s important to make sure any solution is affordable, futureproof, and will work with all the systems and displays the school uses. Above all, it is important to know how it will improve student outcomes. A little research will show that there is a link between schools that focus on tools to enable student collaboration, learning games and assessments, and higher student outcomes.
For an investment in technology to remain relevant in today’s schools, it needs to build on the kind of participation, flexibility and collaboration with which mobile and networked devices have excited a whole generation. However, making the wrong choice and implementing technology that’s ineffective could cost as much as $220 per student.
Improving engagement and learning outcomes
Research has shown that engaging students during the learning process increases their attention and focus, motivates them to think more critically and promotes meaningful learning experiences. Wireless screen mirroring brings classrooms together in a way that would not have been possible just ten-years ago. It liberates the educator—taking them away from the traditional front-and-center position and placing them right into the mix with their students. It’s the power to start, stop and share—and even cede control of what’s displayed on—their screen, with everyone, from anywhere in the classroom. And that’s exciting for teachers and students alike.
But at what cost?
Each year, the US spends nearly $706 billion on education—around $14,000 per student. Take off $10,000 per student to pay for the cost of teachers and administrators and there’s not a huge amount left for EdTech. Indeed, in 2019, MIT reported widespread excitement when spending on EdTech passed $13 billion, which equates to just $255 for each of the country’s 51 million students. In a world where such technology is set to become as important to the classroom as inkwells were in the nineteenth century, it’s therefore easy to understand why IT Managers need to use their funds wisely.
In many cases, however, what is needed is merely a shift in spending. Aging or ineffective technology saps significant sums from school budgets each year in maintenance, support and replacement of equipment, like failed ethernet and HDMI cables, damaged ports and connections. The smarter money goes to implementing wireless technology, which delivers greater accessibility and future-proofs investments that have already been made.
And, while it’s easy to be swayed by the allure of shiny new interactive flat-panel screens for the classrooms—an investment which could run into the hundreds of thousands—there is a much more cost-effective option to retrofit aging monitors with screen-mirroring software. Not only will it revolutionize the learning environment, the school accountant’s eyes will light up at the mere mention of it.
Is the investment worth it?
According to the world’s largest evidence-based study on the subject—involving more than 80 million students worldwide—the teacher-student interaction is the most important factor in effective teaching. Investing in technology that brings the two together is therefore certainly worth exploring further.
Tools like Vivi—Software as a Service that is purpose-built to unlock the potential of the 21stCentury classroom—won’t break the bank. And, as well as the collaborative benefits, it facilitates formative assessment, health and wellbeing checks; fast and reliable video streaming; digital signage; emergency broadcast and so much more. In fact, Vivi is the only screen-mirroring solution dedicated solely to improving education outcomes.
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