Gone are the days of the chalkboard, flip-chart or overhead projectors. Schools and colleges are implementing e-boards for a more interactive learning experience.
For students brought up on technology watching a teacher scribble on a large sheet of paper or traditional board is not exactly engaging. For teachers, plowing through piles of exercise books for the drudgery of marking the process can be lengthy. Both of these issues are being addressed through the wider implementation of electronic technology into the classroom. One of the most innovative is the electronic board. These devices are not only for the classroom in a larger, physical form; such electronic boards can also be used on-line, facilitating remote learning between teacher and student and allowing for students to upload essays for electronic marking, fostering a virtual learning environment.
One such board is ‘Blackboard’, which is an on-line learning platform. The board allows for additional features to the displaying of lesson content in a digital format; the board has a function for web conferencing, so that a group of students can tune in at different times. Furthermore, the cloud based functionality allows students at home to post their essays so that, by the required submission date, the tutor can mark the essay, annotate comments, compare the submissions of different students, and provide a mark. In turn, the student can review the mark and see the areas on the essay script where improvements are required. By hosting the essay electronically, artificial intelligence can be used to scan the submission for plagiarism.
An alternative, which is also aimed at businesses, is the Google Jamboard. This whiteboard is for use at the locality and it takes the form of a 55-inch, touch screen monitor that connects to the cloud and taps into Google’s G Suite of productivity apps, including Google Drive, Docs and Calendar.
Interaction through electronic platforms also enables teachers to interact with parents about school in general and specific subject curricula. Teachers can, for instance, use messaging tools to work with parents to give them the information they need about what their child is learning and how they are performing.
An alternative to the standard e-board is with the use of video content, whereby a teacher can create an instructional video. One such provider Kaltura, an open-source video platform. The education lead for the company, Anna Dutton, told the website Educational Technology how the technology appeals to younger teachers: “I worked with some student teachers who were asked to create their own content, and what was produced was of such high quality that it could have been used in a professional media capacity – it was fantastic!” Through this it is possible for lectures to become videos that the student has to view at home, allowing class time is dedicated towards more interactive activities.
These examples are just some of the ways companies are developing learning products for schools. The digital transformation of education is allowing learners to benefit from even more compelling learning experiences; and for teachers to have tools at their disposal to improve learning outcomes.