As schools reopen for students and teachers, the classroom is going to look a little bit different from September to allow for social distancing.
With forward facing desks for pupils and teachers needing to maintain a 2m distance as they move around the classroom. Some students may have to learn remotely if they have to self-isolate or if local lockdowns are imposed, therefore technology is key to keeping learning on track both inside and outside the classroom. We look at some of the technology products that can help support learning in a socially distanced world.
Inside the classroom
Interactive panels are fast becoming the choice for schools rather than an interactive whiteboard. They are easier to maintain than projectors and offer a lot more functionality. The ViewBoard IFP7550-2EP embraces Ultra Fine Touch (UFT) technology to produce a lag-free, pen-on-paper writing experience that is greatly improved. It also includes built-in digital whiteboard software to collaborate on the go and a 4-way split screen for content sharing. There is also the optional top-mounted web camera, which could be used to share lessons with students who are not able to attend in person.
The Ergotron TeachWell Mobile Digital Workspace is a mobile workstation which gives teachers the freedom to move around their classroom whilst maintaining social distancing. This compact technology hub consolidates all your technology tools onto a single mobile platform, so that teachers can easily move around the classroom. The platform can also be changed from a seated to a standing position so you can work how you want to.
The PORT Charging Cabinet allows you to charge, safely store and manage power cables for up to 20 tablets, mobile phones and other USB devices. A sliding drawer allows easy access to the devices. The cabinet has integrated UV lamps which will activate when the door is closed. UV radiation effectively destroys viruses and bacteria.
Devices for learning, wherever you are
There are a range of affordable and robust laptops and tablets that can be used in class or taken home if students need to access remote learning.
The Acer TravelMate Series is ideal for educational settings. The TravelMate P6 helps teachers prepare, present and share material in the classroom with ease and efficiency. It brings teachers cutting-edge technology and features, providing the flexibility they need when working in the classroom.
The TravelMate P2 is tailor-made for the education market and designed to meet the hustle and bustle of the classroom. Portable, robust and great for wireless sharing, it gives users the long battery life to meet the challenges of teaching and learning.
Schools choose Chromebooks because they are fast, easy-to-use and manage, shareable, secure and affordable. Students can quickly and securely log on to any device for a personalised learning experience and just as easily log out of all apps when class is over.
The Acer Chromebook 10 is lightweight and durable, allowing students to collaborate, create and learn from anywhere. It comes with a low-cost Chromebook Stylus inside that doesn’t require charging or pairing. The stylus uses advanced machine learning to predict student writing for a natural writing experience. It also has a battery life of up to 9 hours of can be used throughout the school day.
Government support for laptops and tablets
The UK government has recently announced that expanding its laptops and tablets for children who cannot attend school due to coronavirus programme. Between May and July 2020, the government programme distributed 200,000 devices and 4G wireless routers to local authorities and trusts for pupils in year 10, care leavers and young people with a social worker. This programme has been expanded offering laptops, tablets and 4G to pupils who are shielding who can’t return to school in autumn or to pupils in certain year groups if schools are forced to close due to a local outbreak, so pupils can access remote learning.
New features in Microsoft Teams for Education this Autumn
At the beginning of lockdown many teachers hadn’t created a video or opened Microsoft Teams but both teachers and students quickly adapted to this new method of learning.
Microsoft Teams for Education is launching new features this autumn to support students’ engagement with remote learning including:
- Expanding the Teams grid view to 7x7, which will accommodate up to 49 participants in a single screen
- Creating Virtual Breakout Rooms so students can meet and collaborate in small groups
- Adding new meeting options in Teams that prevent students starting meetings unattended and creating a Meeting Lobby to ensure only assigned students can join a meeting.
Other tools such as Flipgrid help bring learning and creativity to life in a safe environment. Students can create, record and share videos with their class on discussion topics to showcase what they’re learning.
With Banner you can get the tech you need for classrooms