As part of our ‘The Challenge of Change‘ feature, ACTIVboard’s Murray Thoms assesses what needs to happen before change.
“Before spending any money, I would recommend that schools complete an audit of their existing ICT assets, as part of an overall visioning process, giving staff a clear picture of what it is their school is wanting to achieve terms of learning technologies and methodologies for their students. The school leadership needs to be able to articulate how this vision translates to an investment that will better prepare their students for the world they encounter when they leave school.
“All staff need to have a clear understanding of how this vision is to be implemented and be provided with a supportive environment that values innovation, risk-taking and experimentation, and there are regular opportunities for teachers’ ongoing professional development, particularly attendance at conferences and expos that focus on the innovative use of ICT in the classroom.
Empowering students and teachers
In my view, the release of Windows 8, and now Windows 10, with native gesture control and built-for-touch metro interface has made touchscreen computing as simple as using your phone or tablet. In-built annotation tools are now standard in all Microsoft Office documents, Edge and many other programs, further empowering students and teachers to use them natively, yet still have the ability to annotate, highlight and focus attention when presenting or sharing findings.
For the last 15 years our company has helped over 1,000 schools improve learning outcomes through the innovative use of interactive whiteboard technology, resources, ActivInspire software for learning, and our ongoing PD courses. As flat-screen technology has become more affordable, we have seen a big swing toward Interactive Flat Panel Displays (IFPD). Today 80 per cent of our sales are IFPDs compared to projector-based IWB technologies and the reasons are simple.
IFPDs offer HD resolution, crisp bright images relatively unaffected by high ambient light, ease of use – ‘plug and play’ operation with no drivers required, no lamps or filters to replace, and probably the most important, mobility. Four out of five systems we supply are mounted on height adjustable mobile stands that offer the flexibility required in today’s innovative learning spaces, where display technology has to be used for small group work, as well as whole class sharing.”
Murray Thoms is Marketing Consultant for ACTIVboardNZ. His 50-year career in telecommunications and IT includes the last 18 in learning technology.
For more on ACTIVboardNZ go to activboardnz.com/education/products/