Making spaces learning-friendly
It has been made apparent in the last couple of weeks that due to a recent baby boom in the UK, school places are urgently required, particularly in London. A quarter of a million places, the majority of which will be in primary environments, are estimated to be needed for the 2014-2015 school year and with many schools already near capacity or full already, we thought we would look into ways that you teachers could make use of non-learning spaces thanks to audio-visual developments.
With interactive whiteboards now becoming the norm in schools, Smart is likely to be a brand you’ve heard a lot about. They currently offer a variety of mobile floor stands that are height-adjustable and can help you move your ultra-short throw projector at the same time. Interactive touchscreens such as the Clevertouch also have wheeled capabilities, as well as converting into a touch table, creating further flexibility. These sorts of products provide the option of turning a non-learning area of the school, such as the library, into a classroom environment temporarily, without it losing its original purpose after the lesson is complete. Check out our case study at the West Hill Primary School as proof.
When it comes to displaying your lessons bright enough and large enough for a bigger classroom, there is no worry in the sense of finding projectors that can stretch your image across a large surface area. However, many of these short and ultra-short throw projectors need a stable and static mount, to make sure the distances are precise enough for a clearer picture. Many manufacturers however, such as Vivitek, have managed to shrink the concept right down without lessening the technology. Their pocket-sized Qumi range of projectors only weigh about a pound, but still pack a punch with a HD 720 resolutions and the capability of stretching up to 90 inches (diagonal). Thanks to LED technology, the Q5 has 500 lumens of brightness and due to DLP link technology; they can even produce 3D imagery as well. These projectors make any plain, flat surface into a screen and without the hassle of bulk and transportation.
Video conferencing –
We’re sure many teachers wish they could be cloned so they could deal with the amount of children under their supervision at once and video conferencing may seem like a more realistic solution. If your classroom is already full, why not set up any extra students in a separate room and use some video conferencing equipment so that the class can interact, regardless of where they are in the school. Obviously a teaching assistant may be needed for any hands-on supervision but high quality streaming can now also be recorded for any pupils who missed out the first time.
There are plenty of ways you can transform unused areas into teaching spaces and it all it involves is a few pieces of audio-visual equipment. As experts have explained, learning spaces may have traditionally been “a magnolia box with serried ranks of chairs and tables with the tutor clearly isolated and in control at the front of the room.” However we know now that physical environments can impact on learning and with the right considerations, technology can help make anywhere a learning space.
If you would like more information on creating space in your school, please feel free to contact us for a free site survey.