It is no secret that technology has been advancing at such a pace that many industries have struggled to keep up with the latest innovations. In the education sector, there have been some great examples of how new technology has benefitted schools. However, whilst some schools have embraced the many opportunities that technology such as AV (Audio Visual) solutions deliver, some schools have not ventured fully into the digital world yet.
The main reasons that some schools are reluctant to make that step is generally down to a lack of budget or concerns around the technical sides of operating technical equipment. Both of these apparent barriers could actually be worked around (we’ll come to that a bit later) and those schools could soon be enjoying the many advantages of using the latest technology in their school halls and classrooms.
On a whole, young students of all ages have significantly better technology skills than previous generations, through growing up in a world where tablets and smartphones are part of everyday life in many households. Playing online computer games and watching YouTube videos is as common as going out on your bike was before we had all of this advanced technology at our disposal. The younger generations are so immersed in technology that the Gen Z age category is sometimes referred to as the iGen.
So if students’ everyday lifestyle is heavily influenced by technology, they are also going to expect the same in their learning environment. But not only is modern technology an expectation, it is a crucial enabler for better learning outcomes.
One of the key benefits of using AV solutions in lessons and assemblies is to drive better levels of engagement. It also helps to build better levels of digital literacy, which is essential for students as they progress through their education pathway. If they move from a school that has not used the kind of technology universities use then they may struggle with the transition.
It is not just students’ future learning that is at stake; the bigger problem is that they are missing out on improved learning outcomes. Research shows that using video in learning can improve attention and motivation. A project at the University of Worcester focused on the use of video in learning and teaching. The study titled Evaluating the use of video in learning and teaching found that use of video increased the depth of information processing, as well as improving attention and motivation. Another key benefit was that students could access video content outside of lessons to further enhance learning.
According to marketing specialists Smart Insights, by 2020 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video, so if you think children are watching a lot of YouTube videos now, the usage figures will be even greater in the next few years. The world is becoming more and more digitalised and the education sector is still playing catch up.
Video tutorials on sites like YouTube have become incredibly popular for people looking to pick up new skills, whether it is getting to the next level on a computer game or applying a new hairstyle. Students are used to learning through this channel and more teachers are seeing the obvious benefits of utilising videos in lessons.
If you are wondering whether there are any videos on YouTube that are suitable for education purposes, you might be surprised to know that teachers regularly add videos on to help other teachers with specific subjects, so you could be missing out on some great teaching aids. There are all kinds of videos available from fun ways to show a science experiment to showing PE students the right technique of throwing a javelin.
There is a specific video channel called Teachers TV on the TES website that provides videos for all subjects in the curriculum. So if you are looking for a new angle to teach Physics, or want to inject some fun into your History lessons, there is a library full of great video content that you could be using. All you need is the right equipment to ensure that the videos work well in classes.
The other great thing about using videos in learning is that you can cover a fairly long and complex topic in a much quicker and more engaging way. If students can watch a quick demo of how to throw a javelin, or watch to a French person ordering bread in a French delicatessen they can relate to the information and process it better.
Other research shows that students who were given visual aids whilst listening to a lecture were more able to remember and understand the lecture. The Education Week Teacher website refers to a study at Washington University that revealed that students were better able to recall the information when visual aids were used. The authors concluded that the students engaged in deeper levels of processing.
So there is conclusive evidence that using videos and visual aids will significantly improve learning outcomes. If you are debating whether investing in AV solutions will return enough benefits, the evidence is all there to show you that lessons can be greatly enhanced using video and visuals via projection and screens accompanied by sound equipment.
In addition to the enhanced learning benefits, AV solutions can help schools in a number of other important areas. One example is to improve the quality of drama and music productions, which is particularly important for schools and colleges that offer qualifications in drama. AV solutions can help to deliver a much more professional drama production with high quality lighting, sound and PA. When students are being assessed, having professional equipment will help them to shine and get the marks that they deserve without being let down by unreliable stage equipment.
Assemblies will be much more effective too, instead of teachers trying to shout so that students at the back of the school hall can hear, the right sound equipment will ensure that any assembly announcements are clearly heard, increasing engagement and helping to get key messages across to students.
Another area that high quality AV solutions can benefit is giving presentations such as open evenings for prospective new student intakes. When parents and students are deciding which school to choose, a high quality presentation with professional looking designs including visuals and videos to showcase the school will be impressive. So using the technology to help to achieve a higher student intake is another way to justify any costs in the school budget.
When it comes to new technology, not all teachers feel comfortable using new equipment and they may worry about something going wrong or not knowing what to do if something breaks. You can take all of the worry out of using AV equipment by teaming up with a professional education AV specialist like Mustard Presentations who will help you through every part of the process. From installation and learning how to operate the equipment, through to being there if something goes wrong before the big night, Mustard Presentations offers the different levels of support that your school may require. Our technicians are enhanced DBS checked due to our regular work with schools.
At Mustard Presentations we have a team of experts that offer specialist support under the AV Education service. If you need some help deciding on the most appropriate AV equipment for your school and budget then that is all part of the package. We have worked with further education sector for many years to help schools and colleges to deliver better lessons, assemblies and productions. We understand the barriers schools and further education establishments face and the priorities across different departments.
Whether you are looking to add some projectors, touch screens, PA systems or wireless room integration, we can help you to take your school’s audio visual equipment to the next level. Your new AV solutions will transform learning, impressing students, teachers and parents along the way.
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