Digital transformation in educational spaces is rapidly changing the way teachers teach and students learn. And it also impacts on how IT administrators and managers in schools and campuses manage devices for the best learning outcomes. As classrooms start to adopt technologies such as interactive whiteboards, it is essential to know how to setup and manage these devices.
We will go through the steps needed to best setup and manage interactive whiteboards in schools and campuses. You can also jumpstart your school’s digital transformation with ViewSonic’s ViewBoard displays.
In the recent years, the education sector has embraced integrating technology into their curriculum. Especially with the introduction of hybrid and remote learning, it has never been more important for schools to have the latest devices and solutions in EdTech to enhance the overall teaching and learning experience.
According to an EdTech survey done in the United Kingdom, about 84 percent of high schools have introduced or increased technology in the classrooms in 2020. 66 percent have also upgraded existing infrastructure in response to the pandemic and to enable a smooth transition to remote learning. Majority of the teachers interviewed agreed that the new technology introduced helped them deliver better remote and in-class lessons.
That means digital transformation of schools is here to stay. Classrooms will have to adapt to changing times and be outfitted with devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and interactive whiteboards. IT administrators and managers will need to setup, manage, and maintain multiple devices to ensure product longevity, cost effectiveness, and most importantly, an effective learning environment.
In this article, we will look specifically at setting up and managing interactive whiteboards (IWBs) effectively in education spaces. In fact, the same survey has shown that high schools in the United Kingdom typically have between 21 to 1,000 interactive whiteboards. It is essential for the IT team to be equipped with the right tools and expertise to best utilize these interactive displays.
IT administrators and managers have a key role to play in pushing for digital transformation to positively affect the school’s learning and teaching culture. The following five steps acts as a guide on integrating IWBs into the school’s IT infrastructure.
Garner Support for Procuring Interactive Whiteboards
Oftentimes, people are comfortable with the status quo and are not very welcoming to change. Convincing them that new devices such as interactive whiteboards can elevate tasks they are already doing well can be challenging. It is important to educate key stakeholders and teachers in the school that the display’s capabilities can make their jobs easier and open up new ways to teach.
To earn their buy-in, it will be useful to present benefits of device and showcase different classroom scenarios in which interactive whiteboards can alleviate the teachers’ pain points. As an example, if poor classroom engagement is an issue the teachers are facing, you can illustrate how IWBs enhance in-class collaboration and increase audience response with the usage of diverse multimedia content and intuitive touchscreen capabilities.
Decide How the Interactive Whiteboards Should Be Used
As not all education institutions have the necessary devices and software to keep up with the connected world, embarking on digital transformation can be daunting and challenging. A lack of strategy with any new technology can intimidate and confuse new users and possibly lead to lower usage and waste of resources.
Before purchasing the interactive whiteboards, it is vital to set out clear goals on what the school hopes to achieve with the devices. Invite headteachers and stakeholders to join in the discussions to outline measurable objectives and the subsequent steps to take. Here are some questions to raise:
- What does the school like to accomplish with the whiteboards? For example, are they used to kickstart STEAM curriculum or amplify esports in education?
- How should students use them during lessons? For example, are the whiteboards reserved for group projects or video-assisted learning only?
- Are there any new learning arrangements such as hybrid learning that the school wishes to implement for the future? If yes, how can the interactive whiteboards be used to ensure a smooth transition?
By deciding how the interactive whiteboards are used, it sets up the school for success and makes teachers more comfortable with the adoption process. For the IT team, it is to ensure that the device is maximized to its full potential and that the school is on track with digital transformation.
Purchase and Set Up the Interactive Whiteboards
Once you have gotten the greenlight to procure the IWBs, you will need to ensure that you have the right model with the necessary software to suit the different spaces. A lecture hall will require a larger screen size as compared to a classroom, and the latter will most probably need more touchpoints for onscreen collaborations.
The software and control management system (CMS) are important features to look at when purchasing the IWBs. The IT team is often tasked with managing, updating, and controlling the school’s IT infrastructure, which includes multiple systems, software, and processes. A lot of these tasks have to be done manually as the IT personnel will have to check on every device using different processes physically. A centralized CMS will increase the IT team’s efficiency and productivity.
Other key accessories to take note of are display stands for freestanding presentations and external web cameras for crisper video captures.
Train IT Team and Teachers on Usage and Management
To maximize the capabilities of IWBs, it will be helpful to hold a demonstration to showcase the different features. Allow teachers to practice using the IWBs and its software to familiarize themselves with platform’s tools.
The IT team need to get accustomed to a centralized control system for managing multiple IWBs simultaneously. They then can easily install, delete, and update apps, send notifications, apply security settings, and schedule automated tasks from a single remote location. This streamlines many IT processes and saves IT personnel from wasting time attending to each and every device across the school.
Future-Proof Your Interactive Whiteboards
Maintenance is part and parcel of extending the life of any product. Not only does it keep the device up to date with the latest software advancements, but it also stretches the investment the school has put in. One way to future-proof IWBs is to pair them with a mini desktop PC.
A mini desktop PC, like a ViewBoard Box, acts like what its name says. It is essentially a PC that transforms any display into a supercomputer. It can be integrated into the school’s IT infrastructure to streamline multiple AV products, including IWBs, projectors, monitors, and wireless presentation displays. By doing so, it creates an efficient ecosystem for the ideal digital school.
Whether it’s monitors or interactive whiteboards, it is important to set up and manage the adoption of such devices properly to ensure success and overall satisfaction of stakeholders, teachers, students, and the IT team. Only then can digital transformation in schools make a positive impact on teaching and learning outcomes.
There is an extensive list of why IT personnel in education like having interactive whiteboards, you can read the ten reasons here. Or you can also kickstart your school’s digital transformation with ViewSonic educational devices and solutions.